Beers 24 & 25 – Pale Ale comparison

Victory

Brewer: Victory       Craft: Headwaters Pale Ale       ABV: 5.1%

Today I decided to drink a couple pale ales and figured I should compare them.  Because, you know, why not?  So first up is the Headwaters crafted by Victory.  The picture on the label on the bottle shows hops and barley.  Well that about says it all right there!  The barley provides a malty, bready character to the beer and the hops provide the bitter balance to the sweetness from the malts.  I see why my friend Brian loves this craft so much.  It’s easy to drink.  It’s well balanced.  It’s has flavor that, to me, is interesting for a pale ale.  It almost borders on creamy.  Good stuff.

Yards

Brewer: Yards       Craft: Philadelphia Pale Ale       ABV: 4.6%

This.  This is what, in my opinion, a pale ale should taste like.  Yards gets it right here.  The barley provides a biscuity, cracker-like character to the beer.  There is very little sweetness, which I prefer in a pale ale.  The hops provide a solid bitterness from start to finish.  Again, this falls in line with what I feel a pale ale should be.  That being said, I think it’s still easy to drink.  But it’s pretty straight-forward and simple.  Nothing too complex here.  I think though that there’s something to be said for doing something simple, but doing it completely on point and standard-setting.

If you can’t tell, I prefer the Philly Pale Ale.  The Headwaters is a quality craft and I would drink it again in a heartbeat.  But if we’re talking about pale ales here, which I am, (where have you been?), then Yards takes the win over Victory.  Is that like irony or something?

Rating: I’d buy a case of either of these crafts any day of the week.

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