Beer of the Weekend #870: De Facto Pale Ale

I paid another visit to Big Grove's Iowa City location yesterday and had my growler filled with De Facto Pale Ale, brewed by the Big Grove Brewery of Solon and Iowa City, Iowa.

The color is very hazy (basically cloudy) amber with a honey tint. A finger of tight, bubbly, buttery, tan-colored head dissipates slowly and unevenly, leaving a frothy collar, spots of bubbles connected by skim, and lacing.

The aroma is juicy goodness. Wow! It is bursting with scents of sticky grapefruit, orange, zest, melon, caramel, light rye spice, and cherry licorice. It reminds me a lot of ReUnion's Juice Factory, at least in terms of how juicy it is. It has a zesty astringency but is also candy sweet.

The flavor is not as complex upon first sip. It is sweet and fruity, and the citrus astringency is in the background and slowly settles on the taste buds. There are flavors of grapefruit, orange, tangerine, melon, hints of tropical fruit (I get mango and maybe pineapple), caramel, rye spice, and light cherry licorice. The juiciness turns up a notch as the beer warms to room temperature. Now it reaches the aroma's complexity. Zesty, astringent bitterness lingers on the taste buds. The juiciness slowly fades, though, and the caramel and cherry licorice become much more prominent during the last half of the pint.

Fun facts about De Facto Pale Ale:

• Style: American pale ale.

• Price: $16 for a 64-ounce growler fill. This is much better beer and $6 cheaper than Brown Eyed Girl (though BEG may have been compromised since my growler's cap was loose).

• Alcohol content: 5.9 percent ABV.

• The bartender at Big Grove not only closed the growler's cap tightly, she gave me a sample of De Facto as a waited and wrote the date, beer name, and ABV on the cap:

She definitely deserved the tip, unlike the bartender at Twisted Vine.

The Quiet Man's grade: A-.

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