What better way to follow up a successful Zwickelmania than with an easy-drinking session ale? Even better when it’s locally brewed and comes in cans! With all of the other big beer events that have been going on sometimes it’s good to slow it down. And with today being the new moon, it’s only appropriate that today’s beer of the week comes from Silver Moon Brewing: their Chapter 2 Casual Ale.
While I wrote “session ale” above, I should note that it’s not quite a true session ale—using Lew Bryson’s guidelines of 4.5% abv or less, because Chapter 2 comes in at 4.7%—nor does the brewery necessarily want you to think of it that way. Let’s be frank: as much as I love a great session beer, they are not going to be the top sellers in today’s marketplace. Silver Moon recognized that, and wisely called this beer a “Casual Ale” instead.
And it is casual, a sessionable hoppy pale ale available in cans, with the intent of fitting into the “outdoor adventures” of the Central Oregon lifestyle. This beer is a great one to take with you when floating the river, snowshoeing, or even just having dinner with friends. Is it my favorite of their canned offerings? Honestly, no—it’s tough to beat IPA 97—but this is one of those underrated beers that absolutely deserves a second (and third) look.
(And a reminder disclosure: Silver Moon provided me with cans of Chapter 2 a while back.)
Appearance: Golden honey colored and very bright and clear. A nice pile of white head presents from a vigorous pour, with good legs.
Smell: Predominantly hoppy yet mellow with pine and citrus notes and a touch of savory Mosaic-like hop aroma to my nose (that green onion character). A bit of a tropical fruit salad undertone in the hops, with prickly pear and mango.
Taste: A resiny hop-forward character with green leafy notes over a very light pale malt body. That malt is soft and crackery, with a hint of wheat chaff. Hops have a fruit rind bitterness and finish with a light tropical juice note. Hops seem “big” but are fairly restrained from taking over.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and slightly watery presence and a touch juicy, with a Mosaic-like hop resin finish right at the end.
Overall: Light, pleasantly hoppy with the expected big juicy hop notes that still stay tempered by the lower alcohol and easy-drinking presence this beer projects. This does drink easy, and it’s well-suited to being canned.