Grain Bin Ale Spruced Up

Reviewed by on August 18, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Grain Bin Brewing Company

  • Origin: Grande Prairie, AB, CA

  • Rated On: August 18, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.7%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Spruce Pale Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

‘Ale Spruced Up’ (heh) is the second go-round for this spruce tip flavoured strong pale ale – and nice to see a broader distribution of it this time.

This 650ml bottle pours a slightly hazy, yet bright medium copper amber colour, with one zaftig finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some random snow rime pattern lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, subtle exotic fruity notes, a bit of earthy yeastiness, a hint of green and oily spruciness (sp?), and some plain leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral verdant hoppiness.  The taste is wet spruce tips, semi-sweet grainy and bready caramel malt, muddled pome and citrus fruity esters, and more understated leafy, herbal, and musky floral hoppiness.  The carbonation is quite underwhelming in its barely-there frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, with a wee airy creaminess sneaking in as things warm up a tad out of the ol’ basement frigo.  It finishes off-dry – nice and malty with a lingering soused-up green spruce kick.

Overall, this is a rather enjoyable ‘extra’ pale ale, on both its vectors: the spruce is a bit coy, sure, but is noticeable enough, and the elevated alcohol measure lies equally under the radar.  Very tasty and engaging, even if they could amp up the fizz just a smidge – a minor quibble, I know.

Brady White



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