Grand Canyon Brewing Company Horseshoe Bend Pale Ale
Wow, that’s a mouthful.
The Grand Canyon Brewing Company is a fairly new brewery, opening in 2007 under the guidance of three brothers in Williams, Arizona. Each of their beers is modeled after specific places throughout the Grand Canyon, going so far as to try and embody the colors that can be found in each location. The Horseshoe Bend Pale Ale (as well as all of their other beers) is accompanied by a description of its inspiration:
“The Grand Canyon’s burnt orange cliffs are stained with long curtains of dark desert varnish. These colors, along with the green river and blue sky – dazzle the senses, and the Colorado, itself shimmering in the sunlight 1,100 feet below the overlook, is nothing short of hypnotic.”
The color of the beer was very pretty and calming to look at after imagining the glory of the Grand Canyon – though I personally have never had the pleasure of visiting Horseshoe Bend, I have looked out over the south rim and basked in the awesome immensity of it. I can see the resemblance, and I think it is a great marketing strategy to provide a picture of the inspiring place plastered on the label so one can have the chance to reflect on what might get them a little closer to one of the seven wonders of the world. The color is spot on, by the way, being a bright rusty amber color, slightly hazy while still cold; and the head was much more pleasing than any of the previous ales I’ve tried, building beautifully with plenty of carbonation and leaving a strong lacing inside the glass.
The smell was much more malt than hops, sweet rather than bitter. There were hints of fresh baked bread and caramel floating around, though very faint. This Pale Ale was rather thick compared to other pale ales I’ve had, and I really enjoyed it. It left a good feeling in my mouth and the aftertaste wasn’t sour because it was lacking a good build of hops, which I think it may actually benefit from should the owners choose to change it up down the line. Granted, the less hops for me, the better, but I am learning to love them and a few more in this beer may have made this my favorite yet. However, being one of the simpler beers I’ve tried in my 5-brew lineup thus far, it’s just not enough to keep me occupied long enough. I’ll give this brewery a little more time learning the ropes before I give it a more in-depth review.
Until then, I would probably drink this beer in the early spring, right as the snow is melting from the mountains and the rivers are starting to overflow with life after a long, dry winter. It warrants a refreshing hike and a picnic while wearing a scarf, preferably overlooking the Horseshoe Bend it is fabricated in honor of. Make sure you pack some light sandwiches or hot dogs, chips and salsa, and a good, rich pecan pie.