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Carolina Pale Ale

By Andy Murphy
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CBCPale1Today, I break with my IPA Monday tradition to start a week of North Carolina beers. Monday through Saturday I’ll be drinking beers from the great state of North Carolina — a week made possible by reader Kevin, who sponsored each of these small batch bottles.

Kevin will share some of his thoughts on these beers in the comments all week. And for everyone else, if you are in North Carolina or have access to these beers, I want to encourage you to share your reviews and ask questions or get beer recommendations from the pros reading along in NC.

We start with a Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company. My hopes are high, because a quick perusal of their website reveals the team members at Carolina Brewing have been at this for 14 years. They describe themselves as “Brewers of Tasty Liquids”, a phrase which captures that curious crossroad between “magical” and the “kind of creepy”.

Since there’s a lion on the label, I’ll lean toward the magical.

The CBC website describes Carolina Pale Ale as:

“. . . an American style pale ale. Three varieties of American grown hops create a pleasing bitterness, aroma and lingering hop taste. Our Pale Ale’s medium-light body and clean taste make it an excellent accompaniment to a fine meal or a satisfying drink all by itself.”

I popped the lid off my bottle and gave it a vigorous pour. Carolina Pale Ale is straw-gold and lightly hazy; despite dumping the beer into a large glass, it produced a very limited white head.

The aroma is quite mild. A few deep inhalations pulled in a smattering of papery hops and a light wash of yeast and biscuit dough. In larger quantities, I’d find the later off-putting — but the balance came across delicate and unoffensive, though less than exciting.

Carolina Pale Ale puts its best foot forward with the taste. The papery hops fade with a touch of citrus, and the malt comes across as delicately sweet and almost nutty. You’ll find it has a lingering aftertaste, lightly bitter and somewhat yeasty.

This is a very drinkable pale ale, accessible to many palates and easily paired with food. If you’re looking for a beer that redefines the style or sets a new standard, look elsewhere. Instead, this beer more than lives up to the slogan printed on the side of the label:

“At CBC, we have no interest in national distribution of our beer or global domination of the brewing industry. We are just a couple of people doing our very best to bring the local area some fine, fresh beer ~ Enjoy!”

Fine, fresh, local beer — that’s a good start to North Carolina Beer Week here on BeerADay.net. Cheers!

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Categories : Beer a Day



I am no beer expert, but I wonder if this beer is perhaps an example of a difference between the West Coast taste for bold, hoppy character in almost every style, versus a sedate Southeastern palate. Either way, I am in agreement that this is an easy drinker, not a beer trying to redefine pale ale.

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