Beer of the Week: Eye on the Ball

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So you say you’ve brewed a beer especially for baseball season; something to drink multiple pints of while watching our hometown Padres do their best to erase all memories of last season. As a lifelong Friars fan, I’m stoked. As a rabid beer fan…I’m figuring I’m going to get more of the same when it comes to these types of beers, which is to say a crisp lager of the Pils, helles, Mexican, Japanese or dry-hopped variety, a session IPA or light-gold San Diego-style pale ale. To make my feelings on the matter abundantly clear, I like all of those styles of beer (which is why I didn’t tack “light” or “American-adjunct” onto my list of lagers), but when was it decided that malt and the American pastime don’t mix? There is some misconception that malt complexity adversely affects a beer’s drinkability, but as proven by any south-of-the-border vacay fueled by gallons of Modelo Negra or any lazy day spent indulging in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, that theory is high and outside, which is to say completely off. A brilliant malt bill can do just as much to enhance the flavor and craveability of a solid beer, which is why I’m happy to have come across a local baseball beer with a balanced roster of ingredients, Eye on the Ball West Coast Pale Ale. A new seasonal (Major League Baseball season, that is) from Scripps Ranch’s Night Parade Brewing, it pours a bright copper hue foretelling of toasty, biscuity notes brought about by rye and crystal malts. Those hallmarks of this late-nineties/early-aughts style meld with additional trademark flavors of pine and grapefruit zest, which come courtesy of classic “C” hops (Columbus, Cascade and Centennial). But unlike many West Coast pales of yesteryear, this beer is as dry as the crack of Manny Machado‘s bat connecting with a hanging curve. Pale ales don’t get more deep yet easy-drinking than this. It’s further proof that, much like the fans who are selling out Petco Park to cheer on this season’s scrappier (and dare I say more cohesive) Pads squad, it’s nice for a beer to have some support, in this case from well-balanced specialty malts.

Eye On The Ball is a dry-hopped 6% rye pale ale. This San Diego Padres-inspired beer has a nice amber color, a bright white head and lovely, earthy hop and malt notes on the first sip. As the beer warms, strong citrus hop notes come through more and more. With a spicy rye finish, this beer is a hit.”

Chuck Nation, Head Brewer, Night Parade Brewing
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