One of craft beer’s finest pale ales is on PerfectDraft. Tiny Rebel’s Cali Pale Ale from the Welsh brewery is fresh from the brewery. We spoke with co-founder Gareth Williams to learn about the beer, changing tastes and what people can expect from the beer.
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 American classic style pale ales, such as Sierra Nevada. Palates have changed as people become more accustomed to hops
We thought that we needed a revamped pale ale, something that was more current, three years ago. 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. Time 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.
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 the 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 no bitterness, it’s highly hopped but balanced, with a grassy, floral element. Balanced and drinkability are at the forefront for that 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.