Congregation Ales – First Thoughts on Azusa,CA Brew Pub Chapter
We sent our OG contributor Mike down to his favorite watering hole this past Sunday, Congregation Ale House Azusa Chapter to check out the Christening of their new Brew Pub. Up until last week, they were a craft beer bar and restaurant. Here are Mike’s initial thoughts on Congregations first batches of house made brews. Cheers
On Sunday I was invited to taste the first batch of Congregation Ales. I arrived in Azusa just before ten, lined up, and meandered my way inside for some locally made beer. I watched in anticipation as the line in front of me received their tasters. I could see four beers being served so I knew at least one had to be good.
First up was the Summer Pale, an American style pale ale, clocking in at 5.3% ABV. The beer poured slightly cloudy, had a good amber color with a nice thick, tight head. The aroma displayed was slightly bready, malty and faintly hoppy. The taste was pretty malty, a bit nutty, lightly hoppy, good bitter finish. Mouthfeel was light bodied, velvety, good carbonation. Overall, not a bad first attempt. I prefer a more hoppy less malty ale.
The next taster was the Saison, a Belgian style ale with 6.6% ABV. I’m gonna make this short but sweet, this beer was everything it should be, an excellent example of the style. The fruitiness and funkiness were all there, little bit of spice, good beer.
The next beer to be had was the Dark Ale, an Old Ale style brew packing 7.7% ABV. This little gem was a very dark reddish brown with a quickly dissipating thin brown head. I was met with almost no discernible aroma. The taste was very good, dry, cocoa, good amount of bitterness, dark fruits and toffee hints. I was surprised at how smooth and light it was. Very good representation.
The final pour was a 90 Shilling Scotch Ale with 7%ABV, brewed in collaboration with Bootleggers. This beer was beautiful, a deep brown with some reddish highlights and a thin, pale head. It smelled of caramel and malts, tasted of cream, caramel and toffee, with just a bit of alcohol and malts in the finish. Excellent mouthfeel, slightly thick and a velvety coating on the tongue. I love this beer and hope they continue to make it.
Locally brewed beer is great. When the beer is good, it’s even better. The future looks good for beer fans in the Azusa area.