Bent Stick Swap The Hops

Reviewed by on July 3, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Bent Stick Brewing Co.

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: July 3, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Pale Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Swap the Hops is one of a pair of brand-new releases from this nascent Edmonton brewery – the first since Yellowhead in our fair city – look it up! This offering is just what it says – a pale ale that will utilize whatever hops they have handy – how very practical!

This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, medium copper amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some stellar random snow rime lace around the glass as it lazily subsides.

It smells of bready and doughy pale malt, a touch of biscuity caramel, juicy pear and ripe apple, a subtle generic melon fruitiness, and further leafy, weedy, and sort of floral green hop bitters. The taste is grainy and bready caramel malt, white breakfast biscuits, a faint earthy yeastiness, subtle mixed citrus and pome fruity notes, and more plain leafy, floral, and mildly herbal hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite light and fancy-free in its dialed-back frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, nothing really getting in the way of a slowly burgeoning creaminess. It finishes off-dry, the malt holding tough, alongside the fruity and very gently bitter hop acridity.

Overall, Swap the Hops is a very pleasantly rendered pale ale, at least in this initial iteration, where Herkules hops were added to the base Cascade to create this, well, ‘sessionable’ offering (Imma gonna have to stop using that term, even under duress, before it drives me mucho loco).  Anyway, a well-made, and approachable (I mean that in nothing other than a good way) debut, fellas.

Brady White

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