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Friday, December 23rd 2011

Golden State Ale
(Uncommon Brewers)

One of seven ales brewed by this up-and-coming brewery, three of which are available in cans and a fourth – Bacon Brown – slated for release soon. 

2011 seems to have been a whirlwind year of growth for Uncommon Brewers Alec and Reed, with distribution expanding into seven states.  No small feat considering they’re shipping an unpasteurized and unfiltered product all over the country and as far east as Massachusetts.

From the can:

"The signatures of our Golden State are the mountain quail and the poppy flower. We can't make beer with quail, so we settled upon the poppy.  How better to enhance the flavor of a traditional Golden Ale than to include the tanginess of toasted poppy seeds? Our Golden State Ale blends the sweet bite of toasted poppy with the aromatics of a Belgian yeast. It's pale and crisp, but carries enough body for the self-respecting beer drinker to think, "This is an uncommon ale."


Golden State Ale will have a new look in 2012

Here we go...

Pour  Partly cloudy but still bright golden copper in the glass.  Big, loose white head that receded very quickly. Appearance matches the name of this beer quite nicely. 

Aroma – bready aroma with the standard clove notes that are commonly present with the use of many strains of Belgian yeast.  Some light hints of white pepper that could be from the toasted poppy seeds.  

Taste – there is quite a bit going on with this ale – reserved Belgian yeast flavors offer a light clove and peppery start, tight carbonation in the middle highlighted the unique “tanginess” of the poppy seeds promised by the brewer, and a slightly sweet but clean and occasionally orange citrus finish.  

Overall - We’ve never tasted a handful of toasted poppy seeds so we couldn’t pin down exactly what they added to this beer, but overall it doesn’t really matter much:  Golden State Ale is unique and very pleasant drinking.  Trying to reach some sort of personal consensus on the flavor profile and in what category this beer really belongs added to the fun and caused us to finish off our lone sample can well before it warmed.   Recommended for beer drinkers that enjoy thinking while they’re drinking.   

Note - Our sample was in the can nine months before our tasting, which can sometimes be cause for concern.  However, the side label put us at ease:  “Our beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized, and undoubtedly uncommon.  They’re designed to grow over time as they age.  Store in a cool place and witness the change.”  We can’t help but imagine how fun it would be to do a side-by-side comparison of this beer fresh off the line, one with six months in the can, and one aged for twelve months. 


Monk Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
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Golden State Ale
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Brewery: Uncommon Brewers
Santa Cruz, California  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.4%
IBUs: ???
Date: December 23rd, 2011

Posted by Trent

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