23 December 2009

Short's Kind Ale

Short's Kind Ale (bottle)
Elk Rapids, MI
Unknown ABV

So after a flubbed beer and a day off, we're back to the Short's Limited Edition brews. Today I decided to try their wet-hopped pale ale, just go give myself a bit of a respite from the stouts.

But first, since this is a wet-hopped beer, a word about wet hopping. Since wet-hopping and dry-hopping are both terms used in the production of beer, it is a logical assumption for the uninitiated to believe that they are just different forms of the same basic process, or that they are at least related in some way. Other than both terms describing ways of using hops, this is actually not the case.

Dry-hopping refers to using hops after the end of the boil (and generally after the end of primary fermentation) to add aroma to the finished beer. These hops tend not to add any alpha acids to the finished brew, but are generally only present in the nose of the beer. Wet-hopping, on the other hand, refers to any use of freshly-picked (i.e., not dried or otherwise processed) hops, usually in the boil. (I suppose it's possible to dry-hop with freshly-picked hops, thereby wet-dry-hopping, but that would probably only be done by brewers with a sense of the paradoxical that would rival Joseph Heller's.)

Short's Kind Ale is a wet-hopped ale, and it definitely makes a difference to the flavor. It's earthier and more floral than you'd get from a standard pale, which helps to add complexity to what is generally a pretty standard style of beer. Hoppy, citrusy, a touch of yeast... what else can a boy ask for from a bottle of American Pale Ale? It's a well-made pale that has a nice mix of malt and hops, starts of sweet and finishes dry. I could definitely handle two or three of these if I could ever find it on-tap somewhere.

My overall BA review: 3.8/5

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