I feel like HBJ kinda raked ELYSIAN BREWING over the coals when we tried a couple of their beers a few weeks ago; our taste buds were not in the least excited by their mediocre tripel and their flat-out bad pumpkin ale. One worth giving a go, if only for old-times’ sake, is this LOSER PALE ALE, bottled in tribute to Sub Pop Records and their 20th anniversary this summer. I figured this was an exceptionally-limited thing, and it may well be, but I know this beer has shown up on tap in several places, so at least a few barrels of it were pumped out for consumption. Me and Sub Pop go back a long way – I was a charter member of their “singles club”, and got the first NIRVANA single in the mail when I was 20 years old, which I sold a few years later for $75 during the height of Nirvanamania, only to find it going for $600-$700 a few years later after Cobain killed himself (!!).
Presently, the LOSER PALE ALE tastes very simple and pure. It’s got fairly strong carbonation and a medium body, with light grapefruit taste and the unmistaken whiff of light hopping as well. Dark copper/red, a little more intense-looking than most pale ales – but looks can be deceptive, am I right? This is your basic pale ale, dime a dozen etc etc. I liked it, but not enough to stagedive and get in fights for. 6/10.