Brew Review: Rogue's Juniper Pale Ale

By Jonathan McNamara

There is one election day ritual that I’ve missed out on twice now thanks to my decision to be a member of the press instead of the sit at home and watch our country’s fate on CNN crowd: the post-election beer. So when I found myself with some free time (as I was no longer covering the hell out of the elections), I rounded up some friends for a day after post-election beer.

“I need a little help,” I told our bartender. “What do you recommend for a post-election beer?”

The bartender said he’d be happy to help after he’d seen my I.D. (apparently I look like I’m 16) and eventually suggested that a bottle of Rogue Juniper Pale Ale would be the perfect draught to celebrate our new president-elect.

I thought our bartender was being helpful until I noticed the bottle. You see, according to Rogue’s Web site, “the Turkey was named the official bird of the Rogue Nation in August 2007.” As a commemoration of this fact or perhaps just as an excuse to put something zany on a bottle of beer, each 22 oz. bottle of Juniper Pale Ale has the phrase “Dedicated to the Turkey in each of us.”

“Oh! A turkey am I?” I thought. A lesser man would have grown angry at such a passive-aggressive insult. As for me? Turkey or not, I was too focused on the beer in my glass.

Tastes: like crisp, clean change. The hints of frutiness I would expect from the top-fermenting yeast were present, but in subtle amounts. Alas, my tongue was the only judge but what it detected was a well-crafted pale ale that is as complex in its flavor as it is easy to enjoy.

I got mine: At Tempe’s House of Tricks. One of these bottled beauties will set you back 12 bones, so best to make sure you have something nice to drink to.

Goes with: fish, poultry and grilled items. The “dry, spicy finish from whole juniper berries” ensures that this taste will not get lost no matter what you’re eating with it.

Verdict: If you think that ringing in an election is better with champagne, allow me to be the first to inform you that you’re wrong. Come on, now! What could be more American than toasting the leader of the free world with a tasty brew? Juniper Pale Ale did the job this election, but there may be a better election night beer somewhere out there. What were you drinking on November 4? Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy drinking!

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