DRINK LOCAL: Caldera’s South Side Strong Ale
For Those Times You Want A Six-Pack in a Single Pint
It’s all about the malt in Caldera Brewing’s South Side Strong Ale. It has a potent flavor of raisins, toffee and caramel mixed with rich loamy soil and cherry tree roots. The appearance is reddish brown, the body is big and malty while the finish is surprisingly lingering and dry. Wait, did I mention it was malty?
Caldera calls the South Side a Pacific Northwest Style Strong Ale which I can only assume, considering their other brews, means that it has a strong hop presence, and it does. At 64 IBU’s the hop profile could give an IPA a run for it’s money, but it doesn’t. Due to the more powerful presence of malt, the hops take the back seat and instead provide a very important supporting role. They take what would be too sweet and too caramel and cut it with a bitter edge and brighter finish.
This is their take on an American Strong Ale which is a broad category indicating that a beer has intense flavor, a potent exhibition of malt and hops and more than 7.0 percent alcohol by volume. South Side comes in on the lower end of the spectrum at 7.2 percent ABV, but still packs a wallop. The well exhibited alcohol flavor does the much needed work, alongside the hops, of balancing out the intense maltiness.
Make sure to follow with something lighter because this is a big beer and one pint should be more than enough to get you going.