Alley Kat Brewing Company - Alley Kat Amber

Alley Kat Brewing Company - Alley Kat Amber

Beer Club featured in U.S. & International Variety Beer Club International Beer Club

Country:

Canada

Alcohol by Volume:

5.00%

Alley Kat Brewing Company - Alley Kat Amber

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.00%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass
Alley Kat Amber pours, as you might expect, a deep amber in color capped by an amply sized head that begins big and fades relatively quickly to a nice covering and collar. Expect a very nutty character on the nose in this “original London-style brown ale,” with malts immediately taking charge. Amber ales can run the gamut in terms of range of flavor. This one is on the sweeter side offering notes of chocolate, faint impressions of coffee and caramel apples. Notice that the hop levels are low, but they do give off a touch of herbal spiciness which nicely balances the sweeter elements. Look for a slight lactic presence as the beer warms (giving faint impressions of chocolate milk). Also try to pick out some fleshy fruits, hinting a bit toward the tropical side (think mango). Yes, this beer goes down sweet, but not overly rich. Expect the ‘mouth-filling’ body to flood across the palate, washing the tongue in notes of apples & caramel, roasted toffee, and grassy, lightly spicy hop notes, with a somewhat floral edge. We found the flavor is expertly balanced with lightly edgy hops and roasty notes balancing the sweet bolus of malts that first greets the palate. Alley Kat Amber finishes with a light bitterness and sweet, apple-like notes. This velvety smooth beer is just so easy to drink, and at 5.0% ABV, it’s a great, flavorful, session beer that you can fill a night with without getting blitzed in the process. We suggest trying this against orange-glazed duck; the dark meat and fattiness of the duck will be cut by the sharper edges of the beer, while the malty sweetness will work well with the glaze. Enjoy!
Alberta, Canada, is roughly the size of Texas, to give you an idea of scale, and the Alley Kat Brewing Company is Alberta’s 4th longest-running brewery. Not bad, when you consider that number one among their elders is Labatt. Co-founder Neil Herbst had been working for the Alberta government when budgeting left his department on the chopping block. A blessing in disguise, the sudden free time allowed Neil to further indulge himself in the art of homebrewing, which ultimately led to founding the brewery. His wife Lavonne eventually bought out his original co-founding partner, so this semi-feral outfit is run by a husband and wife team—with no catfights that we know about. After all, what better elixir for a happy marriage is there than good beer? AKBC carries a clever little slogan, “Great Brews. From Scratch.” And since alley cats are known for their savvy, survivability, and when needed, their brute fighting skills, it’s a symbol that is fitting, as they take on the big boys of brew the world over. As they say themselves, “the ultimate goal for Alley Kat, as with any microbrewery, is to stave off elimination from the market while not compromising the quality of the brews by bringing in products to emulate the no-taste success formula driven by low cost brand leaders. For now and in the long run, Alley Kat will continue to brew excellence and brew as many styles as possible offering the public a taste of how strange and wonderful each beer style can be.” It’s that ‘alley cat mentality’ that seems to be right at the heart of their success, but it is tempered by a commitment to freshness and quality, so worry not that the alley cat role model goes too far. Their mission statement pretty much says it all: “…to introduce beer lovers to beers that are definitive examples of their styles. Using the best quality local ingredients the beers are brewed with the utmost care and attention to detail. We are a craft brewery that produces outstandingly flavorful, fresh-tasting beer of exceptional quality.” Do they deliver on that pledge? Absolutely, but don’t take our word for it—try the 1996 World Beer Championships Silver Medal winning beer that we’re featuring this month—Alley Kat Amber (which also took home the Gold in the Brown Ale style at the 2006 Canadian Brewing Awards). For more information, visit their website www.alleykatbeer.com or give them a call at (780) 436-8922.
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