Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale

February 04 2011 - 7:30 AM

If you've been reading Foodies during the last six months or so (and I hope you are!) you've seen me repeatedly gush about Founders Brewing's beers.  I can't stress enough how great their beers are; their everyday lineup crushes most brewers' specialty offerings, especially here in the midwest.  My least favorite beer of theirs has been the Dry Hopped Pale Ale. I think I first tried it before a Whigs show at the Bottom Lounge on Lake St. several years ago.  A friend recently had one and I decided to revisit it to see if my opinion had changed. What would I find?

I choose to throw the red flag at it, and after further review, I actually like this beer.  I've learned in the last couple of years to appreciate very lean, low gravity pale ales, thanks to San Diego style IPA's that offer such characteristics:  efficient use of subtle malts, low density mouthfeel, pale color.  That's the Dry Hopped Pale Ale in a nutshell.  You get a sharp intake of citrus hops on the nose, a modest bubbling head, and a powerful wallop of grapefruit flavor on first sip.  The mouthfeel is light with only a hint of creaminess to signify its ale status.  The strong hop acids keep biting at you throughout and are great for slowing down your pacing.  It's quite concentrated and you don't need a big quaff to get a full flavor out of it.  It finishes very crisp and never makes you feel heavy. This beer is well-suited for consumption with barbeque or spicy foods.

I would definitely drink this again while out but it's not a beer I would drink at home due to its very ordinary overall profile.  Founders makes far better beers and if you're having one at home or want to heed my advice and explore this amazing brewer, I'd opt for one of those.  I can see why Beer Advocate rates this as a "B".  You can find this on tap currently at Sheffield's and also at your quality liquor stores that carry Founders products. 

–Mark Sheppard