Those of you who have been reading B&WB for a while know that I’m a creature of habit, both in my daily routines, and in what I eat and drink.
While I’m constantly exploring the wonderful nooks and crannies of the craft beer universe, there are two beers I have kept in constant supply at my house – my go to dark beer, New Holland Dragons Milk, and Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale, my every day IPA.
As you can see from the image above, one of my darlings has been dethroned. Dales is dead – long live King Jack!
This change occurred before I realized anything was happening. I’ve been a fan of Dales for a long time, first drawn to it by the novelty of a good beer in an aluminum can (we’re going back a few years here), and then staying with it because it’s a solid all-arounder.
Dales has generous malt backbone and a nice hop profile that splits “piney” and “citrusy” right down the middle. It has a 6.5% ABV, making it not-so-boozy (at least compared to the Dragon), and it comes in cans, which makes it easier to cool, to store and take to the lake.
But Union Jack is simply a better beer. Its malt backbone is sweeter than Dales, and its hop profile is pure citrus joy. I have found myself reaching for it more and more at the beer store until I finally realized that it has become my hands-down favorite IPA.
Once I realized I had mentally moved on from my dear Dales, I decided to try one side-by-side with a Union Jack to see if there was any chance of trying to rekindle my relationship with my canned crush. You can see the outcome above. Dales was totally outclassed.
Dales was the first hoppy beer I ever truly loved and craved, my gateway into the land of IPA’s (and, yes, I know that Dales is a pale ale, not an IPA, so please don’t get all herpy-derpy about it in the comments).
Being the creature of habit that I am, it’s going to be difficult to walk past my old flame at the beer store as I scan the shelves for my new main squeeze, but we live, we love, we learn, and we change.
Goodbye Dales. You’ll be missed.
Now where did I put that bottle opener…