Rye Pale Ale—GABF Gold Medal Winner—Back on Tap!
We’re not the types, here at the Civil Life, to indulge in the most uncivil spectacle of chanting, “We’re Number One … We’re Number One,” but when our Rye Pale Ale was awarded a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, we were more than a little bit proud. See, we really do believe our Rye is the best beer of its kind.
Think for a moment of some of the most popular rye pales on the market. For the most part, they are around 6–7% alcohol and are generally hopped quite aggressively. And that’s fine, but we think that if a beer has the word “rye” in its name, you should probably be able to taste the rye. If a beer is mouth puckeringly bitter and has discernable alcohol heat, you’re probably not going to taste much rye.
Rye imparts a really wonderful spice to beer (and bread and whiskey for that matter). It’s a deep earthy spice that many perceive as having a pleasant peppercorn note. This should be discernable in any truly balanced rye beer.
Our Rye Pale Ale is a nice sessionable brew at just 4.5% ABV. At 66 IBUs there is some pleasant bitterness. The base malts are very traditional ones from England and Scotland. We use a neutral American ale yeast strain and Centennial and Chinook hops, venerable varieties from the Pacific Northwest.
Pick up your pint glass and take a taste with me, if you would. Do you get that lovely pine and citrus and a little nice clean bitterness? Now you get a load of earthy, spicy goodness, then a pleasantly sharp finish. And don’t worry, all that flavor comes in at under 5% alcohol, so you can always get a second pint.
This beer has been a favorite of your Civil barmen since very early on. When we opened way back in 2011, we had just four beers on tap: Bitter, German Wheat, American Brown, and British Best. The fifth beer to join the lineup was Rye Pale Ale. It was a worthy addition. We didn’t need a gold medal to know we had crafted one of the best rye beers out there. Just the same, it was nice to get the recognition (thanks GABF!).
Come in to the tasting room and celebrate the return of this old favorite. Oh, by the way, the rumor around here is that Rye Pale Ale is going to be one of the excellent brews we put into a can for your drinking pleasure. Civil drinkers will have yet another reason to celebrate. Until then, drink Civil Life draft wherever you can find it.
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.