On #IPADay I made a point to have a non-IPA to try. Nothing drastically different, though, in that it’s still an American ale, with American-grown hops and barley. Baxter Brewing’s Pamola Xtra Pale Ale. I’ve had their Stowaway IPA, and just last week, grabbed their summer seasonal, Celsius. Both fantastic brews. So they had already set the bar pretty high.
Pamola is not your typical APA (Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale being often referred to as THE example of the style). This is “Xtra Pale” as opposed to the Xtra meaning bigger. The amount of flavor places it between a more typical APA and an American Blonde Ale. Blonde Ales are about as close to the American light lager the large percentage of Americans drink. They are often considered the beer a “non-craft beer drinker” drinks in a brew pub. Simple and soft in flavor, low-medium ABV, low bitterness.
Thankfully this Baxter brew offers more malt and hop flavor than a blonde, but it’s still pretty mild. I cannot place the hop aroma and flavor exactly. It’s again, not the typical APA with grapefruit flavors from dominating Cascade hops. Nice for a change of pace. And the bitterness (27.5 ibu from the Baxter specs) is not so subtle it’s lost. Ithas a nice little hop bite that gives the finish a crisp edge that again sets it apart form a blonde ale.
Unfortunately, the flavor just seems a bit “off” to my palette. The beer is pretty well balanced, but there is a bit pf graininess in the nose and flavor. Mouthfeel is light-to-medium, seemingly appropriate for an “extra pale”. While I appreciate the attempt to get away from the typical APA, it’s not quite hitting the spot like Celsius did for me. I wouldn’t turn one down, but I probably won’t go looking for another 6 pack soon.