May 20, 2016

Evolution Craft Brewing Crystal Row American Ale

I’m not entirely sure when I picked up this bottle of Evolution Craft Brewing Crystal Row American Ale, but according to the date on the bottle, I enjoyed it a month or so after it was packaged. And it hit the spot for the malt craving that I had this particular March afternoon, as well as providing a bit of rustic character I wasn’t expecting.

Crystal Row is a 7.2% ABV (45 IBU) American Strong Ale that is brewed with Pilsner and Munich malts, as well as English caramel, crystal rye, and roasted malts. The light-to-moderate hop bitterness in combination with the lightly spicy rye and overall malt backbone makes for a beer that is much more rustic and nutty that I was expecting — both traits of which I thoroughly enjoyed. The beers slightly elevated alcohol was masked well, but did provide the appropriate warming that was needed on a cold day.

I don’t know what I was expecting going into this beer. It’s lacking the typical sweetness found in the style and is, perhaps, a bit light on the palate, but I did find the rustic, malty nature of Crystal Row satisfying. I really wish it were a bit fuller, but in the end, it proved to be a beer that I would happily purchase again next Winter.