Bend, Oregon’s Silver Moon Brewing has been re-tooling their lineup for 2017 (which I wrote about here) and this week they’ve formally announced the launch of their latest canned beer, Mango Daze Pale Ale. This is a new, stronger version of their original Mango Daze Session Ale. The new version is 6% abv (previously it was 4.6%) and brewed with mango puree from Oregon Fruit Products’ Fruit for Brewing line.
It’s an interesting move putting a fruit beer into the year-round core lineup. It’s possibly risky; fruit, even the purees from Oregon Fruit, is a seasonal product and there can be variations from batch to batch. When the recipe has to be locked in per regulations, the amount of fruit cannot be adjusted, for better or for worse. (I don’t know if this applies to Mango Daze specifically, though for instance Burnside Brewing in Portland runs into this with their Sweet Heat—if the batch of chilies they are using is hotter than normal, they still have to use the same amount the recipe calls for instead of adjusting.)
But fruit-infused pale ales and IPAs are hot right now, with a number of breweries launching their own versions, so this makes sense for Silver Moon to upgrade their Mango Daze similarly. And the cans are beautiful; I really like the design and colors on them:
Full disclosure, the brewery gave me a six-pack last week and I’ve drank several. So, without further ado, here are my tasting notes and thoughts on the beer itself:
The beer pours a hazy, cloudy orange with an ample off-white head. Aromatically it’s fruit-forward with a slightly hoppy edge to the mango juice character that wafts off of it. It actually tends toward subtle to me in smell, with additional notes of mango peel and prickly pear rounding it out. The hops are lightly spicy, and underneath it all are toasted cracker malts.
The first sip reveals a light mango flavor with an herbal bitter hop profile—kind of a Dole juice mixed with green tea impression perhaps. The hops add a savory bite in true American pale ale style, and there’s a clean, crackery malt profile backing it up. The mango fruit juice character comes out more as it warms, and the medium body leaves a bit of a hoppy and mango aftertaste.
It’s crisp and bracing and I can imagine will be refreshing come summer and hot weather. Honestly though for me… I wish it had more mango character, and less hops. But that’s me—if a beer is advertised with fruit, then I really want to taste the fruit. Here I find the mango and the hops clash a bit for my palate.
However, talking to some other people who’ve tried it, it’s apparent there are some who taste a lot of mango, and some like me who don’t get as much. So, your mileage may vary and all I can say is, try it and see for yourself.
It’s on the shelves now, and will be year-round. You can’t miss those cans!