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Texas Brew Review: Collective Brewing Project’s Pale Galaxy

Posted 11:21am on Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014

Sessions IPAs are all the rage these days.

Not quite India pale ale, not quite American pale ale, some brewers are seeking to keep the hop punch that IPA lovers crave while also maintaining lower alcohol like a pale ale. The combining of these two is no easy feat; brewing beers with more hops typically need more malt to balance, which means higher alcohol.

The trend has seen quite a spike lately with Founders, Lagunitas, Stone, Boulevard, Uinta and Firestone Walker all making one with most of those being new beers on the Texas market.

But really, the proliferation of the session IPA is just a reflection of a larger trend among craft beer: Lower alcohol. As craft beer becomes more popular, drinkers are treating it less like the occasional luxury and making it a drinking staple to be enjoyed often, and in quantity. People want to be able to drink more beer in one sitting, and a six-pack of 7-percent ABV beer can make you bad at math before you know what hit you.

Brand-new Collective Brewing Project of Fort Worth launched last week at Brewed and Pour House with its own session IPA. As a new brewery jumping into the market with a style that is becoming ever more popular, it could be a tad risky. Make it just like the others, and fade into the background. Make it not as good as the others, and get pushed aside.

Fortunately for Collective, Pale Galaxy draws an advantage in its truer resemblance to the India Pale Ale style than many of its national competitors. Some other session IPAs are dry to a fault. The flip side of including a lot of hops without much malt balance can make for a bitter, somewhat astringent beer. However, Pale Galaxy has flavors of bright citrus, grapefruit and still has enough malt balance to support an increased amount of hops. It hits right what you’d want from a session IPA, and sits at a modest 5.2 percent ABV. Best of both worlds.

Beer-style grumps might tell you that the session IPA is a made-up term and an excuse to put training wheels on what has traditionally been a love-it-or-hate-it style. However, it’s hard to fault brewers for wanting to push beer closer to the mainstream. Luckily for the folks at Collective, they’ll be on their way to getting new fans in no time.

SanTan launches in Texas: Arizona’s SanTan Brewing made its launch into the Texas market this week with events across DFW. On tap at Pour House, Flying Saucer, Bearded Lady and Brass Tap (just to name a few), you can also find cans of Devil’s Ale, Hop Shock IPA, Hefeweizen and the uber-refreshing Mr. Pineapple.

Best Little Return: The second annual Best Little Brewfest in Texas is Saturday from 3-7:30 p.m. in Old Town Lewisville. Tickets are $35-45. Info at bestlittlebrewfestintexas .com.

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