With Nick’s Bowdoin departure looming, we decided this week to review a beer just because the packaging looked pretty. As Nick’s housemate quite rightly put it: “such a sexy can; love the matte.” Indeed, old friend. But this beer packs a punch, and a nice one at that. Courtesy of Washington State’s Aslan Brewing Co., we bought the lovely Dawn Patrol APA (American Pale Ale—a legitimately retro, pre-IPA brew).
In answer to everyone’s first question, whoever founded this brewery was indeed a fan of C. S. Lewis. I didn’t even have to search for a bio—the evidence is on the can. The text is clearly contained within a silhouetted lion’s head in homage to the fictional beast for which the brewery is named. And let me tell you, never has such a simple can brought us so much aesthetic joy. Granted, Jae-Yeon is a Narnia fanatic, but even for those who actively dislike child wonder and mythical surrealism (read: Nick), the design is impressive. Craft breweries, for all that they do well, are often wont to attract with their brightly-colored hideous designs; Aslan Brewing takes a respectable step back and lets its beer do the talking.
Upon pouring, the can reveals a gorgeous, semi-opaque, lion-colored brew. The head is slight but present, and the aroma reveals very strong notes of both pineapple and wheat—it’s weird, but it works (don’t ask us why). This beer is fruity, malty and toasty but without being overly sweet. The American hops come in early and fade fast, giving way to a citrus and mango finish. Wheat undertones present as the fruitiness fades, and once it’s all done, you are left with a pleasant sweetness in your mouth; the finish itself is not notably long or short. The most impressive characteristic of this beer is its beautiful carbonation: bubbles are in abundance, but they are devilishly fine—producing a delicate mouthfeel and a beer that, even at 7.1 percent, is for the session. This beer is delicious and smashable, perfect for a malt-head looking to ease into the hops game.
Coming in at around $12 for a six, you get a pretty good bang for your buck. It is far from a rip-off, and you will regularly find inferior beers going for significantly more (looking at you, Funky Bow – no amount of influencer marketing can make me buy into your $4/can trash). We both liked this beer and recommend giving it a try, especially if, as mentioned previously, you are a wimpy, wannabe hop-head (like Nick).
Tonight’s Soundtrack: ’75 chevy by big wave + carter—because faux jazz is all the rage right now.
Tonight’s Toast: To Jae-Yeon, for giving Nick a semi-legitimate excuse to drink nice beer once every other week.
Conclusions on Dawn Patrol APA:
Smash ability: 4/5