I can’t recall a time specifically that I’ve encountered a “bronze ale” before. I wouldn’t be shocked if I have and simply can’t recall, as honestly after two straight years of regular beer reviews, some things are bound to slip past the old memory banks. However to my best knowledge, this is the first bronze ale I’ve come across and I am rather curious to see what it has for me.
Now, for my local readers, you are largely in luck. Being a New Hampshire brew, this release which has just hit the market is available to us here in the Granite State and as New England is (let’s be honest) really just one large state, you Green Mountain, Bay Staters and…Maineacs can all find yourself in a position to obtain this brew if you have a reason to be traveling through the Granite State. For the rest of you, I’d recommend viewing this as a stylistic review, examining what I can take away from this variety of beer and then comparing such to whatever bronze ale you might find yourself in front of down the line.
So, let’s begin.
The Neighborhood Beer Co. Boss Flamingo pours with a – prepare to be shocked – bronze color. Producing in this case a nominal white head that diminishes within minutes, it presents almost like a straight ahead pilsner might, save for the smell. Within the nose to this beer, definite notes of richer malts and a perhaps heavier yeast strain all make themselves very much apparent. Added to this, an odd grainy sort of scent, most likely from the blend of hops also comes through, throwing the brain hints of something both familiar, yet at the same time alien.
The sip being where it all counts, it comes to the senses in rather unusual waves. First opening with a mouthfeel and texture that is itself very pilsner-like, the middle of the sip is one dominated by an almost metallic sort of malt profile, accented by a tangy yeast, all of which being as unusual as it is, remains pleasant and complex upon the palate. Following this, that same tangy aspect seems to outright own the finish, right up until the end where the exotic metallic sort of bitterness kicks in again. This isn’t to say it’s unpleasant, nor is it to say it is a balanced flavor profile.
But rather with the opening notes existing only as long as the sip that’s taken remains static in the mouth, it is almost as though the middle and finish to this beer exist as coordinated partners who are determined to give a one two punch, just before leaving a slight alcoholic burn on the top of the tongue. As light as this beer is, brewing it to be 7.2% ABV is a bold feat in many respects, but one I respect in turn both for the smoothness of body as well as the available punch on offer from the fermentation itself.
Should I encounter another bronze ale, or rather when I do, I will likely recall this beer and use it as a model for comparison. This being because while it is a first of its kind, at least in my mind, it is also notable and odd enough to where I do think I would go for more, actively as it was. However it has not yet settled so solidly in my brain as to what it’s trying to be that I can be really sure of its general impression at all.
I like this beer – that much I can say. Though I can’t be sure as to why I like it. It is flavorful, tasty and easy to drink. It is enjoy ble sure, but at the same time it is odd enough that with each subsequent sip I find myself asking more questions than I answer about what it really says to my palate. I don’t know, maybe I’m just weird.
Actually, I drink beer for a living so I’m most definitely weird. But all the same, for those in the area, this is a beer I can recommend both for punch and for flavor. For those not so lucky, if you come across a bronze ale, pick one up and compare what you get from it to what I’ve written here. I might almost regard that as a properly noble purpose to an article such as this.
So to Neighborhood Beer Co., to styles I may have tried but can’t remember and of course, to you I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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