It’s always a major event when a brewery decides to release a new year round beer, as it not only isn’t a frequent occurrence, but it also is a major commitment for a brewery to make. Carolina Brewery has had four year round beers for quite a while now, but they have made the decision to expand that portfolio with their fifth year round release, Pamlico Pale Ale.
Pamlico Pale Ale is now available and it’s name was created in part because of the Pamlico Sound, which is located in Eastern North Carolina. A refreshing, crisp pale ale in March is a great time to introduce such a beer, as the weather is beginning to warm, though there is still a friendly bite in the air.
Pamlico Pale Ale uses Ahtanum, Galena and Cascade hops, and it checks in with a 5.2 alcohol by volume and 45 IBUs. Carolina Brewery’s Founder Robert Poitras spoke with byteclay.com about why now was the right time to introduce the Pale Ale.
“We chose this Spring season to bring out our new Pamlico Pale Ale because now is the time the craft beer consumer is moving away from heavy winter beers to more easy drinking beers. The Pamlico is crisp and refreshing and perfect for the warm days ahead,” Poitras said.
Time of year often can be a factor in the types of beer people drink. For example, the colder, wintery months usually inspires people to go with Stouts, Porters and darker beers in general, while the summer months push people to drink lighter, more crisp beers.
Before they introduced the Pamlico Pale Ale, Carolina Brewery had four year round releases. Those four were a golden ale, IPA, amber and porter. If you were to look at their portfolio and think about what else would fit with those four, a pale ale had to be at the top of the list.
“We have brewed several seasonally popular pale ales over the years and decided it was time to innovate and launch a new brand. Pale Ales are popular in the Carolinas and this flavor profile fits in perfectly between our award winning Sky Blue Golden Ale and Flagship IPA,” Poitras said.
Carolina Brewery is canning their new pale ale and it can now be found in 16-ounce cans where their beer is sold, in addition to half barrel and one sixth barrel kegs. One of the elements that makes this pale ale particularly interesting for beer drinkers is its high level of drinkability and the fact that it doesn’t overwhelm with a high alcohol by volume.
Industry trends Carolina Brewery sees was another important factor in making their decision to create this sort of pale ale. I’ve heard from plenty of beer drinkers how they enjoy hoppy beers, but not when it hits them over the head with it. Poitras also acknowledged that the 16-ounce can strategy for Pamlico Pale Ale is to help set the beer apart from the myriad of 12-ounce canned beers available today.
There are always certain meanings hidden behind every type of beer and its name, and Pamlico Pale Ale is no different. Poitras discussed the efforts and lengths they went to in order to find the perfect blend for their new year round beer.
“We researched our most popular pale ale recipes from years past, discussed the goals as a team with our brewers and partners and also brought in brewery consultants to help us fine tune this brand. We brewed 6 different test batches and sent each one to professional labs until we landed on the final recipe,” Poitras said.
The new year round beer has only been on the market for a matter of a few weeks, but there are still serious expectations for it to succeed. Poitras spoke about what their aspirations are for Pamlico Pale Ale throughout its first year.
“We want Pamlico Pale Ale to quickly become a top selling brand in our portfolio throughout the Carolinas and Eastern [Tennessee]. We sold the entire first canning run in a day, so if that is any indication, I think we will have a great launch year and many more to follow,” Poitras said.