The Weight Pale Ale – From Piece Pizzeria

July 05 2012 - 3:23 PM

Chicago’s Piece Brewery and Pizzeria has long been known for three things:  good pizza, good beer, and impossible waits.  I never go there because you can’t get in the door unless you want to start your pizza and beer day at 11 a.m. I think folks camp out there overnight to be first in line.  They may even sell their spots on Craigslist.  So, I rarely get to try the beers of Piece, one of Chicago’s earliest and longest-running craft brewers.  Fortunately, Northdown got a rare Piece keg to leave the pizzeria’s premises, recently offering The Weight Pale Ale on tap. It was a must-try.

If you’re a hophead, a great pale ale – not even an IPA – is often as good as a beer gets. Pale ales deliver hops more judiciously than their India cousins, but are often more direct, sharper, tangier, and less weighty.  It’s not a stretch to assume that The Weight takes its name from the fact that it’s a denser pale ale, with a rounder, thicker mouthfeel than the genre-introducing Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  It’s lean compared to most IPA’s, with that sharp, up-front hop bite offering tangy citrus fruits, pineapple and tangerine, and a restrained malt finish. It’s not nearly as sharp and crisp as the palate-drying Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale, but is juicier and more subtle. Coronado’s Four Brothers is the best comparison, and the Weight’s cloudy, hazy yellow, unfiltered look underscores this similarity.

I don’t know if Piece regularly offers this beer – it’s not currently listed at their website – but it’s certainly a beer I would want every day, especially in this 100-degree weather.

–M. Sheppard