Saturday, February 18, 2012

511. Sun King Osiris Pale Ale

So today was all about the adventure. Which means we threw a hung-over Jeffrey in the backseat, and headed to Indianapolis to check out Sun King Brewing. After all, if you win all of the GABF medals in the world in one year, you’re probably a brewery worth visiting. Especially when you’re only a short two hour drive away.

Visiting the brewery goes like this: on the way into the tasting room, you’re given coupons to sample their beers—four for regular beers, and two for fancy beers. Small samples, certainly, but if they want to dole out the free beer, who I am to stop them? Since it was Saturday, they were also doing tours, so while Jeffrey signed all three of us up, Elli and I started the sampling process. About half way through our samples, we got called for the tour, so after a quick refill, we wandered over to begin the shenanigans. Our tour guide drove the truck during the week, but seemed to be having a good time leading us through the brewery, and putting up with Jeffrey’s questions and both of our desires to poke our heads everywhere. Visiting a brewery becomes a lot more fun when you actually have a sense of the way things work. I did like the pink fermenter that Sun King uses for lagers—so cute! After the tour, we finished our samples, ogled the GABF medals and the small science lab through the window (with yeast slurries on stir plates!), and then got our growlers filled up to take with us. We opted for the Osiris Pale Ale, while who the hell knows what Jeffrey got, since he brought like eight growlers for everyone he knows. Afterwards, to bask in the glow that is Indianapolis, we went to Brugge Brassiere for
lunch and a beer (I had a Harvey, Elli had a Bee’s Knees IPA, and Jeffrey had a sampler), followed by a quick one at Upland’s Tasting Room (the brewery is in Bloomington), a visit to 21st Amendment (beer store, not the brewery—it’s in San Francisco, silly!), and then we hit the road back to Dayton. And, as you can undoubtedly guess, that growler of Osiris became our beer for the day.

Osiris Pale Ale pours a rich, burnished gold—it is clear with a white head that mostly hangs around. In the nose, there is biscuit and caramel malt mixed with pine and resin hop aroma, although the hop character is subdued and comes into play after the malt—the aromatics are subtle and pleasant, performing a delicate dance that offers a pleasant initial encounter with the beer before tasting it. Once in the mouth, flavors start with biscuit and a light breadiness that border on doughiness before the hop flavors—again, pine/evergreen and resin—come into play. The middle features a clean and refreshing bitterness, bright and present, but certainly not overpowering—again, it comes in after the malt flavors. The biscuit returns in the tail-end of the middle and on into the finish; it combines well with the hop bitterness in the finish, creating a clean finish where the bitterness hovers briefly before disappearing. While carbonated, the beer is soft on the palate. There is a slight bite from both the carbonation and the bitterness in the final third of the beer as it turns towards the finish, but again it is subdued and restrained—this beer is a model of balance in both flavor and profile. Osiris is both well-made and approachable; it is an excellent example of an APA, one that would be refreshing and enjoyable all evening long, and certainly worth seeking out. Nice job, Sun King.

ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 50


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