Austin Beerworks Pearl Snap and Fire Eagle: Yes we can’t
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 08.16.11
Pearl Snap is one of the most place-appropriate beer names ever. Pearl Snap. You feel good saying it. I’m wearing a pearl-snap shirt right this minute, and not just for a tasting of six-packs from Austin Beerworks.
The canned version of Pearl Snap I bought for $7.70 a six-pack from cases on the floor at Spec’s was different by a full level from the draft version I drank at the Grackle, which I thought was rounder than your usual dry pilsner-style beer, balanced and as pale yellow as a honeysuckle blossom. The kind of beer that doesn’t need brass-knuckled hops to announce itself.
In the glass at home, it’s soapy and flat, and I can taste the metallic twang of the can in every sip. I say this out of hope that a local brewer might draw any kind of constructive and actionable lesson from it. I know that Lee Nichols of the Chronicle and I Love Beer doesn’t want me to say anything bad about local beer. He threatened me with vengeance from the bottle’s death’s-head mascot when I described Jester King’s Black Metal Stout as “surprisingly dull-witted, so out of balance you'd think it got drunk on its way out of the bottle.” But we wont get anywhere just patting each other on the back.
A six-pack of Fire Eagle American Pale Ale from Austin Beerworks is a happier story for me, and not just because I haven’t had a draft version against which to take its measure. Fire Eagle (also $7.70 for a six-pack at Spec’s) is sharp and fruity, with a lingering creamy head and a drying finish. I’m still getting some metallic notes, but the hops knock them down to white noise.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)