Review: Schonz' Red Session Ale, Pyramid

Schonz' Red Session Ale
Pyramid Brewing Co. — Seattle, WA

  • Style:  Amber Ale
  • Bitterness:  30 IBU
  • ABV:  4.8%
  • Malts:  2-Row Pale, Special Roast, Melanoidin, C-120 and Black
  • Hops:  Nugget, Cascade, El Dorado, Calypso (dry hop)
    • Sampled:  22 oz. bottle  

    Description:  With this limited edition beer, we salute the legendary Mayor of Rip City, Mr. Bill Schonely. This Red Session Ale was created with the same passion Schonz brought to Trail Blazers fans everywhere! So “wherever you may be”, make Schonz’ Red Session Ale your go to brew all season long! — Pyramid Brewing Co.

    Random thoughts:  Pyramid Brewing originated in Seattle and I've always associated it with Emerald City. Portland Brewing hails from (you guessed it) Portland. Both Pyramid and Portland Brewing are owned by North American Breweries and both share Ryan Pappe as the Head Brewer. Given the Trail Blazers are a Portland team, it seems odd that they didn't capitalize on the Portland connection. 

    The tasting:  Amber in color, clear, with a tan head that dissipates slowly. It looks great in the glass. Aroma of grapefruit and light floral notes. The taste starts with a moderate dose of grapefruit hop bitterness. In the middle, caramel, toasted malt, and a mild nuttiness come through. Schonz' Red Session Ale is light bodied, moderately carbonated, and has a slightly resinous mouthfeel. Hop bitterness is moderate to high and alcohol is not noticeable in aroma or flavor. It finishes with lingering notes of grapefruit and pine.

    3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if it was given to me.  As a session ale (ABV < 5%), I expected it to be light bodiedand it is. However, it has an almost a watery mouth feel, which I don't care for. On the plus side, it nicely balances malty and hoppy flavors. It leans towards the hoppy side, which is sure to please Northwest craft beer drinkers. Honestly, I think this would have been an ideal summer beer. Regardless, Schonz' will serve as a nice complement to watching Trail Blazers game. Given its low price (I paid about $2.50 for the bomber) and wide (but limited availability), I suggest you give it a try. Cheers to Schonz, the Blazers, and Rip City!

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