Spring seasonal rye pale ale hopped with Centennial, Chinook, & Simcoe, 5.0% ABV
Madtree Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH
By Bill Lau
Continuing with the local beer theme (and what a joy it is to have so many craft breweries in the Cincinnati-Dayton area these days!), here’s another Cincinnati craft beer offering. Madtree celebrated their one year anniversary earlier this year, and their beers can be found on tap and in cans with an ever-expanding distribution network. It’s pretty cool to shop at the local Kroger and see an end cap covered with local beers. This was not the situation (hah! you thought I was going to be punny and say “case”, didn’t you?) as recently as a year or two ago.
I was once quite dubious about craft beer in a can, cans having been associated for so long with the bland products of mega brewers, but once I gave them a chance, I found that they taste just fine. Actually, they taste perfect. Cans obviously provide perfect optimal protection from sunlight and air, keeping the beer fresh and tasting as intended. Cans are also more portable and (as noted by the Madtree team) are more likely to be recycled, and I’m all for taking better care of Mother Earth!
I’ve tried a variety of Madtree beers on tap, but this is the first from a can, so did it prove out my point above?
Appearance: I poured Sprye into the highly appropriate Madtree logo glass and noted a deep, burnished golden hue touched with a hint of amber and a slight chill haze. The off-white head started out 1/4″ thick and gradually settled to a thin cap.
Aroma: Gloriously hoppy aroma was chock-full of citrus and pine. Oh my! Right up my alley.
Palate: Sprye presented a medium body with spritzy carbonation, with some oiliness from the hops. Zippy.
Flavor: Smashingly hoppy up front, crisp, with grapefruit, tangerine/clementine, some orange blossom, and pine. Biscuity malt underneath with a bit of spiciness from the rye. Solid bittering led into more hops and a long, resinous finish. Very hop-forward, yet still balanced and refreshing (at least to me). Left a mix of pine resin and tangy orange blossom honey behind. Very long-lasting aftertaste of grapefruit with a touch of honey.
To sum it up – yes indeed, the can performed its job as advertised, and Sprye was flavorful and fresh. I really enjoyed this one tremendously.
I would try this with General Tso’s chicken, spicy orange beef, or sticky Asian chicken wings.
Rating: Appearance: 4.5/5 Aroma: 9/10 Palate: 4/5 Flavor: 9.5/10 Overall: 18/20