Galaxy Pale Ale
1 draught pint, $6.50, 4.8% ABV
Purchased at Max Burger, West Hartford
Holy crow. Now this is a beer you don’t want to serve a neophyte. New England Brewing did NOT mess around when brewing this draft-only pale ale.
I have a hard time calling it an “American pale ale” because it is so different than pretty much any other American pale you’ve ever had. (Not to mention the Galaxy hops are Australian.) This beer punches you in the nose with hoppy pine and citrus before blasting you with super hopped resin and and citrus rind in the back of your throat.
And, if you’re unsure, those are good things. Very good things. In my galaxy anyway. Now would be a good time to talk a bit about the New England Brewing galaxy.
NEB makes a bunch of beers that they only make available at the brewery and to a few select craft beer bars at a few select times. And while I’m sure there are more, off the top of my head I can only think of Cask Republic (which apparently has Galaxy pale ale on top now in late December 2012), Prime 16 and Delaney’s Tap Room in New Haven are three. Mikro in Hamden and Max Burger in West Hartford are two more. I’m sure there are more that I don’t know about, but these 5 pretty much always have at least one NEB line running. I know of another Hartford County restaurant trying to get another NEB line – and I wish them the diriest dirt wing luck with that.
Aha! NEB nerds don’t fret. I know about the ultimate secret NEB bar – and almost no one does. Yes, The Winchester in Woodbridge, which happens to be within keg-rolling distance of the brewery, usually has THREE lines of NEB beer running. Who knew heaven was in Woodbridge? In fact, if you look at their menu (assuming this link still works when you are reading this), they have the singular good fortune of always having a secret/experimental NEB beer on tap.
[2015 Updates: Delaney’s burned down and The Winchester has since closed. Galaxy is still great though and now NEBCO cheekily calls it their session IPA. Which is just so great.]
I enjoyed the Galaxy during a really cool event put together by Max Burger in my hometown. It was a special “Connecticut Tap Takeover” night wherein every single draught line was a local craft beer. Not only that, but reps and owners and brewers from some of our locals were there as well. It was a great night and fun to talk beer with some of these guys I now count as friends.
It’s annoying even to me that I continue to include that bit even when the brewery has nothing to say on the particular beer.
Since we’re talking about the NEB galaxy along with their Galaxy pale ale, I should mention that upon giving my beer snob brother in law a couple NEB bottles for Christmas, he asked about their Imperial Stout Trooper.
But here’s the thing: Brian lives in Delaware. He can’t get these beers down here. Yet, he’s aware of NEB’s reputation and quality somehow. That, my friends, speaks volumes about NEB. I didn’t ask him to, but I bet even he (a guy with a 3 line kegerator running Chimay White at the moment, among others) can’t name any other CT breweries other than Hooker.
So that’s pretty cool. (What’s not cool is that even though I drove all the way down to the brewery 3 days before Christmas to buy some Stout Trooper, they were all sold out of the bottles. Sorry Brian.)
Back to the Galaxy. Like I mentioned, supper hoppy, piney and citrusy on the nose and the palate and the aftertaste and about 5 minutes into the next beer. This is a very powerful tasting beer at a very low ABV. Galaxy hops also provide a clean zing of lemon as well and if you even have the chance to have an exclusively Galaxy hopped beer, try it. Even if you hate it, you’ll be a better person for having tried.
Again… at least in my galaxy.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A