Beer Review: RyePA by New Belgium Brewing

3.5 out of 5 Stars

After a long, long day at work I needed a beer.  This was in the fridge in a big shiny bottle that looked like happiness so I pried the top off and sought better feelings in the bottom of the bottle.  Along the way I made observations.  Here they are.  I politely request that you avoid making your own observations because if you do, they’ll say “alcoholic,” and my mom always said that if you can’t say anything nice then shut your damn mouth.

The Smells:  Hops, but bitter and earthy hops instead of floral, plus a bit of citrus.

The Pour:  A beautiful copper color with head that almost seems like it’s on nitro.  The head sticks around for a bit leaving some excellent lacing.

The Tastes:  Hop bitterness that slowly dissipates off the tongue.  Coming from the oceanless states in the middle it’s not overly hopped, reminiscent of Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.  There’s a hint of malt and a slight white pepper spice from the rye, but that’s about it.  If you put a gun to my head and made me pick an additional flavor I’d say citrus, but I think it’s more a trick played on my brain because of the citrus smell.  Overall I wanted a bit more from the beer.  The first taste had a lot more going on but the subsequent sips slowly faded.  So I let the beer sit and warm up a bit.  This did the trick.  Warming up a little bit blended the flavors together and made the beer feel more balanced.  It’s still not one of my favorites, but it’s not too bad.

The Label:  Is seriously awesome.  Look at that thing.