New Brew: Ommegang BPA

11 Apr

A beautiful spring Sunday with good sports drama (the Masters and Brewers-Cards) and good food (pics to come) calls for a tasty beverage.  A quick jaunt across the street to Barriques fixed me up with a bottle of Ommegang’s new limited release BPA or Belgian-Style Pale Ale.  Ommegang has been turning out solid and inspired Belgian-stlyle beers in Cooperstown, NY since 1997.  From textbook takes on traditional styles like Hennepin and Abbey Ale to experimental creations like Ommegeddon and Chocolate Indulgence, I always know I’m about to drink a quality beer crafted with passion.  While their special releases rarely knock your socks off with over-the-top flavor profiles, Ommegang beers are always deftly balanced and well-executed.  They just don’t know how to make bad beer.

BPA is the first in a series of beers for the brewery that, according to a beernews.org, is testing the waters for possible flagship beer or what they’re calling an “accessible draft” candidate.  Currently, Hennepin is the Ommegang beer most likely found at better beer bars, at least in this region.  While certainly more complex than your average premium macro lager, Hennepin remains a great gateway beer for the Belgian-style genre.  Pale ales have become a de facto entry point for many new craft beer drinkers, so you can’t blame Ommegang for attempting a drinkable hop-forward beer with a Belgian twist.

Ommegang BPA (Belgian-Style Pale Ale)

Style: uhhh, Belgian-style Pale Ale

Vitals: 6.2% abv, Belgian yeast, 5 malts, 2 hops, dry-hopped with Cascade, warm-cellared at the brewery; ~$7.49/bottle at Barriques Market in Fitchburg

Company Line: “This fine pale ale offers citrus and tropical fruit aromatics coming from a well balanced – yet ample – hop character.  It uses our own Belgian yeast, 5 malts, two hops, and plenty of patience.  Finishing touches include dry-hopping, with Cascade hops, and warm-cellaring.”

My take: pours a distinct tangerine-amber in the glass with ample white foam that fizzles quickly to a patchy film.  Aroma brims with lime, dry, herbal hops, apricot and a little yeasty funk.  Dry-hopping with Cascade lends a powdery herbal character accentuated by toasty malts and buttressed by tropical citrus and juicy pineapple.  Finishes dry with a lingering herbal bitterness.

Ommegang were going for flagship-worthy drinkability and accessibility with BPA and they have managed to hit both marks here.  Just hoppy enough without being resinous and tongue-twisting.  Fruity enough without scaring off the alpha males.  Would make for a solid addition to their year-round lineup and a viable alternative to Hennepin tap-handles in better beer bars.

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One Response to “New Brew: Ommegang BPA”

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  1. New Brew: Ale Asylum Bedlam! Trappist IPA « 43north/89west - April 24, 2010

    […] Belgian-style pale ale fest continues with Ale Asylum Bedlam! Trappist IPA.  Ale Asylum has attempted to one-up […]

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