The American pale ale is a beer style that’s as common as craft beer itself. In the early days of microbreweries, it was a staple that was a part of almost every brewery’s launch.
Hop forward, but not as much as with an IPA. A bit malty, but still easy to drink. It’s a beer style that craft lovers and relative newbies alike could enjoy.
As craft breweries grew in number and variety, the APA became a foregone conclusion, and also one that doesn’t get paid too much attention. As endless variations on the IPA and double IPA continue to roll out and more breweries experiment with fruit additions and challenge with sour spins, the APA sits as a stalwart that many breweries still produce, but with few that stand out.
Colorado’s — and now Austin’s — Oskar Blues continues to focus a lot of attention on the APA. Dale’s Pale Ale is as well known as any pale ale on the market despite being almost as strong as an IPA. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is most ubiquitous and also one of the best. Regionally, you’ll see beer lovers dig their heels in on what’s best.
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That’s where Oasis Brewing in Austin enters the game. With not nearly the brand equity as Dale’s or Sierra Nevada, its Slow Ride is quietly one of the best the state has to offer.
Some opinions around Austin have dubbed it the unofficial beer of Austin. Others have dubbed Oasis’ Metamodern Session IPA with the same label. Like anything around Austin, you’ll never find a consensus. Regardless, you’d hardly find an Austin beer lover who wouldn’t tip their hat to Slow Ride.
Like all of Oasis’ core beers, Slow Ride is labeled as “All Year Beer.” With a very modest 4.8 per-cent alcohol and low bitterness, it’s easy to drink while still maintaining plenty of hop character. Unlike beers such as Dale’s that go so heavy on the hops that they turn some off, Slow Ride backs off on the heft.
It’s a true credit to its craft and one of which Texans should take notice.
Return of Index Fest: Fort Worth welcomes Index Fest this Saturday from 4-10:30 p.m. at Panther Island Pavilion. Formerly known as Untapped Fest, some muggy weather last year and some scary thunderstorms in 2015 means show organizers are probably crossing their fingers for a pleasant performance from mother nature as much as they are from headliners Dawes and Johnnyswim. Although the music list seems slimmer than Untappeds of year’s past, the brewery list looks about as robust with 80-plus breweries. Tickets: $35-140. http://www.indexfest.com/.