Beer of the Weekend #842: Zoo Brew

The beer of the weekend is Zoo Brew, brewed by the Exile Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa.

The color is cloudy, pale gold. Two fingers of dense, bubbly, buttery, beige-colored head settles slowly and leaves areas of skim, a frothy collar, spots of thick and bubbly foam, and a short trail of lacing. The aroma is fruity and zesty with scents of lemon and orange. It is very bready, too, though there is not even a hint of caramel—which is perfectly fine since it allows the fruit and citrus to shine. There are trace amounts of grapefruit, mango, and pineapple, as well as something sweeter that I can’t put my finger on; perhaps it is a combination of all the trace fruit. Overall, the aroma has that juicy, sticky-sweet character of freshly cut fruit. The flavor is citrusy and tropical with flavors of mango, orange, lemon zest, bready malt, and pineapple. Kiwi also comes into play later. It reminds me a lot of Old Nation’s M-43, though Zoo Brew is not as intensely fruity. The sticky-sweet element emerges after the beer has warmed.

Fun facts about Zoo Brew:

• Style: Pale ale.

• Price: $8.99 for a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles at the First and Rochester “Drug Town” in Iowa City.

• Alcohol content: 5 percent ABV.

• IBU: 35.

• Every Wednesday evening in June, July, and August, the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines hosts Zoo Brew, which allows those 21 and over to enjoy adult beverages while viewing the animals. As far as I can tell, Zoo Brew the beer is not affiliated with Zoo Brew the event. Sadly, Zoo Brew is not even served at Zoo Brew; according to the Zoo Brew website, Bud Light, Budweiser, Busch Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Strongbow, Angry Orchard, Blue Moon, Summer Shandy, and Barefoot wine are available, all for $4 a pop.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A-.

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