Westbrook Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Single Hop: Pacific Jade Rye Pale Ale
I’ve talked before about my less-than-enjoyable visits to Westbrook Brewing down on South Carolina’s coast. But whatever reservations I have about the facility itself, the same can’t be said about the products they put out. With a little more than a year under their belt, the brewery has continued to put out an increasingly-impressive line beers. One of their latest releases is (I believe) the first in a series that will explore single hopping, starting with Pacific Jade.
A sessionable rye pale ale, the beer uses a new hop strain from New Zealand, which is becoming a mecca of new hop strains lately. The hop is marketed as having a spicy and citrusy flavor to it, which seems smart considering it’s used with a rye pale ale.
The beer has a hazy orange color to it with two fingers of a pillowy head on top. Nice lacing and a bit of alcohol legs as well.
There’s a really great smell to it which, to me, resembled ripe, rich starfruit. There’s a bit of an orange juice smell and other juicy citrus, with a very slight astringency and a slight black pepper note. There’s a slight bite from the rye, but not much.
The starfruit really pops on the tastebuds, and the carbonation pinches the insides of your cheeks. Really rich orange juice and grapefruit notes are very present as well. It’s got a very smooth mouthfeel and a bite from the rye, which is much more prevalent than on the nose. The rye is balanced out really well by the citrus in the hops. There’s a slight bready malt note on the back. Overall, extremely easy drinking.
Westbrook seems to be always trying something new. There’s usually one or two new releases hitting the shelves every couple of months, with each seeming better than the previous. I love single hop beers and being able to deconstruct the specific ins and outs of each hop on its own. If Westbrook keeps up with this series, I’ll keep coming back for more.