2010 British and North American Ales
Posted: April 20, 2010
By Jerald O’Kennard
I always enjoy the British and American Ale round of the World Beer Championships because it’s great to see how American ales compare to their British cousins within the same style. What emerges is an interesting snap shot of the import ale market: traditional, session ales that one would expect from Old World along with more experimental, perhaps American influenced ales. And, on the domestic front, a continuation of the expedition to the summit Mount Hop-Olympus for some, but fortunately tempered by a more mature sense of balance on the way up.
Look at the Scottish Ale category, for instance. Of the top four beers, two were from the US and two from Scotland. The Samuel Adams Scottish Ale (93 pts.) and Oscar Blues Brewery’s Old Chub Scottish Ale (94 pts.) were both distinctively American in their malt and hop profiles, but not overly hopped and finely balanced like their Tartan bearing mates the Traquair House Air (94 pts.) and the Orkney Brewery’s Red MacGregor Ale (93 pts.). And on the adventuresome edge, the exotically flavorful Innis & Gunn Brewing Company’s Oak Aged Beer Original (90 pts.), also from Scotland, takes a page out of UK brewing history with maybe a nod to the crafty US obsession de jour of barrel-aged beers.
Other notables from both sides of the Atlantic included The Goose Island IPA (94 pts.), Eugene City Brewery Track Town Triple Jump Pale Ale (93 pts.), Moorhouse’s Brewery Pendle Witches Brew (93 pts.), and Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge Experimental IPA. Platinum Medal (96 pts.), Full Sail Brewing Co. (94 pts.) Full Sail IPA, Moorhouse’s Brewery English Owd Ale (94 pts.), Rogue Ales Imperial Red Ale (94 pts.), and Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Nut Brown Ale (93 pts.)