And… it’s here. One of craft beer’s finest pale ales, now in PerfectDraft. Yes, Cali Pale Ale from the Welsh brewery Tiny Rebel is fresh off the line. To celebrate the release of Cali Pale Ale, we bagged an interview with Gareth Williams, co-founder of Tiny Rebel to learn about the beer, changing tastes and what people can expect.
How did Cali Pale Ale come about?
Cali Pale Ale was first brewed around three years ago. We had a pale ale in our armoury when we started Tiny Rebel eight years ago, but over that time pale ales have changed, I think all beers have changed over that time.
In what way have tastes changed?
We noticed about four years in that the beer industry was moving on, that people’s tastes were changing. There was a hunger for more hops than your classic American style pale ales, such as Sierra Nevada's. Palates have changed as people become more accustomed to hops.
Balance and drinkability are at the forefront for this sort of beer. But Cali Pale Ale is still punchy with hops.
We thought that we needed a revamped pale ale, something that was more current. We developed a new recipe, but we also wanted to up the ABV slightly. Everything that we’d made when we started eight years ago, was very much cask driven. Times changed, we started kegging more, and we wanted to make a pale ale for keg and small pack. We wanted to make a modern American pale ale with more hops. There’s a big hop profile in Cali Pale Ale.
What hops do you use and how does that affect the flavour?
When we developed it there was a new hop called Ekuanot. We chose it is because when we tried it on a trial batch, it had a very unique, woody, pine profile and tropical note. But it wasn’t your typical Mosaic and Citra which are very much fruit and tropical lead. This had a difference to it with woody and cedar notes. We created a different style of pale ale with it. We also use Simcoe and Mosaic, but Ekuanot is the dominant hop that gives it something different.
How would you describe it to people who haven’t tried it?
I’d say it was balanced, but still punchy with hops, but overly punchy. There’s little bitterness, it’s highly hopped but balanced, with a grassy, floral element. Balance and drinkability are at the forefront for this sort of beer. We didn’t want it to be a beer that you have one or two of and think ‘that was nice but I can’t drink another’. I think balance is the key to it, but it’s also very flavourful.
Buy Tiny Rebel's Cali Pale Ale, trust us, it's brilliant!