Shiner Haymaker 4.5% ABV
Extra Pale Ale
Shiner’s 6th in their Brewer’s Pride line is the new Shiner Haymaker Extra Pale Ale inviting you to “Celebrate the Day, Make Hay”. The bottle description says it pretty well:
Our light-bodied extra pale ale has a golden color, smooth malty flavor and clean finish. Cascade hops balance it out to create a truly refreshing session beer for those who know there’s nothing better at the end of a long day of making hay.
First off, for those among us who think IPA (India Pale Ale) when we hear “Pale Ale”, this is a different variety.
The American Pale Ale, as this would be qualified, doesn’t have nearly the hoppy flavor as you’d expect from an IPA. If you’re wanting to get kicked in the face with the taste of hops, realign your expectation before drinking an APA, else you’re going to be disoriented by the smooth character of the beer.
This beer is generally as it is described, though I didn’t pick up even an moderate hoppy aroma or flavor. While I wouldn’t expect it to be as strong as an IPA, I thought there would be more in the hops department. This beer is refreshing with some malt character to support it. For some, the malt support may be lacking, making this a bit flavorless. I’ve found it nice, especially to counterbalance hoppier beers.
If you haven’t heard of this beer by Shiner yet, it is very new. My Untappd checkin was only the 11th for this variety.
UPDATE: As of January 21st, I’m seeing 12-oz bottles in the wild as the “special guest” for Shiner Family Reunion mix-packs.
For more of a history lesson, by calling this a session beer, we’re kicking back to the Great War. In England, there were two allowed “sessions” a day for drinking. The populous sought out a beer that they could have more than a couple of, within a session, while still being able to go back to work or home without being drunk. Typically with lower ABVs (3%-5%), it would be easy to drink a handful of beers without being knocked out or in trouble when getting home.
All in all, this is a fine beer. It doesn’t tip the scales into my favorites group for Shiner, but I’d gladly split another bomber bottle with friends, buy a mix-pack including this, or buying one on tap.