Nick Carr on November 30, 2015 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Bridgeport Brewing Company Location: Portland, OR Style: American Pale Ale ABV: 5.2% IBU: 40 Appearance: Dual-orange copperish color with creamy, off-white head; Very hazy. Aroma: Clean, fresh floral; Notes of citrus, peach and earthiness; No maltiness in the aroma. Flavor: Clean hoppiness; Notes of citrus, apricot, spicy floral and resin; Malt stays hidden, but provides a bready backgruond; Slight drying after taste Hops: Dry-Hopped w/ Crystal Hops Malts: Pale, Munich, Rye Suggested Glass: Shaker Pint, Nonic Pint, Mug, Tulip Serving Temp: 46°F – 48°F Availability: Year-Round Pairs With: Flat Iron Steak, Burger w/ extra medium cheddar, Cotswold cheese, Apple pie Bridgeport brewery is Oregon’s second oldest craft brewing operation and oldest operational craft brewery. The Cartwright brewery was the oldest, opened in 1979, but it only lasted a couple years (not sure how Bridgeport claims to be Oregon’s first craft brewery, but anyway). Bridgeport was first opened as Columbia River brewery by Richard and Nancy Ponzi. In 1984 these local winemakers decided to try their hands at fermenting something other than grapes. The first beer brewed was named Bridgeport ale and in 1986 the brewery changed its name to follow suit. In the first year of production, they brewed 800 barrels of beer. Since these early days they have grown; today producing more than 100,000 barrels a year. In 2014 Bridgeport decided to celebrate their 30 year operation by brewing three limited release beers, called the trilogy- one for each of the 3 decades. Each beer could be voted upon by customers and the one that got the most votes during the release period would graduate to a year round release. Trilogy 1 was a pale ale dry-hopped with the crystal hops. Trilogy 2 celebrated the decade that saw the creation of Bridgeport’s IPA, so what better way to celebrate then with an IPA? This was a reunion collaboration with the man that formulated Bridgeport’s IPA, Phil Sexton, and because Mr. Sexton is an Australian brewer they used Australian hop varieties. Trilogy 3 was called Brewers’ Class. It was a collaboration with the future brewers enrolled at Oregon State University’s fermentation science program. It was a session brown ale and included the use of caramel 150, a malt the brewery had not used before. Well the beer went out, the votes came in, and it soon became abundantly clear Trilogy 1 was the winner; garnering more than half the total votes. So, the brewery put it into full production, renaming it Conviction pale ale. I assume because they now brew it with the full conviction that their customers back its continued existence. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Conviction Pale Ale. If you’ve tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: In the glass, Conviction has a dual orange copperish color. It is very hazy, a consequence of dry-hopping, no doubt. A good fingers-worth of creamy, off-white head blankets the surface and surprisingly, despite the dry-hopping, has very good retention; even seemingly continuing to build post pour. This head remained throughout, even putting up some decent lacing as the liquid level fell. Aroma is very clean. Mostly fresh floral, but notes of orange citrus and freshly cut peach (or apricot) also. Mellow earth. No shouts, or hop drumrolls here. There is no scent speaking for the malts. Mouthfeel and Taste: On the palate this beer plays it light and smooth, like a good jazz saxophone. Body is medium light, carbonation prickles a bit. The cleanness of hops pop mid-palate with a brightness I don’t easily remember experiencing before. I don’t know how to describe it any other way but as an extraordinarily bright, clean note; like the sudden lighting of a candle in the dark, there’s a sharpness to it that demands notice, but becomes friendly quickly. Spicy floral, Citrus, and apricot, maybe a whisper of mango, and a slight resiny twinkle; all remain understated but noticeable. The malt stays well-hidden with only brief glimpses of a bready background. Some hints of earthy bitterness on the back end, but nothing pushy or aggressive, remaining hints alone. Aftertaste sticks a while with a slightly drying mild spice and earthiness. Finishing the Impression: This is the first pale ale in a while that has made me sit up and say, “Ah, now here’s something different.” This isn’t to say other pales aren’t different from one another, but much of the time the nuances are slight at best. Conviction brings that “brightness,” shining a clean light on the crystal hop profile. Again, it’s very hard to define but the beer works magnificently. It makes me want to try using Crystal hops in my homebrewing. If you want to try something that, at the very least, will present discernable difference in the world of pale ales, something that truly underpins the fact variety of hop can make all the difference, try this one on for size. Who knows it may just fit. Cheers!