Boston Beer Works Fenway Pale Ale
This is a beer close to my heart - I played a role in the original design of Fenway Pale Ale and brewed it for many years while I was a brewer at Beer Works. It is still one of my go to beers, alongside Back Bay IPA, when I visit Beer Works for Red Sox games.
Beer Works started bottling the beer in the past few years. I visited their Lowell brewery and bottling line about two years ago - when Acquia was based in Andover - and they were still experimenting with their process for filling, bottle conditioning and more. This is the first six pack I have seen in stores, which says more about how far I live outside Boston than anything else.
Despite bottle conditioning with a touch of yeast, it pours with only a slight haze. Copper in color, it pours with solid carbonation and a good head. I get a fair amount of hops in the nose, although its clearly oxidized - with cardboard, bread notes.
Oh yeah, it tastes like Fenway Pale Ale - huge hop flavor right from the start with spicy, American hops - lots of pine and citrus. Its a little undercarbonated, despite the bottle conditioning, pushing the big hop flavors up to the front. There is some caramel malt and body buried in there, but you have to work to taste them. The oxidized flavors are apparent too, though pretty well masked by the hops.
For hop heads, this is a good local Boston beer, worth a try. But it lacks the balance and depth necessary to be a really strong pale ale - maybe its just missing the Red Sox game across the street.