Folded Mountains Majesty (er, an A-rated wine from Aldi)

Dave returns (!) with a review (!!) of a beer from…well, duh, Aldi. Is it worth the money? Does it get a good grade?

Folded Mountains

Folded Mountains Pale Ale

Hello, sports fans. I’m back. (I won’t bore you with the gory details of my absence; suffice it to say I can now tolerate some libations. And I’m also visiting Aldi again.)

I thought I’d return to what made me happy about beer – the pale ale – and used the most recent trip to Aldi as an excuse. So let’s give this one a try: Folded Mountains Pale Ale. From Aldi. Did I mention I got it at Aldi?

Taste

In a word: Hoppy. That, to me, is a good thing. I want a pale ale that pushes the boundaries between hoppy goodness and IPA bitterness. (I have discovered, through years of research, that my own preference would be an IBU figure of about 45.) This one has to be right in that zone, I would bet.

Allow me to apologize for being wrong all these years. The correct term is “International Bittering Units.” I thought it was “Bitterness.” Oops. Metasip regrets the error.

My all-time favorite beer is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and this reminded me a ton of that. (Foreshadowing the eventual grade for this one.)

Profile

5.3% ABV. One is plenty for the aging beer-drinker with cluster headaches. (Brewed in Rochester, NY.)

Value

If memory serves, I spent $6.99 on the six-pack.

Let’s talk about pricing for a second, not on this stuff, but on all ales. WHAT GIVES? I’m telling you, it’s like I took a break from drinking, came back, and everyone raised the price on everything. Why? Because they can? Because they should? Supply and Demand? The FDA?

Srsly, $10 is becoming about the norm for a six-pack of anything “craft brewed” – and I get it, you need to charge a premium, but I’m all like “whoa!”

Metasip Grade: A

Yeah, I’m going there. This is an A-rated beer, and I don’t care that we give out so few As and it’s been at least a year since I rated beer here. From the first sip to the last, this beer reminded me of Sierra Nevada, and that’s a really good thing.

Please go get some. Thank me later.

 

Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale

I had the same feeling about this that I had about two gluten-free beers I reviewed: BEER! (Wait, it’s “sustainably brewed?” BONUS!)

Goose Island Green Line

Photo Credit: Goose Island Beer

Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale – I thought it got its name after the Green Line of the CTA – Chicago’s version of the Tube or the T or the Subway. Sorta, it did – but not really. It’s more about the fact it’s brewed using “green” methods. But I’m not going to talk about how wonderful it is that a beer is brewed using sustainable methods. I’ll let those sustainability blogs talk about it instead.

Here’s a little from a site called Beerpulse: Goose Island Sustainable Beer.

Here’s one from Huffington Post on the green beer movement in general: Huffington Post Sustainable Beer.

Wait, here’s one from the company itself! Goose Island Beer.

Enough about sustainability and the warm fuzzies you can get from saving the environment. What about the beer?

Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale Review

Taste

At a quintessential Chicago experience, the street festival, this one was just about perfect with the quintessential Chicago food – wait a minute, I had a Maple-glazed Pulled Pork Slider. Which I had never had before. Highly recommend, BTW. They were from Kinzie Chophouse.

I’m starting to say that I’m most partial to the pale ale, so I would be MAD if they messed this up. Quite the opposite – hoppy but not too much so, clean finish, slightly bitter but not overpowering. In other words, Pale Ale Done Right.

Profile

ABV: 5.0%. 30 IBUs. <– This combo is becoming my sweetspot.

Value

I was at a street festival, so I paid 6 tickets. Each ticket cost $1.00. So a beer set me back $6. (I’m good at math, no?)

What’s funny – a quick search of the web tells me little about the pricing at a store near you, or me; and I don’t recall ever seeing this in six-pack form at any liquor store. So I did a little research and…DUH…beer is expensive to bottle and transport, so you can only get this on draft in Chicago. Smart!

Metasip Grade: A

We try to grade holistically – see the other posts about Omission and Prairie Path. Those tasted like beer, and so does this one. I think it’s worthy of a solid “A” grade.

But…what do YOU think? Let us know in the comments!

Why Mirror Pond Pale Ale Gets An A

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Bend, Oregon represents, yo.

We have a dilemma here at Metasip World Headquarters. That dilemma? It involves whether or not to grade on a curve. And that conundrum is front and center when we tried the Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes.

IF we graded on a curve – a true bell curve – then we’d probably have to give some beers (and some wines and a few spirits) an…F. We’d also have to give as many an F as we gave an A.

And that’s not fair. If you think about it this way, for a brewery to even get to the point where their stuff is available to the public, it’s not bad, right?

I mean, even stuff that isn’t craft beer can be…passable.

So no bell curve here. It’s settled.

But, that doesn’t really tell us what to do with this Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

Because, the other problem with grading, and even not grading on a curve, might be over-compensating.

For instance, we’ve actually noticed beer available at Whole Foods that gets a grade of 100. We assume this is 100 on a 100-point scale. Thus, the beer is, by all intents and purposes…PERFECT.

That’s saying a lot. Even the best, absolute most awesome beer will not be perfect. It’s impossible.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale Review

You know what’s next: this Pale Ale from the people at Deschutes…comes pretty close to perfect. It gets our highest grade – an A. Here’s why.

Taste

It’s got plenty of it, and it’s a brilliant pale ale with the hoppy goodness that’s not overpowering. NOT bitter. It’s just bloody awesome, mates. Really. Awesome enough that we said that in a foreign accent, maybe British, or Scottish, or even Australian.

Profile

5% ABV – which we love because you don’t feel bad having a second one. 40 IBUs, so it’s not bitter.

Value

If memory serves, it was $8.99 for a six-pack. If it were $9.99 or $10.99 for a six-pack, it’s money well-spent. This stuff rocks.

Metasip Grade: A.

Not “A-” but a full-blown “A.” And this beer earned it.

 

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale

The Spoetzl Ale House, Shiner, Texas, is known for Shiner Bock. This is their pale ale and we were wondering if it’s any good.

Well…

We are still wondering.

This beer seems different each time we try it. Whether that’s our fault or not, we aren’t sure…but this is one perplexing pale ale.

To the review!

Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale Review

Taste

The bottle gives it away: a complex character to this beer, thanks to “Munich malt, (which) nicely balances the assertive character of the US Golding and Bravo hop varieties.”

Yes, it’s bitter, but we have had pale ales that were more bitter than this.

Finish is not that clean. Aroma not too powerful.

Frankly, an underwhelming beer.

Profile

Why doesn’t it say on the bottle? We have to Google the alcohol content?

We did check: ABV of 5.7%, 28 IBUs.

Value

7 bucks for six bottles.

Metasip Grade: B-

Hmmmm. Not very memorable, and that’s its downfall.