Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale

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It’s at the same time completely coincidental and relative to the moment that I’m reviewing this aptly named beer from this Delaware brewery on the heels of this recent hurricane. More about that below.

Style: Pale Ale
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Package: 12oz bottle into pint glass
ABV: 5%
IBU: 30

Excerpt from Dogfish Head’s description: “Shelter Pale Ale is brewed with a premium barley and northwestern Willamette & Columbus hops. The beer has a fine malt backbone and a slightly nutty flavor. Shelter Pale Ale is a versatile, quaffable beer.”

Appearance: Pours very copper in color and is quite transparent with a one finger, fluffy, eggshell white head that hung around for a couple of minutes. A good amount of thin, wispy lacing stuck to the glass throughout drinking.

Aroma: Slight malt. Equal touches of pine and citrus. Maybe a little grass as well?

Taste: Malty up front, followed by a tinge of floralness, finishing with a hair of bitterness. So far, everything is in moderation here keeping it balanced throughout. (Note: I didn’t really get the advertised nutty flavor. *shrug*)

Mouthfeel: Not super, watery light, but definitely light and simple. Moderate carbonation. Very crisp and clean finish.

Overall: Maybe just a little too tame of a pale ale for my tastes to give it a higher score, but not to Shelter’s detriment. It excels in being smooth and drinkable. The subtly present qualities would gladly make me want to session many of these on a hot summer day if Dogfish Head offered this brand outside of the Mid-Atlantic region. In fact, that led me to an idea. Can this, package it in 12-packs, and aggressively price it. It would be an excellent craft gateway and, placed next to any B/M/C light beer, would blow the big boys out of the water.

Completely subjective intangible (that didn’t affect the review or overall grade): Standard Dogfish Head labeling and bottle cap. Still appreciate the oval dogfish logo though.

On a scale of Warm & Sunny Day to Hurricane Irene, I’m giving this…

Nah, I kid. No tasteless jokes here, just safe wishes and a speedy recovery to everyone on the East Coast after Irene’s landfall.

Lastly, a shout out and huge “Thank you!” to my good friend Katie who was kind enough to bring me back this fine array of Dogfish Head brews direct from a visit to Milton.

Completely not beer related, but Katie’s a fellow blogger who writes about vintage items, thriftiness, “junkin’,” life in general, and is local to boot. Check out her blog, The Savvy Luna Bugg, if that interests you or even if you just happen to have a few extra minutes to spare. Cheers!

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