New Brew News: April 2014


Joe Norris is back at it and has reviewed 3 more beers for your sipping/gulping pleasure. Stop in to the store to give Joe a high-five and ask for his other beer recommendations.

1. Pygmy Owl-Itty Bitty IPA Big Sky Brewing, Missoula, MT 4.2% ABV New to the Big Sky lineup this year is a limited-release session IPA called Pygmy Owl. This brew pours a very light, straw-yellow color, and has a very faint aroma of floral hops with a little lemon and pine mixed in. When you sip it, you get all those same notes, just a tad more detectable. Unlike most IPAs, Pygmy Owl's flavor is carried by a malty backbone and is easy on the bitter-tasting hops. The low alcohol content and low IBU count certainly achieve the sessionability that Big Sky was going for. Now if you're regularly a Coors, Bud, or Miller drinker, but you want to branch out into the craft beer world, then this beer is your gateway brew—its crisp, easy-drinking taste is a solid comparison to your standard domestics. Pygmy Owl is perfect for a long day in the sun. I just hope it sticks around long enough for the summer. To learn more about Big Sky Brewing click here.

2. Pranqster Belgian -Style Golden Ale North Coast Brewing, Fort Bragg, CA 7.6% ABV This one is kind of tricky. Starting with the color- deep gold almost burnt orange. That's the easy part. Now when it comes to the scent and taste, all of the standard Belgian notes are there. Floral scent and flavor combined with fruit and spice and then the sourish bite at the end. The thing is, none of those stand-out over another. Like a Belgian trapeze artist or tightrope walker, or maybe even that dude on YouTube who rides his weird-looking motorcycle all over Brussels doing crazy urban stunts (Fred Crosset, I looked him up), this beauty is just wonderfully balanced performance piece. You might even call it an Entry-Level Belgian Ale (for the drinker, not the maker). So very easy to drink, which could be dangerous considering it's 7.6% abv, I would recommend a Pranqster to round-out that carefully, hand-picked six pack you have. For more on North Coast Brewing visit

3. Cavatica Stout Fort George Brewing, Astoria, OR 8.8% ABV "Cavatica" comes from the Latin word for "cave" or "dark place", which is perfect because this stout is exactly that. No, not cavernous, but dark. We're talking like super-massive-black-hole-not-a-chance-in-the-universe-for-light-to-escape kind of dark. The glass may as well be the event horizon. Now after the appearance decimates all the surrounding energy and makes you re-evaluate any existential quandaries you might have, that first sip will shoot it's smokey, chocolate malt, and dark coffee energy right back to you, just like the gamma rays from it's black-hole brethren. And now you can finally relax with a dry, quasi-hoppy finish to round out life, the universe, and everything. Dark beer fans will surely be caught in this beer's gravitational pull, and be destroyed and re-birthed time and time again. Looking for more about Fort George Brewing? Click here.