what: Golden Fleece Belgian Pale Ale
where: Quest Brewing Company
cost: $9.99 for a six-pack
ABV: 4.5 percent
Greenville brewery Quest is a part of the current wave of new microbreweries that are flooding the state with exceptional craft beer. Quest has started canning some of its beers, and its Golden Fleece has landed in Columbia.
The Belgian pale ale style is similar to English bitters and pale ales with its emphasis on biscuit malt character balanced by fruity esters. Hops usually play a background role in this style, supplying bitterness and only a small amount of flavor. The distinction between English and Belgian pale ales is the spiciness imparted by Belgian yeasts. Golden Fleece is fairly true to the Belgian style with a few exceptions. The aroma is surprisingly alcoholic given its low ABV, but this gives way to tasty, biscuity malt and pleasant fruitiness. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a hint of grapefruit from the American hops.
Golden Fleece is an outstanding example of this style and an easy-drinking pint — a perfect session beer for an evening with friends.
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