Americans have a habit of taking European traditions and making them bigger, bolder, and brasher i.e. better. America took the push-and-shove game of rugby and metamorphosed it into the skull-crunching gladiatorial sport of football. America took the bourgeois pastime of skiing, invented the “ski bum,” and turned it into a daredevil sport with aerial acrobatics and catchphrases like “shred the gnar, brah!” However, America’s greatest improvement came in the form of what staid, Old World brewers might call the “bastardization” of beer. America took European styles and pushed the envelope with more hops, more alcohol, stronger flavors, atypical ingredients, and, voila, the American craft beer scene was born. Perhaps one of the least offensive yet widespread and uniquely “American” beer practices is spicing a beer with rye such as Telluride Brewing Company’s Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale (5.5% ABV).
Color: A bright, brassy yellow, Bridal Veil is 95% clear but with a drop of haze. Its head is thick and eggshell-white.
Aroma: Bridal Veil smells lightly hopped and citrusy (specifically, lemon) with a slight but sweet malt backbone.
Taste: The spiciness of the rye is what one first notices but a nip of hop bitterness soon follows. In the aftertaste, piney bitterness stings the throat and can be tasted for several minutes after swallowing. There’s just a hint of malt support.
Mouthfeel: Bridal Veil feels decently thick and it finishes dry leaving the mouth feeling almost leathery.
Rye beer isn’t the most controversial modification America has created but it is, nonetheless, distinctive to the U.S. Drink like a patriot and have a Bridal Veil.
Bridal Veil is newly available in the Denver area.