Gazing into the crystal hop
A Review of Trilogy 1: Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale by BridgePort Brewing Co.
Posted on 2/27/2014 by Chops
When entering the wonderful world of craft beer, hops mean one and only one thing: bitterness. But as time progresses and palates expand, hops take on a seemingly infinite number of roles. Bitter, herbal, spicy, sweet, earthy, woody, fruity, grassy, piney, the list goes on and on. Hops can make a weak beer taste strong and can even sooth the savage brew. Hops are the Swiss army knives of the beer world, which is why brewers love to explore their endless effects on beer. Some hops, like the Crystal variety, can actually give beers a mild floral character with muted bitterness. It's a neat trick, one that the BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon's oldest craft brewery, knows all too well. This is why they chose to focus on this particular hop variety for the first beer in their Trilogy series, crafted to ''honor the hop revolution that ignited the craft brewing movement thirty years ago''.

In the glass, this beer had a bright and hazy golden orange coloration. It came with a frothy white head that had great retention. On the nose, I was greeted by a pleasant mix of warm citrus, pine resin, and floral herbs. The aroma had a respectable presence, which was unexpected for a relatively mild pale ale. To be honest, it came across as more of an Imperial IPA. With curiosity peaked, I dove right in for that first sip.

Wow, if I had to describe this brew with a single word, it would be ''seductive''. The introduction painted this beer as bold and crisp, yet it cradled my taste buds in a buttery blanket. It was an interesting sensory disconnection which prompted a few lip-smacking double takes. The body was very light, drank incredibly smooth, and was almost devoid of aggression. The Crystal hops profile was very mild and amazingly accessible, allowing all of the flavor notes to shine brightly. I found orange citrus, earthy pine, zesty spices, floral herbs, pale grainy malts, and a fruity sweetness akin to mango. The finish was clean, somewhat dry, and exited with an mild herbal aftertaste.

Overall, I found BridgePort's Trilogy 1 (Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale) to be a delightfully enticing brew. It manages to combine strong presence with high accessibility, a difficult marriage to master. The result is an tasty and engaging American Pale Ale that I can recommend to any and all beer fans. Seasoned beer geeks will appreciate the restrained complexity of the Crystal hop varietal. Novices will enjoy an array of savory flavors without any needling aggression. But regardless of your level of beer appreciation, it cannot be denied that Trilogy 1 is one fantastic session beer. I tip my drinking hat to BridgePort for yet another delicious creation and I look forward to the rest of the series.

Learn more about the BridgePort Trilogy Series: Click Here

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Trilogy 1: Crystal Dry-Hopped Pale Ale by BridgePort Brewing Co.
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