Diamond Bear Brewing Company - Victory Pale Ale
- ABV: 6.1%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 33
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Brewers, Caramel 40
- Hops: Hallertau, Fuggle, Cascade
Diamond Bear’s Pale Ale was the first beer released by the brewery in 2000, and it’s been a mainstay ever since. Now branded as Victory Pale Ale, this GABF gold medal winner presents a somewhat hazy deep amber color (English-style pale ales tend to have more color than their American-style counterparts) topped by a robust head of beige foam. On the nose, look for a nice balance between inviting caramelized undertones and bright overlaying hop notes offering touches of sliced orange, citrus blossom, herbal spice, and mild woodiness. That perfect balance – a hallmark of the finest English ales – continues into the flavor with a lot of subtle complexities that makes it a joy to keep sipping. We get a robust malt backbone with plenty of caramel, light toast, and hints of toffee. Equally engaging is the hop contribution, as bitterness comes through with moderate firmness while providing delicate layers of citrus rind, earthy spice, and woody impressions. Look for the whole thing to come across on the fuller side of medium-bodied before finishing with a light, lingering citric tone. For pairing options, you can’t go wrong with traditional British pub fare like shepherd’s pie or bangers & mash. Sandwiches, burgers, roasted pork or fowl, and cheeses like Cheddar, Cotswold, or Leicester make good choices, as well. Feel free to experiment with this food-friendly brew. Cheers!
Built within what was once a Studebaker dealership, Diamond Bear Brewing Company (the name invokes a couple of Arkansas’ many historical nicknames: the Bear State and the Diamond State) became the first production brewery in Little Rock in more than 15 years when it opened in the fall of 2000. For a state that was not known for its craft beer culture, this small brewery became quite a treasure trove for lovers of good beer. With multiple gold medals from the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival, Diamond Bear managed to put Arkansas on the craft beer map, ushering in the era of better beer that Arkansans can now enjoy today.
Arkansas has Germany and Russ Melton, the brewery’s founder, to thank for the beer oasis that is Diamond Bear. It was during Russ’ four year stint in the military in Germany that he picked up a taste for high-quality beer (a story we’ve seen repeated numerous times with other craft brewery founders). In 1999, Russ and his wife Sue, both Little Rock natives, developed the idea for a local microbrewery. With the help of seven other owners, Russ and Sue built the brewery and began production in September of 2000. Their mission statement: “To provide the people of Arkansas and the surrounding region with their own local brewery, which produces great, premium, all natural beer products, which reflect favorably on Arkansas and the surrounding region.” In 2013, the team moved production to a new, larger facility in North Little Rock, and opened an on-site restaurant, the Arkansas Ale House (now called the Diamond Bear Taproom & Pub), the very next year. The brewery currently produces about eight beers, four hard seltzers, and a root beer made with real cane sugar. To learn more about the brewery, visit them at diamondbear.com.
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