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No Label Ridgeback Ale by Tam

 

Ridgeback Ale

No Label

Katy, TX

American Amber

ABV: 5%

IBUs: 14

Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Bottles

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I started the day pretty well with some school work (yes I’m a student, GO BEARKATS) followed by some personal chores and rounded it out with work on my patio (featured photo). I thought to myself, “You know what would end this day perfectly? A brew from a local brewery I’ve yet to taste.” So out of my fridge and into my pint glass No Label cometh.

Now, I’m a simple guy. I like my solitude, and I love my dogs, so nothing is better than just sitting on your porch with your hyper active pups and a cold one. It seemed like it was fate that I chose Ridgeback Ale, with the label being of a hunting dog staring off, almost made me miss the country life I’ve mentioned in previous posts… almost.

Ridgeback Ale is an American Amber, and the story behind this beer is that the owner named it after his dog’s breed (insert the ding in your brain here followed by the “OHHH!”). Now before I research a beer, I like to guess its contents from smell. I feel like if you read what it’s made of before hand, it’ll affect your taste buds as well as your final assessment.

From the immediate pour to the lift of the glass, I was swarmed with caramel hints and what seemed like coffee undertones. Ridgeback Ale’s physical appearance was a copper tone with murkiness that allowed very little light to shine through. It seemed almost thick, and it allowed a thin head to rest on top. My first taste was given a quick jab of bitterness but instantly smoothed out, and the entire time I could taste the caramel while the coffee aroma still lingered.

I was pleased to see that I was pretty close to what my initial smell and taste had deduced, that caramel and roasted malt was a key ingredient and what surprised me was how bitter this ale was. I was more accustomed to a sweeter drink that was more fruity than hoppy, but it made sense with the Cascade and Golding hops in the mix. In my opinion, No Label made one damn good end-of-day beer, though.

 

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As mentioned before, the name as well as the label, is modeled after the owners dog, Haley. Some readers will notice that there are actually two labels in circulation, both with the same dog but one with a grass filled background and setting sun, while the other is a plain backdrop of yellow and light red. The site boasts that it’s a food friendly beer and user comments suggest it’s best with grilling; which doesn’t sound like a bad idea to me.

I found myself sitting on my bar stool and just staring off into the clouds as the sky darkened, my dogs chasing each other in their own game of keep away – I was truly relaxed. I can see myself picking up a 6 pack of No Label’s Ridgeback Ale as well as some steaks. Maybe I’d call a friend or two to share, or maybe just save those steaks for me and my dogs.

That’s the beauty of craft beer. There’s is no gimmick or show – its just about good times and good drinks. So, did Ridgeback Ale end your day and start your evening or was it just one item shy of a depressing country song? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tam Pham
pham.army@gmail.com
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