Everyone should have a go-to beer for that very specific moment which runs over and over again and requires something just totally perfect. Of course experimenting with new beers is amazing and fun, but you always need that one beer which you know will never let you down and will always perform exactly the way you want it to. Its hot outside, your palate is dry, and you are thirsty for a beer – my go-to is, and for a very long time has been, the Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing. And for good reason.
There are lots, actually tons of thirst quenching IPAs, Pale Ales, Pilsners, Weissebiers, etc which will all quench your palate exceptionally well. But the Liberty Ale is my staple beyond any other beer I have ever tried when I have this specific goal in mind. Its immaculate balance, complex yet sublime simplicity, and elegant flavors come together to create a beer which is exactly what I need when I need it – really nothing else would do the trick; and there are several reasons for this… First of all, ease of purchase is very important for your go-to beer. The Liberty ale is brewed by Anchor Brewing, one of the United States most historic and founding craft breweries; and as such is available through almost all of the country. In Ontario it is also available at almost every LCBO that has a reasonable beer selection. So thankfully, it is not hard to find. Also, it comes in a 650ml bottle rather than a 341 or 355ml bottle. This way you can fill yourself a proper pint glass and ensure you have enough of the goods! Its also only $3.90 at the LCBO, so its not going to break the bank.
Most of all though, it tastes and feels amazing. Lets take a look. The Liberty Ale was first brewed on April 18, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s historic ride. It is of course brewed only with the finest malts, fresh whole hops, and a special top fermenting ale yeast. This beer is 100% naturally carbonated by a process called bunging which gives the Liberty Ale a distinct crisp lightness in your mouth. Its not aggressive and champagne like, it just seems to be more precise and strategic than typical carbonation.
It pours smoothly forming a pillowy white head immediately which will build to an inch and a touch of sturdy white foam on top of your beer, bursting with air and life. The Liberty Ale sits contently crisp and transparent, glowing a golden straw color fuming with bubbles streaming up the center of the beer. The nose is fresh and filled with citrus, hay fields, bright earth, grapefruit, crisp hops and a light touch of pale malts. It smells very clean and refreshing – a pure indicator of what’s to come.
When the Ale hits your palate first light sweet pale malts and the crisp freshness of west coast hops float across your tongue and cheeks elegantly showing tinny and elaborate carbonation. Immediately the mouthfeel is superb; its very light on your tongue but it definitely has a strong presence allowing its flavors to do their job. Its as if the beer floating in only the bottom half of your mouth somehow fills the entire thing.
In comes a bright floral splash of citrus hops, biscuit and bread, light grapefruit-like spice, and a dry malt and hop finish. This beer is not overwhelming or to complex, but it does have a beautiful array of flavors that work so perfectly together that they can really only be described as liberating. Its finish is so clean and crisp, along with the amazing mouthfeel creating a beer that perfectly quenches, refreshes, and scrubs your palate clean. I love the fresh simplicity of the pale malts here, they speak out to easily and create such a clean light caramel and honey malt flavor that you will want to come back to it again and again!
The Liberty Ale is an amazing beer on its own, but shines with so many food dishes. Anything with grease, cheese, dough, or spice will be lifted to a new level with the Liberty Ale. One of my favorite combinations is a fresh off the grill hamburger with lots of toppings. Or a thick juicy steak and baked potato. Or Pasta with Carbonara, or Vindaloo, or chicken wings, or so much more!
I’ve never had this beer on draft, however I hear that it is available some places in the U.S. so I will be hunting for it! And trust me, you should too…