“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by staff writer Dan Wood.
Thanks again to a fellow beer enthusiast, I have managed to get my hands on one of the highly prized seasonal Proclamation Ale Company beers. In its typical silver pint can, dressed in the neutral prototype label, this beer is not much for the eye, so we will see how it is on the tongue. As a side note, Proclamation’s prototype label is very elegantly designed with their insignia and logo and a neutral color selection, placed asymmetrically along the edges of the label.
All we can gather from the label is that this beer might remind us of spring and that it is unfiltered. The ABV is only 3.2 percent, which is surprisingly low for an IPA of this caliber. Perhaps it will be a more complex IPA without all the booze and bite, which would be very intriguing.
When poured into a chilled glass from the pint can, The Sprout is a strangely creamy, light ochre color with a sudsy head that sticks around for a little while. The nose hits you with notes that you might be familiar with in the realm of session IPAs. Very sour tropical and citrus fruit forward with yeasty background notes and a slight vegetal component. The top of this IPA surprisingly does not confirm much of the nose; we will find those notes later in the middle. In the top, we are greeted with very clean, cool, and crisp notes with that slight vegetal flavor shining through. The middle is where we find the deepest parts of this beer that are difficult to dissect. There are some bread and buttery notes, there are notes of lemon peel and a balanced flavor from those tropical fruit forward hops. The finish is reminiscent of sage and has almost no bite or lingering astringency. It seems this ale has all the complexity of a finely tuned session IPA but without the heft or bite, making it ideal for the warm weather headed our way. This beer is delightfully crushable.
Start the hotter part of your afternoon drinking with this beer for sure. It is refreshing and not too boozy – the quintessential summertime sipper. Try this beer with anything that is popping up this time of year. Seasonal ingredients go well with seasonal beer. The Sprout would make a fine addition to any low-activity, white fish dish or shellfish as well as any green vegetable or citrus forward dishes. A chopped salad with ginger marinated shrimp and citrus vinaigrette would be an exquisite meal with the addition of this beer.
This is one of Proclamation’s babies, so unfortunately if you want it straight from the source, you have to go there yourself. But why not make a trip out of it on a beautiful day? Head over to West Kingston, Rhode Island well before the brewery opens, as they have been known to accumulate a line and then sell out rapidly. Proclamation Ales are highly valuable among beer lovers and traded like baseball cards. Trading is an alternative to going to Rhode Island, but you must trust your connection as poorly handling beer can degrade it rapidly.
In short, this beer was not what I expected, and I was delightfully surprised with the flavors Proclamation has been producing. From what I have tried, their brews are made with elegant attention to originality and quality.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.