[Beer Review] 4 County Pale Ale by Kinkaider Brewing Company

Another April Fool’s Day and another fresh load of hoppy deliciousness from the gold folks at Kinkaider Brewing Company. Maybe you remember last year at this time they unleashed hours old bottles of their Frame the Butcher IPA throughout Nebraska–something that almost never happens in the Cornhusker state and something local politicians were recently trying to make impossible to ever happen again…but let’s not go there. This year Kinkaider chose this usually awful and obnoxious day to debut the updated recipe of their 4 County Pale Ale and have it available or in the hands of customers within hours–bottled April 1, 2017, delivered to stores April 1, 2017 in six packs of 12oz bottles and on draft.

Previously brewed exclusively with Cascade, the new recipe enlists the unique and broad qualities of Equinox, Citra, Cascade and 7C’s (which itself is a blend of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Cluster, Citra, Columbus and Crystal hops). The new and (SPOILER ALERT) improved version of 4 County Pale Ale pours very cloudy, settling into a reddish orange/amber color in the glass with a fingers worth of off-white head.   The beer is beautifully hazy (not turbid–like the trendy wave of New England Style hop bombs) showing distinct signs of being unfiltered and packed with glorious hop flavors. 

Tangy citrus notes pleasantly coat the aroma but don’t pop quite as bright and in your face as some hop heads might prefer. Orange and grapefruit zest are dominant and tease a playful tango of fruity hops and bready malts.

The aroma certainly and perfectly does tease what the drinker is about to experience–though the impatient beer drinker won’t appreciate that nuance (it’s okay, impatient beer drinker, I have those days too). Juicy citrus coats the palate right off the bat and evolves to a subtle bitterness. The mouthfeel is exceedingly pleasant at first–coming off soft and pillowy with just enough carbonation. The malt backbone smooths all the flavors out across the drinking experience without cutting into the juicy characteristics of the hops.

As I progress through the glass the second iteration of 4 County Pale Ale seems to be on the cusp of an ESB or perhaps even a Red IPA–both in color and overall flavor profiles. Though perhaps it shares more qualities with the malty IPA, the grapefruit bitterness builds and lingers as the beer warms the slightest bit–not that I’m complaining. Still, the carbonation in the mouthful falls off quickly and as a result the beer starts to take on qualities of being a little flat, while the hop characteristics hold strong.

It’s really hard to sit around and complain about a beer making it into bottles in the Sandhills of Nebraska, to a distributor, to stores and then into my glass located in the comfort of my home in a matter of hours. The beer itself is unquestionably solid, but it’s the folks putting love into the creation and the dedication to get said beer into their hands as quickly as possible that wins the day. Personally, as much as I hate April Fool’s Day, Kinkaider’s persistence to get fresh beer into our hands same day across the state is no laughing matter–and a practice I can whole heartedly endorse and look forward to. So do the guys/gals of Kinkaider Brewing Company a solid and stop reading my ramblings and get out there and pick yourself up a sixer. Don’t get Kinkaider where you are? Well, good news, I’m sending some to you right now, telepathically…..April Fool’s!

I told you I hate this day, and it’s terrible jokes. So, I’m just gonna go enjoy the rest of my 4 County Pale Ale. Cheers, nerds.

Rating: B+


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