If you’re into beers, you know that Belgian-style ales really don’t fit neatly into typical beer styles. The Belgian Ale category – for example – represents those ales under 7% abv that do not fit other categories. They just don’t fit in … and that can’t be good for a beer’s self esteem.
Enter Saint Arnold Brewing and their Icon Belgian Pale Ale. In creating this brew, Brewer Sam Wright stated “I was going for an approachable Belgian beer that people could drink more than one of. I wanted to make a beer that used ingredients from disparate brewing traditions that worked well together.” With British crystal malts, Chinook and Saaz hops and Belgian yeasts, I think he’s on to something.
So I poured this puppy into my trusty pint glass and was greeted with a hazy amber/copper color, topped off with a finger’s worth of frothy, spongy head that left some lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles and a faint aroma of caramel and bready malt with a piney/floral touch. Flavor was bready with hints of molasses a bit of those Chinook bittering hops on the finish. The body is medium, though as previously noted, nicely carbonated, and finishes dry and crisp. The guys at Saint Arnold set out to make a mash of different brewing traditions with these ingredients, and what they’ve given us is a extremely drinkable ale that will probably pair well with meals. 4/5 – Joel