Ommegang BPA is Worth the Hype

This year Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY) started a new series of "specialty beers." The first beer is a Belgian-style Pale Ale and I had the opportunity to try it on draft at Tap & Mallet over the weekend. I was pretty intrigued, as I’d never had a BPA before and the gentleman next to me at the bar recommended it with great enthusiasm.

Brewery Ommegang

According to the brewery’s Marketing and Press Relations Director, Larry Bennet, "The idea is a full-flavored, full aroma, authentic Belgian Pale ale with a quaffable 5.7% ABV. It is part of a series of beers we’re trying out this year as ‘accessible draft’ candidates. Accessible draft meaning: satisfying to drink, moderate ABV, reasonably priced (in line with our other year-round beers), ultimately able to get and hold its own handle, apart from our other handles out there.

Like many breweries our size, we make a broad range of beers, but don’t really have one dedicated or focused ‘entry’ ‘accessible’ draft beer. We’re looking into whether or not we need to have one.

This is one of three we’re putting out there in next six months to see how the retailers and public respond. Depending on that, one could go into production full time, or could all go to the Specialty Beer route."

After just two pints, I’d definitely like to see it go into production full time.

It poured with a dense, snow-white head and I could smell sweet citrusy pineapple before I even had the glass to my mouth. I’m typically a big IPA fan and I wasn’t quite sure what kind of hop character to expect from a BPA. I was satisfyingly surprised. There were hops a plenty but this beer is so well balanced, it’s really hard for me to describe. My best attempt is to say that the hops have a pleasantly obvious presence without the typical "hops assault" that you become accustomed to drinking IPA. There are definite Belgian characteristics that shine through and the fruity citrus aroma is so light and playful, you can’t help but want more.

In a beer bar with tons of great choices, I opted to order a second pint and that alone says a lot. I looked it up on Beer Advocate to see if others agree and it has an A- rating so far, which says a lot more.

If you have the chance to try it, don’t pass it up. If you’ve already had it – I’d love to know what you think.


1 Comment

  • Hannah April 12, 2010 @ 2:15pm

    I won’t be going out to buy tons of this – maybe once or twice in the summer. Alright but really very light in taste, which surprised me since it had such a sweet, fruity nose.

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