Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Natty Greene's Southern Pale Ale

type: pale ale
origin: Greensboro, NC
price: $1.50/12oz
ABV: 5.2%
NSP: 12.3

At the bottle shops in Raleigh in May I noticed a few offerings from Natty Greene.  We all know that judging things by their label is the best way to live your life, so I went full on ignorant and walked right past their stuff (the label reminds me of all the shit Chris used to get in his craft-beer box).  Later in the week, I noticed a few dudes around town wearing Natty Greene t-shirts and finally got the message: if they were proud enough to sport a local brewery, that brewery probably makes some pretty good beer, right?  Methinks yes, so it was back to the bottle shop...

Not much room in the suitcase, so I only picked up the "Southern Pale Ale".  What in the eff does an SPA tastes like?  Anyway, yeah, that's some serious over-carbonation right there, which is generally not a good sign because of the way carbonation changes your tasting ability; but, yikes this is tasty. Delicious even.  It's malty, as you'd expect from a pale ale, but certainly not shy on the hops.  They're pungent and bitter, but with a tempering quality that doesn't obscure the unique malt backbone.  I also taste a light skunkiness that I somewhat enjoy, but that could be just a quirk of mine.

My expectations for this were pretty low.  For some reason the classification makes me think of an overly sweet headache bomb, but this is no such thing.  In fact, I'd say this is better than a lot of breweries' IPA.  It leaves your mouth quivering... maybe even trembling with anticipation for the next sip.  That makes up for any amount of over carbonation, so I guess those dudes in the t-shirts were on to something.

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