Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Spiteful Brewing Alley Time Pale Ale

Spiteful Brewing has been around since 2010, although its beers have become more widely available in Chicago in only the last year or so. Now that this is the case, it seems appropriate to include them in my list of reviews.

Spiteful IPA has received lots of accolades, and rightfully so. It's an above-average IPA. But today, I'm talking about Spiteful's American Pale Ale, Alley Time (6% ABV). Using only Simcoe hops and Pilsner malts, this beer is surprisingly pleasant. It has a hazy golden color with a solid head that holds well. Alley Time has a nice hop aroma, with a bitter start and malty finish. There's a lot going on in this pale ale. It's rather bitter, but then has some really interesting flavor notes that blend well with the hops and malt profile. This is definitely something you should pick up at your local retailer.

Beer Advocate beat me to the punch on reviewing Spiteful. In addition to Alley Time, BA also reviewed the Spiteful IPA in the latest edition. The guys at BA gave both beers high marks, which makes sense to me.

Speaking of Beer Advocate, I have the feeling that these guys, despite publishing a magazine filled with articles celebrating the diversity that is beer, aren't very comfortable with some aspects of the explosion of new ideas and breweries. They frequently write cranky articles critical of current trends in the rapidly evolving culture of American micro and nano brewing. In just the latest issue, the editors complain about the rise of collaboration beers as well as how new breweries often crowdfund to raise capital. And don't even get me started on Andy Crouch. That guy hasn't written a nice word about beer in I don't know how long. He's quickly becoming the Andy Rooney of Beer Advocate. First off, who cares? Nobody is a gate-keeper for how this very diverse industry is going to evolve. The bottom line is that only those breweries making good beer and who have enough smarts and luck to sustain themselves will survive. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the show while you drink from the plethora of new beers available as a result of this frequently unconventional industry.

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