Seeing as I've tried almost all of the Steamworks brews on tap, on location, I figured I'd give one of their bottled brews a try. From what I remember, the IPA and the stout were delicious at their pub. I thought I'd pick up a six pack of the Steamworks Signature Pale Ale (alc 5.2%) and knock a couple back.
I was expecting a standard pale ale. You know, something like a Granville Island pale ale. I sniffed the brew, and it smelled a bit stronger than normal, in terms of its malt content and it actually smelled a bit sour. I figured that was just me and my sense of smell was off after a day of work.
After awhile though, the overpowering taste started to grow on me. It might just have been a weird batch, or maybe it tasted like that on purpose. Either way, the overwhelming malty flavour took away from the flavour of the actual greatness of pale ale. The beer itself tasted off, as if it'd been sitting in the fridge for a few months too long. Either way, it produced kind of a unique taste.
Halfway through the brew, I began to accept the taste of the malt, and as soon as I did that, it was acceptable and drinkable with ease. I'm sure if I knocked back more than a couple, I would have smelled like I was a walking, used keg tap.
What food would I pair this with?
Well, it's a pale ale, but it's a stronger pale ale. I'd pair this beer with food items similar to foods that I'd pair with a stronger amber ale, like a pasta with a heavy tomato-based meat sauce, or a meaty pizza.
Where did I find this brew?
I was at the Central City liquor store in Surrey, BC. You can find it in their Craft Beer section.
Overall, the beer tastes off, bringing it down by a bit. If the malt was brought down a bit, and I could actually taste the hops instead of just a hint, it would get a better rating. The overpowering malt taste isn't necessarily a horrid taste though, so it's still a drinkable beer. I wouldn't purchase it again, seeing as there are so many better options out there.
Oh also, beware as this brew has a heavy, lingering after-taste. It's a sipping beer for sure; don't chug it.
The Steamworks Signature Pale Ale gets a generous, yet mediocre 6.0 / 10