Laughing Dog Brewing is one of those Pacific Northwest microbreweries you may or may not have heard of; located in the Idaho panhandle (way up north) in the town of Ponderay, the brewery has been making something of a splash in the PNW for their Alpha Dog Imperial IPA. This week, however, I’m interested in their Laughing Dog Cream Ale.
Here’s their process:
Laughing Dog Brewing’s Cream Ale is a traditional cream ale fermented with both ale and lager yeast, this gives us the creamy smoothness of an ale with a nice dry crisp finish.
We start with premium American grown 2 row pale malted barley, add a touch of German pils malt then Australian malt for color and flavor. Finally only choice Northwest grown Hops are added. After carefully fermenting for 2 weeks, we quickly chill the beer and filter.
It’s all-malt, and they don’t mention what variety of hops or yeast is used. No mention of alcohol content either, but around 5% by volume is probably a good guess.
Appearance: Pale, bright yellow and very clear—very lively with a huge head of beaten egg white building up, thick and rocky.
Smell: Grainy with a bit of wheat, light with a fruity note. A touch of earthy hops.
Taste: Earthy and fruity at first, brings to mind a green apple or a not-quite-ripe apricot, maybe. Nice depth of character, curious as to the hops (and the yeast) used… a bit of a bite. I keep coming back to “earthy”.
Mouthfeel: Light and crisp and just a hint puckery.
Overall: Crisp, light, gassy, and it reminds me of a homebrewed apricot ale I made way back when (in the mid-90s)—it has the same kind of earthy apricot character that I remember from that.