Transcending stigmatization
A Review of Big Mountain Pale Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/11/2015 by Chops
                   
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On paper, the concept of drinking beer and living an active lifestyle seems counter intuitive. After all, we harbor this image of beer bellies sitting on couches while ripped abs climb mountains. However, I am finding more and more that craft beer and adventure seeking go hand in hand. Here in New Mexico, it is a common quip that cycling clubs are more ''beer drinking clubs with a cycling problem''. It's not uncommon to see spandex sitting on bar stools after a long day of pushing the athletic envelope. So when I came across the Alaskan Big Mountain Pale Ale, I stared at the mountaineer on the label with a clear understanding that craft beer transcends stigmatization.

In the glass, this beer had the pleasant golden coloration of a standard pale ale. It came with a frothy white head that had nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted by a piney aroma along with orange citrus, mild toasty malts, and light fruity notes akin to pear. American Pale Ales as a whole are regarded as easily accessible beers, the ones you gravitate to when complexity is secondary to a social environment. Big Mountain was no different, and I couldn't help but imagine myself sitting among camping friends as I took that first sip.

The flavor offered little surprises that the aroma didn't already uncover. I found tropical citrus, lightly toasted malts, lemongrass, nondescript herbs, and a touch of caramel. The hops profile was forward and pleasant, offering a dose of moderate bitterness that tantalized the taste buds. The beer had a light-to-medium body and felt relatively smooth on the palate with almost no aggression. The finish was quite clean and exited with a lingering piney aftertaste.

Overall, I found the Alaskan Big Mountain Pale Ale to be a rewarding example of the APA style. And in true Alaskan fashion, the beer offered high quality without a drop of pretentiousness. This is a beer that I can easily see myself enjoying after a day of epic adventure (and during, and before). Big Mountain is a beer that you can enjoy all day long and never grow tired of. Needless to say, I can recommend this brew to any and all beer fans, be them couch cruisers or mountain climbers. As for me, I will keep a six pack handy for those days I return home with sore legs and an empty camel pack.

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Big Mountain Pale Ale by Alaskan Brewing Co.
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