Friday, October 29, 2010

Ska Euphoria

Pale ales have gotten a little boring for me. They're kind of like a beer geek's Amber. But, in pale ale's case, I have 3 that I really enjoy and are easy to get, Sierra Nevada, Boulevard and Lagunitas. I could really go the rest of my life and never have another pale ale other than those 3. I won't, but I could.

This is why I found it curious when my beery people starting filling up my Twitter feed with talk of Ska Euphoria and how wonderful it was. I really like Ska Modus Hoperandi, their IPA, but don't really care for their other beers. After reading for 2 days that Euphoria was really good I picked up a sixer when I saw it. After the kids went to bed, I popped one open, poured it into a glass and prepared myself for Euphoria. After all, with a name like Euphoria you have to be good. I was underwhelmed.

All the ingredients were there, a nice malty sweetness, some hop bitterness, a slight citrus flavor and a nice hoppy aftertaste. But, part of that aftertaste is a really bitter little pill to swallow bringing the whole experience down in a ball of flames. What's worse, that flavor is present in Modus Hoperandi it's just well hidden by the extra hops of the IPA. But, once you've had that taste in Euphoria, you can't go back to Modus Hoperandi. So, not only did I not really like Euphoria, it ruined Modus Hoperandi for me (for at least a couple of months).

Like I said, pale ale is a tough category with clearly superior beers. It's just not interesting enough to have a mediocre example like Euphoria. I don't understand why they would make a pale ale as a winter seasonal, but they can do what they want. I just wish it was better.


  1. I tried their Steel Toe Stout recently and thought it was a solid sweet stout.

  2. Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
    is still the universal champion. In this sector of the universe anyway.

    If my memory recalls.

  3. I saw this, too, but passed on it to pick up the last of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale. Looks like I'll pass on the Euphoria next time. Besides, down here in TX Sierra Nevada Pale is going for $12.45/12 pack.

  4. Full Disclosure: I am a boulevard basher.

    Comment: I don't understand how you can put Boulevard in the same sentence as Sierra Nevada and Lagunitas when talking about Pale Ale. Boulevard has got to be one of the most blah, mediocre examples of a pale ale out there. Haven't had the Ska pale, but agree their ipa is great, especially when looking for a canned beer to take on a float trip in southern mo. But Boulevard Pale...seriously?

  5. Andy,

    I knew the moment I wrote that that I would receive this comment. Let's call my like of BLVD Pale Ale the home field advantage. It was probably the first pale ale I ever drank and I still buy it and drink it occasionally. I do like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada better, but to make this post relatable to KC people I have to throw in Boulevard Pale Ale. It's simply what we drink around here. And Ska Euphoria doesn't stack up to Boulevard Pale Ale.

    I like Boulevard Pale Ale, it's okay that you don't. Plus I can't think of another pale ale that I ever buy.

  6. I love the Boulevard PA as well, and rotate it with SN as well. The only other Pale I care for is Founders, when I'm in the mood to kick in a buck or two more for a sixer.

  7. Full Disclosure: I have enjoyed beers with less than 20 IBUs

    Andy wrote: "Boulevard has got to be one of the most blah, mediocre examples of a pale ale out there."

    Here is a 4-star beer rating system the seems to be all too prevalent. I wonder if Andy is a subscriber:

    ****: ABV must be over 10% and the hop bitterness makes your forehead break into a sweat and your eyes water after the first sip; Some memory blackout should occur if more than 60 ounces are consumed in one sitting.

    ***: ABV must be over 8% and the hop bitterness makes the roof of your mouth numb after the first sip. You will make some comment that destroys a friendship or business relationship if more than 60 ounces are consumed in one sitting.

    **: The ABV must be over 7% and the hop bitterness makes your tongue numb after the first sip. Before 60 ounces are ever consumed in one sitting, you will become bored and switch to a four star beer, or J├Ągermeister.

    *: Any beer that is not over 6.5% or doesn't make something above the shoulders go numb.

    Depending on my mood or the meal I am having, I will favor Sierra Nevada Pale Ale over Boulevard, but the Boulevard has a fuller malt flavor that I enjoy.

    I enjoyed the Modus Hoperandi on tap a the Flying Saucer, but I haven't tried Euphoria. Although I did find two other reviewers who detected a metallic flavor.

  8. Muddy are funny, but I don't think I fit your mold. I'm a homebrewer and currently have the following on tap:

    belgian wit
    german hefeweizen
    belgian dubbel
    a relatively mild pale ale
    Rye IPA
    Oak aged imperial stout

    Just not a fan of Boulevard PA. It is as if they want to make it as safe as possible for mass their wheat.