MOA Pale Ale

We’ll like I have said before, lately I have had a thing for Nelson Sauvin Hops and in this New Zealand take on the pale ale the Nelson is dominant.  MOA’s Pale Ale also has Cascade hops. This well carbonated beer is bottle conditioned, pours with a huge head that sticks around for a bit and has a slight orange color. Basically this is a beautiful beer. The hops yield floral, citrus and tropical notes. The Nelson Sauvin hop is from the Nelson region in central New Zealand. The Sauvin part of the name comes from the Sauvignon Blanc grape and yes this hop gives a white wine tropical profile to the beer.  The Nelson can be used both as a bittering hop and for aroma. The Cascade hop is the most popular hop in the American Craft beer industry. It provides a medium floral and citrus aroma. The flavor profile yields grapefruit with a touch of spice. This is a classic American aroma hop and also makes a good dry hop.
I am sorry that the picture is not of the full glass with the proper head, but I was in a hurry.
The cascade hop pairs really well with the Nelson Sauvin.  Beer Advocate only has 4 reviews with an average of 4.18.

Hops, WTF are Hops?

Everyone talks about hops and the different varieties and such but we rarely actually discuss the individual hops and where they come from, how they are used and when in the brewing process they are added. So what I am going to try to attempt is to put together information from various sites to describe the hops in some of the beer I drink. If you have information about the beers that you would like to add please help by leaving comments.  This might not work but at least I get to drink beer. So, WTF are hops? There are a hundred different websites that go into crazy detail about our friend the Hop. Here are the basics, Hops are the female parts of the plant species Humulus Lupulus. That explains a lot. They are used to add bitterness, flavor and aroma to beer. Different hops add various flavor profiles and the effect on the beer is based on when they are added in the brewing process. The part of the Hop that adds the bitterness is the Alpha acids. Hop oils contribute to the flavor and the aroma. As you can guess hops have varying levels of Alpha acids and different combinations of oils. Where are Hops grown? Hops grow best in latitude between 35 and 55 degrees.  You have Google Earth figure it out. Yes they can grow in more place than you think, and they will grow in areas outside of this. In the US over 75% of the hops are grown in the Yakima Valley in Washington. So let’s start and just so you know the following posts will be in a completely random order based on the beers I am drinking and my personal interests, if there is a beer you want to covered just post a comment.  First up is MOA's Pale Ale  

Beer and Food Pairing with Widmer Brothers

We went to a food pairing at Wood Fired Pizza in downtown St. Petersburg featuring Ben Dobler From Widmer Brothers brewery. I would like to thank Travis Justen from great Bay for the invitation.  I have to admit I stopped by earlier in the day to sample the beers in my normal non food way. I was really interested in the Nelson Imperial IPA. I have had a craving for the Nelson Sauvin hops lately.  You can also find them in MOA Pale Ale and Matamata.  It is a nice smooth IPA with a excellent balance of the Nelson Sauvin hops with  Alchemy,  Cascade, and Willamette.  I have tried the Pitch Black IPA before and since I am a fan of the black IPA and lagers I could not resist a sneak preview. Ben's descriptions and stories of the beers was a treat and you can tell he has a definite passion for his craft and Peter was a very gracious host and he is highly enthusiastic and dedicated to his food.
Reception - Citra Blonde Summer Brew
First Course - Paired With Hefeweizen
Bruschetta Tomato, Garlic, Red Onion, Basil & Balsamic, Olive Oil. House-made Served with Toasted Crostini. Garlic Hummus Scented With Lemon, Kalamata Olives & Served With Wood Fired Garlic Wedges The Hummus was served slight warm giving it a creamier flavor.
Second Course Paired With Pitch Black IPA
Iceberg Wedge Topped With Maytag Blue Cheese crumbles & Balsamic Vinaigrette I just ate the Blue Cheese with the Beer. Damn good.
Third Course Paired with Oatmeal Porter
Bacon Jam Wedges. Rendered Down Bacon Blended With Spices Topped With Raw Red Onions. Served Molten Hot on Wood Fired Crust What else is needed to say, Rendered Bacon. It tasted like a pulled-pork sandwich.
Fourth Course Paired with Nelson Imperial IPA
Carnivore Pizza San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Meatballs, Sausage, Organic Herbs. Pistachio Pizza Pistachios, Fresh Mozzarella, Raw Red Onion, Olive Oil, Pecorino Romano, Rosemary, Organic Herbs. Dante’s Inferno Pizza Sriracha Infused San Marzano Sauce, Meatballs, Ricotta, Grated Dante Cheese, Organic Herbs. The Dante had a definite bite from the Sriracha. The pistachio pizza was a surprise. It was unexpected and pretty tasty. The savory rosemary and the Nelson IPA actually complemented each other, and I did not expect that.
Fifth Course Paired With Raspberry Russian Imperial IPA
Cheese Cake House-Made & Baked in our Wood Fired oven. Served with Raspberries & Whipped Cream I have to admit that the raspberry in the IPA was very nice. It balanced the 9.3% imperial part of the beer. This is not the style of beer I would normally drink but I might have to get a few and give it another try.