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Monday, June 14, 2010

Fish Tale Brewing Co.



My wife and I visited the Fish Tale Brew Pub in Olympia, WA for dinner and beers. Though we've lived in the Seattle area for over a year now, it was our first visit to the pub. Part of the reason is because the establishment is 21 and over, so leave the kids at home. Ideally with someone to watch them...

The pub features Organic Ales and a wide selection of Organic food on the menu, though not all food is Organic. While I am not vegetarian I sometimes slant in that direction, (though not on this occasion) and thus can appreciate a restaurant that caters to Organic and Vegetarian choices. The menu also states that most items can be prepared Vegan and/or Gluten Free.

Since I am not vegetarian, and I have never eaten an Emu, I decided to try the Organic Free-Range Emu Burger. While Emu look like very friendly birds I have to say they are delicious and pair very well with a Mudshark Porter served on Cask. My wife and I finished with a Mudshark Chocolate Cheesecake paired with the "*Leviathan Barleywine". Outstanding!



*Leviathan: 1 a often capitalized : a sea monster defeated by Yahweh in various scriptural accounts b : a large sea animal
2 capitalized : the political state; especially : a totalitarian state having a vast bureaucracy
3 : something large or formidable

If you're in the Olympia area, the Fish Tale Brewpub is without question worth a visit. You really are missing out if you don't stop in. I bought a bottle of their Organic India Pale Ale to go. A detailed review follows.



Fish Tale Brewing Co
Organic India Pale Ale
Purchased at the Brewery


Aroma: Very high levels of citrus. Orange peel and orange juice primarily, with lingering grapefruit. Pale malted barley husk highlights the malt profile in the nose as well as an alcohol presence that I often find in Barleywine Style Ale’s, though here not nearly as strong.

Appearance: Light honey amber, nearly orange, with good clarity. The nearly pure white head forms low with a fairly aggressive pour. Moderately good retention with a few sticking points along the glass, though I wouldn’t quite call it “lacing”.

Flavor: The hops come forward as a grassy orange rind with a crisp, and nearly equal but not quite, blend of barley husk. Think unsalted crackers without the dryness and you’ll have the malt. Bitterness plays in very lightly through the middle and the malt fades away quickly in the end, leaving you with a tannic hop bite at the back of the throat and top of the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with medium carbonation. Hop bitterness causes a lightly drying effect as you swallow, but it is not predominant. Light malt sweetness balances well with the hops, and there is just a light alcohol warmth causing everything to be quite balanced, yet quite light all around. Crisp hops, dry malt.

Overall: I love the orange character in the aroma of this IPA. It’s bright, focused, and not the ever-present grapefruit so often found in Northwest IPA’s. The hop aroma doesn’t quite play through to the bitterness and flavor however. These area’s come off generally light all around, which does make for a very easy drinking IPA but will leave a big hop lover wanting more.

I would buy this beer again because it is such a nice drinking IPA and I love that aroma. It’s extremely well balanced, but for one seeking hops the balance is nearly to a fault. Throw some more bitterness in here to tip the scales.

I rated this beer at “B+” on BeerAdvocate.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.