Review: Fort Garry Pickle Pale Ale


So.. Winnipeg's Fort Garry Brewing came out with a Pickle Ale at this year's Flatlanders Beer Festival, I definitely was intrigued to try it.. that is until I actually tried it. Wow, I only had a two ounce sample of it but it took several, several samples of other beers to finally get that beer off my palate. Well, then why are you reviewing this beer tonight? I've been told that I review beers that no one else would dare touch.. so I'm doing this review so you don't have to!

I once tried Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace Saison several years back and the first thing I got from the beer was the taste of dill, I was absolutely shocked that dill-like flavour in a beer would be damned tasty! So since then, I've wanted to see an actual dill pickle themed beer out there.. so I guess my wish was finally granted..

From the label: Pickle Pale Ale - A refreshing amber hued UK style pale ale spiked with pickle brine. Peppercorn and a sour tartness are balanced out by a clean hop nose.

Appearance: Amber coloured ale with a good amount of clarity to it, light amount of carbonation in the body and only a few bubbles here and there for the beer's head.

Aroma: Dill. Pickle. Seriously. The first impression I got from this beer was that this smelled eerily like Old Dutch's Dill Pickle Chips, it has a full on dill aroma to it, a LOT of pickle brine so it's got a good deal of sourness to it, a bit of peppercorn to give it a bit of a spice, and even a bit of a saltiness that reminds me of when I used to like OD's Dill Pickle Chips when I was eight years old. The aroma is very much in-your-face. The dill pickle aroma masks just about everything else in this beer so I can't really get much of anything else.. maybe a bit of a light caramel aroma from the malt? I have no idea. 

Taste: Dill. Effing. Pickle. The first few sips I'm having from this beer, all I'm getting is the taste of dill pickle brine, dill and a bit of peppercorn. The briney taste is kind of vinegary and sour, the dill is well.. dill, etc. I'm seriously cringing from sipping on this beer, I should pour this beer out already but no, I got to get through this beer for you, the reader! Once my palate SOMEHOW gets over the fact that this beer is probably 50% pickle juice, making it a Manitoban-style Radler, my taste buds start to just ignore the pickle juice taste to it and I start to get a bit of a caramel malt presence to it with a tad bit of a toasted malt to it. There's a bit of a bitter hoppiness that I'm only getting for aftertaste, leaving behind a light piney presence to it.. oh and there's also some dill pickle in there too. Vegetal notes of pickle pop up in my burps once in a while.

Overall Thoughts: So Cody, sometimes you shouldn't always wish for something because your wish may come true and end up being much worse than ever expected.. like this. I really thought a dill inspired beer with Sorachi Ace hops would be absolutely amazing, but this isn't the style I was hoping to see nor did it use Sorachi Ace. So now, I just want to see a good Honey Dill Saison (NO MAYO!) that's brewed with honey, dill, Sorachi Ace hops and Belgian yeast.. I think that could be tasty, if any breweries are interested.. I'm willing to be a guinea pig!

While this beer doesn't exist anymore as I picked up one of the last remaining cans in the entire province, who is this beer for? Honestly, this would work well as part of a beer caesar - Lots of Manitobans love mixing Clamato juice with beer as it is, so this would probably work really well for that.. but no thanks, I'm good. 

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