55 Pale Ale
5% American Pale Ale
In light of some recent changes to the brew team and on the back of their magnificent performance in last year’s AIBA’s, it’s time we shone a light on the oft dark world that is 3 Ravens.
It genesis lies in opportunity in the face of despair when, back in 2002 the local pub favoured by an inner-city engineering firm closed its doors. The traditional English handpumped beer that was a Friday knock-off staple was no more. Solution? Cry into your empty pint glass or build and commission a brewery within the company and keep drinking. 3 Ravens was born of the latter. 10 years later the brewery’s fate seemed sealed when disagreements among the original owners saw the business put up for sale and it was subsequently sold to WA brewers Mash Brewing.
The 55 Pale Ale, brewed to celebrate the brewery’s fifth birthday is a slightly different take on the standard US, New World or Australian Pale Ales yet it takes it cues from all three. This week’s Try-It Thursday encourages you to seek one out and give it a try.
The 3 Ravens website says;
“55 Pale Ale is an American style pale ale. Five assertive hops meet a blend of barley, corn, wheat, oats and rye. Floral aromatics lead to a structured maltiness and clean finish. Traditional bottle conditioning naturally carbonates this beer and helps add to its complexity.”
James Smith, The Crafty Pint;
“Today, it’s probably harder to find an Aussie brewer who doesn’t have a highly hopped US style ale on their roster. But when the 55 first rolled off the 3 Ravens production line, it was one of few. Made up of five different grain and five different hop varieties, it boasts a mix of big passionfruit and pineapple aromas typical of American hop varieties and more grassy varieties with a full flavour and serious hit of bitterness.”
2 Hop Heads (Kano and Troy)* on their blog make me hungry listing the ‘recipe book’ of flavours and aromas;
“The appearance displays a hazy copper orange with a thick 1 inch cap. Good head retention and good lacing. The aroma is quite rye driven with floral hops and sweet bready malt undertones. Wafts of grapefruit, mandarin, caramel, oats, dough and spice adds extra depth and complexity to an already pleasant aroma. Mild-medium carbonation with a slightly thin mouth feel. The palate opens up quite smoothly with a short and sharp hop bitterness to follow. Mid-palate is more malt-driven but it slightly drops off, although it is relinquished by a long spicy rye dominated finish.”
The Critics’ Choice found a spot in the top 100 twice for this beer while it was a nominated beer twice again.
Edition number one #36;
“Crafted from 5 different malts and 5 different hop varieties (hence the ‘55’ moniker) this beer provides depth and layers of interest right to the bottom of the glass. Skilful blending of multiple ingredients show a real point of difference and allow this beer to shine.” [Pete Mitcham]
The following year the beer hooked the #88 spot and I got to write something nice again;
“This US style pale ale has fairly flooded the Australian market of late and the fact that this example has stayed true to the style earns it a return spot on the list. Plenty of flavour here makes it one worth seeking out.”
And, to finish, in a style of which 3 Raves would relate – and be truly proud – here is some Edgar Allan Poe-ish prose from 64 Bottles of Beer blog which doth honour thoust beer verily;
“Its aromas they lie down in the glass So well they do their master keep. With sweet caramels, spice, pine on the nose they drank it down down. its resinous notes they fly so eagerly, Now other tropical (grapefruit, Citrus & tangerine) punches dare him come nigh, Drink it down. Down there comes a floating note, As heavy with young as the 55 might go. drinking down, drinking down, drinking down 3 Ravens – APA55 lifted up his boozy head, And i kissed his flavours that were so rad, 55 got meup upon my back with caramels & citrus kicks to a tropical lake. drinking down, drinking down, drinking down, 55 buried me before my prime, 55 was full of earthy ere soft spice time, soft pines send every gentleman there. Such flavours, so well bound, and such lemon with bitterness so sound drinking down, drinking down, drinking down… Aromas are bold and flavours hold true in this malt driven Raven of three named 55 APA.”
“A beer of serious drinking nature for those friendliest of outings with mates. Be it down the beach, be it camping under the stars or rolling down route 66 (if you can sneak some into the USA). Heck wherever it is this little beast packs a punch on the nose and is balanced in flavour and well worth devouring on many occasions.”
Fun Fact! This writer endured a self-imposed embargo on announcing the birth of the brewery after Mrs Pilsner found herself chatting to one of the brewery’s co-founders on a return flight from somewhere (I can’t remember and neither could she) where she got the inside story.
*I hope Kano and Troy are happy to see their words repeated here. I always try to contact a writer before using their copy but was unable to in this case. If any reader knows the boys, please put them in contact. Cheers. Thanks to all the other bloggers and writers who have kindly given official permission.