DuVig Pale Ale
Growlette, 5% ABV
32 oz Growlette, filled at the brewery, Branford
Look at that picture. That’s like a stock photo glass of beer. The head retention and size, the golden color… Classic, classic stuff.
And that fits the DuVig philosophy and business model: classic brewing techniques to create clean and straightforward “simple” beers that a wide cross-section of drinkers can enjoy.
And I like clean and straightforward things. Classic things. I tend to favor the mid-century modern aesthetic and dream of one day living in one of the beautiful homes in New Canaan someday.
In lieu of suddenly becoming a multi-millionaire, I will dream. And I will populate my decidedly boring mid-century West Hartford cape with tiny bits and pieces of modern furniture and accoutrements. (Of course, I must credit my beautiful wife for my coming-of-age with regards to this stuff. She’s the one with the architecture degree who worked on getting Phillip Johnson’s Glass House its current National Historic Landmark status.
And she’s the one who loves me for buying her/us a real Eames Chair from Herman Miller. It’s a beautiful thing. So simple, yet so complex. So easy to enjoy, yet so expertly crafted.
Even the dumbest of you can see where I’m going here.
I couldn’t find anything, but Dan Vigliotti at the brewery did mention it contains the much sought-after Amarillo and Citra hops.
In the background of every one of my top-of-the-page beer pictures sits our Eames Chair. You can’t see it at all in the beer picture here, but that’s okay. It’s really not that hard for me to turn around and take a picture of it and download it to my MacBook (of course I have a MacBook… duh) and upload it to my website and pop it in right here.
She’s a beaut. (Time magazine named it “The Best Design of the 20th Century,” calling it, “something elegant, light and comfortable. Much copied but never bettered.”
I’ve come to enjoy some very complicated beers. Barrel aged this, coolship that, infuse this here, double dry-hop that there… If done well, those beers are phenomenal. But really, when I get right down to it, most of my favorite beers are the classics. The no-nonsense ales. The clean lagers. The simple stouts.
And DuVig is attempting to build an entire brewery business with that idea in mind. They opened with three session ales: a cream, a brown, and a pale ale. All three were good, though the cream was fairly boring. The brown imparted a lot of good flavor and maltiness in its low ABV profile, but the pale stole the show for me.
The Amarillo hops shines here, as it is both floral and citrusy. But this is, after all, “just a sessionable pale ale.” Which is, after all, perfectly fine. There is a little something to be worked out with the mouthfeel, as I found it to be a tad grainy on the tongue, but other than that, this is a solid beer.
In speaking with Dan, whom I’ll call the brewmaster, he was particularly proud of his brown and this pale. In order to pack in the flavor and robustness of a more “powerful” ale with only the 5% or below ABV takes skill. And Dan had a good mix of humility and pride – nothing off-putting about that at all.
And really, if you have the guts to brew some beer and try to sell it to people, you must have that bravado. Charles and Ray Eames had it. The people behind DuVig have it. And hell, I must have some of it to keep writing these forever-long pages that not more than 10 people read.
Overall Rating: B+
Rating vs. Similar style: B