33 Acres Brewing is not one of those breweries to go out and market the crap out of themselves. Despite that, they have garnered the interest of many British Columbian craft beer fans. B.C. Beer Reviews recognizes quality when it sees it, and 33 Acres of Ocean is a quality Northwest Pale Ale.
B.C. Beer Reviews: 33 Acres Brewing – 33 Acres of Ocean
33 Acres Brewing, for lack of a better word, is a lesser known brewery outside of Vancouver proper. They do not market themselves as much as other breweries, their beers do not seem to venture too far out of the city, but people are still hearing about them. They do not lean on quality marketing, rather letting their quality do the talking.
Let’s crack this bottle open and see what they have to offer.
This beer pours a very clear and light amber colour from the bottle. Pretty much the same in the glass aside from the amber being a bit deeper in colour. The clarity is fantastic for this beer, and you can see straight through it.
As you would expect from a West Coast Pale Ale, the hops are at the forefront of this beer. There is a resinous aroma that you would generally expect from a fresh hop beer. This beer can certainly qualify as being dank in its aroma.
Aside from it being characterized as dank and resinous, there are other subtle notes imparted by the hops. The most notable of them is pine. There are definite and fairly strong aromas of pine needles from this one. Go outside, find a pine tree, get a handful of needles and sniff them and you will get what you do from this beer.
Aside from those notes, there is a light citrus fruit aroma that is reminiscent of grapefruit. It has a bitter citrus aroma that is closer to being the peel or the pith of the fruit rather than the sweeter fleshy part of it.
There is virtually zero presence of the malt/grain bill, which is not all that surprising from the style. Dank, resinous, pine and grapefruit notes dominate the nose/aroma.
This beer throws you a bit of a curveball here. Coming into the first sip you would expect a more pronounced hop presence, but it is very presentable. It is still fairly strong, but nowhere near as much as it is in the nose/aroma.
The hop presence is noticeable, but the pine notes are much more subtle on your palate. The grapefruit presence is much more noticeable, but it is not strong at all. All the hop-forward notes you would expect from a West Coast beer, but with the smooth bittering charge of a typical pale ale.
The malt/grain bill plays a much bigger role on your palate than it did in your nose. There is a very present and smooth sweetness that it imparts that helps to make this a very balanced pale ale on your palate.
Overall, spot on with the style. A nice balance between the hops and the malt/grain bill. Light pine and grapefruit notes from the hops. This is a very tasty and sessionable brew.
The labeling/branding is about as simple as it can get without being a blank white label. A paper label with the name of the beer in bold black lettering is next to a small circular picture of someone sitting on the end of a dock. Simple, but it hits the very hipster vibe that 33 Acres Brewing puts off.
The head this beer pours is slightly above average. The retention of that head could also be categorized as such, being there for a while, but not long enough to be considered as significant.
There is a very light amount of lacing on the glass from this beer. With the strong hop presence in the nose/aroma, this is not really all that surprising.
The mouthfeel of this beer is light and smooth, and not at all thin. The malt/grain bill plays its part here, keeping this beer from being too thin.
The nose/aroma is dominated by the hops, with pine and grapefruit being the strongest notes. Despite that, the tasting notes present a very well balanced beer overall. Sessionable and smooth-drinking.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved