Supris Golden AleMay 1, 2006 Portland, OR
Bridgeport Brewing Co. Portland, OR Available: AL, AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, OR, WA A “homage” to Belgian blonde ale from Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, located in a former rope factory in the historic Pearl District of Portland. Alcohol (wt.): n/a Alcohol (vol.): 6.0 Color: straw-colored Bitterness: 17 Original Gravity: 1056 Final gravity: n/a Malts used: light European two-row malt Hops used: Styrian, Saaz, Hallertau Hersbrucker
Pouring hazy gold, this “surprise” of a beer has a slightly sweet, fruity aroma reminiscent of…Duvel? Yup, there are the pear and dryly spicy notes, although even at its greater potency, the Belgian original is drier and shows less of its strength in the nose. The flavor of this ale is still slightly Duvel-esque, but different, too. Sweetish, fruity and perfumey up front, the body dries nicely to a faintly caramelly and rich, green apple-and-spice flavor with spicy hop kicking in at the finish. I’ll reserve this for the cheese course, perhaps with mild (but stinky) soft Belgian or French cheeses.
- Stephen Beaumont
The label leaves me to make my own assumptions about what kind of beer this is. Yes. A blonde ale as labeled. Wheat ale? With Belgian yeast-influenced character. What it lacks in head retention it makes up with fruity, full-flavored yeast-sedimented earthy resonance. Pleasant hop flavor balancing rather dry malt character. Clean aftertaste, despite the edginess in overall taste. Aptly named Supris(e?). You begin with no preconceptions, but end with pleasant contentment.
- Charlie Papazian
The ale pours cloudy gold, forming a white fluffy head that quickly drops to a collar. The nose is brightly citrusy, a lemon-orange rush with a floral overlay of hops. The bitterness is crisp and light up front, giving way to a lightly sweet fruity center that’s followed by a clean, slightly acidic finish. Despite the generic “blonde ale” moniker, this seems a derivation of Belgian wheat beer and a very nice one at that. Perfect with barbecue or spicy grilled shrimp.
- Garrett Oliver
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn’t looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn’t have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he’s not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
Author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and a Beer Examiner at www.examiner.com, Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.