Damn! This is a great beer. And I drink great beer all the time.
Pale Ale's have often been overshadowed by their hoppier cousin, IPA, but this doesn't make much sense to me. Pales can have just as much complexity, and sometimes they seem to have even more, since the hop flavor doesn't overshadow everything like it can in some of the bigger IPAs..
Even for a hop junkie like me, sometimes you don't want a horse-kick of hops straight to the face.
But pale ales are a great style for a lot of reasons. They're excellent for hot summers and they go down smooth while giving you enough flavor and body that you can't help but heartily chuckle at your friends who are drinking mass produced swill, the kind of beer that is usually described using adjectives like "cold" and "shitty".
Yet, when the weather turns, just when you decide to put the pales on the shelf in favor of stouts, porters and double IPAs, the right pale ales will give you enough complexities and flavor profiles to keep you sipping through those cold winter nights as well.
Yes, pale ales are versatile, timeless, and in the case of this particular beer, Modern Times Spaceship Earth Pale Ale, friggin delicious. Let's jump right into this hazy gem, shall we?
The color is rich, soft and deep. It's a hazy, dullish yellow, like throwing a handful of old hay into the sun (I realize that's impossible, but do you want thoughtful adjectives or not?). It pours smooth, with a fluffy white head and nice, even lacing down the glass.
This beer smells amazing. There's some great fruit in here and Modern Times perfectly balances the tropical selections. There's tangerine, orange and pineapple on the nose, with a bright, pleasant citrus threading through everything. The nose on this thing is dangerous, since you'll want to just continue tipping the glass right up to your mouth.
The Body & The Flavor
I'm glad I saved a pint to sip while I sorted through my notes to write this, because it's delicious. Really, you should be drinking one too. The body is subdued, more on the light side, but it has a fantastic mouth-feel and the medium/light body is perfect for maximum drinkability. I know that sounds like a BS term, but put it this way; I drank a third of a pint in between the last three sentences. I'm not trying to chug it, it just goes down that smooth, and the lingering tropical flavors make you want to keep sipping. This is a perfect beer for drinking at that friend's house who doesn't own a table. You aren't going to be setting this beer down that often anyways.
One thing that sticks out to me big-time flavor-wise, is that while Mothership Earth is definitely a "juicy" beer, it still tastes like beer, which is a major problem with a lot of N.E. style beers these days, in my opinion. This is a tropical-fruit forward beer without being overpowering and it's hard to understate just how refreshing each sip is. The bitterness is in the middle, right where it should be and it finishes clean on the palate. That same tangerine and pineapple on the nose comes through in the beer, but the backbone is enhanced by the fruit, not made up of it.
To get yourself some of this stellar brew, check out the site here.
Hop Varietals: Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, African Queen, Cenntinnial
Malt Varietals: Two Row, Oats, Golden Naked Oats
Final Gravity: 1.011