Saturday, May 29, 2010

Islander Pale Ale from Maritime Pacific

The Islander Pale Ale from Maritime Pacific Brewing makes the list because it is the all purpose go to guy in my fridge. Assertively hopped but not too heavy in body, it’s bitter enough for most hopheads, but still drinkable for guests who might not want a 80+ IBU double IPA, a rauchbier, a Flemish Sour, or any of the other beer geeky beers I may have on hand.
Maritime’s Flagship Red was the first Seattle beer I had when I moved here 17 years ago, but it is the Islander Pale that would evoke more memories if I were to ever move away. This is a beer that has helped define the category of American Pale Ale. The Islander vaguely resembles its English predecessor, but it has grown up and branched off from the mild bodied pales from Burton-on-Trent. Bolstered with a little wheat to add body and carbonation, and generously hopped with Yakima and Czech Republic varieties, this is a beer that is truly old world meets new world brewing. At only 5%ABV it makes a good session beer for a summer barbeque, or a Christmas party. While I am grateful for the wide variety of beer choices available in America’s beer renaissance, sometimes I just want a nice balance of fresh grain, solid body, and a pronounced hoppy finish that doesn’t wear out its welcome. Actually, it’s not just sometimes, this is a beer that I want often enough to be a staple in my fridge. I also love the mini-burgers at their pub in Ballard that they have been serving long before lil’ burgers were as trendy as they are now. Keep brewing “in the Northwest with imagination” Maritime!

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