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Wednesday, May 25th 2011

James Squire Golden Ale
(Malt Shovel Brewery)

If there was a country ripe to join the canning revolution it's Australia. After a recent trip there I was just amazed at how only the big regional lager producers were canning their beer. When I think of all the beaches, the music festivals and those very active Aussie lifestyles it's hard to comprehend that this movement wouldn't take hold. Maybe it's just a matter of time as there are plenty of craft brewers there producing lots of great beer. If one takes the risk and it pays off...well, we know that story well here in the States. This can of James Squire Golden Ale was the only craft can I could find in Australia and it was actually only available (free by the way) on Qantas flights. Cheers!

From the Malt Shovel site:

"James Squire Golden Ale’s rich orange-amber colour comes from toasted grains of wheat and barley, while new season Amarillo hops create a tropical fruit aroma with restrained bitterness. Mild carbonation and a dry finish make this an ideal thirst-slaking beer."


Here we go...

Pour - on the darker golden side in color with a nice inch of thick, white head on top. Super clean and clear in appearance with carbonation levels looking spot on. 


Aroma - hay, lemon zest, cut grass, oranges along with some sweet, pale malty notes.


Taste - my first impression is that this has a hoppiness that definitely slides it out of the so-called "golden ale" category and right into the "pale ale" category. It's not dominating by any means but there's a nice citrusy hop flavor that resonates in every sip. Some lemon/lime tanginess along with pale malts gives it a bit of a sweet and sour flavor. Quite nice. This is a very refreshing beer on a warm summer evening around the grill. I think this would be a nice import in cans actually.


Overall - very easy to drink and approachable from any angle. It's got enough of a hop kick to please the pale ale palate but also a nice sweet malty background for those looking for something closer to an amber. This is the type of beer that Australian craft brewers do very well. A lower alcohol brew that has plenty of flavor but won't put you on your ass after a couple pints. 


Would I buy more of it? - probably not too relevant. I did however enjoy a number of pints of this on draught while in Australia. When I go back I'm sure I'll do the same.


Note - Australia has over a hundred craft breweries and the number is growing quickly. There's a broad range of styles being produced in the country and despite being far from home you can usually find something akin to what you like here in the US. The tongue numbing super-hop bombs, as well as some of the other high alcohol styles (possibly due to the taxation process on alcohol), aren't yet produced en masse. However, you do find a lot more session-strength brews that go well with food and can be enjoyed while sitting outside enjoying the sun near the beach. If you've never put Australia on your beer destination map, you should. 


mural in downtown Fremantle, Western Australia


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
James Squire Golden Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Malt Shovel Brewery
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Wheat, Barley
Hops: Amarillo
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 25th, 2011

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Pale Ales