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Cascade Brewery Co | Pale Ale

Cascade Brewery Co
Lindsay Snyder

When I travel, I have two priorities – try the beer, and learn something new. I managed to do both at the same time on my most recent trip even further down under, to the charming, historic, unknown little island state of Tasmania. Tassie is home to only 500,000 people, but somehow also 2 million sheep and a smattering of wallabies, echidnas, tasmanian devils and platypuses – some of which reside in the river behind Australia’s oldest brewery – Cascade Brewery Co. Founded by a convict back when that was the only way to get to Australia, Cascade has had the same pale ale recipe since 1824, so naturally I had to try it.

In typical Aussie fashion, this ale is more reminiscent of a lager to me – it pours a golden champagne color with a light lacy head. The malty sweetness is more pronounced than any sort of hops, and there’s a hint of euro-style grain and a smooth, unimposing finish. It’s a good partner for an evening spent with the sheep, taking in the gorgeous Tasmanian landscapes and dreaming of hiking the mountain in the distance.

Yes, this pale ale is more of a lager to modern day standards, but can you really expect a beer that pre-dates even the oldest American brewery (Yuengling, 1829, if you were wondering), and therefore pre-dates all of the associated vocabulary, to match our new-fangled terms? Considering their extreme remoteness – an island state that most Australians haven’t been to, let alone the rest of the world – it’s a feat that they use some of the same terms in the first place.

This wasn’t my first trip to Tas, and it won’t be my last. A place that serves history, great beer and possible platypus sightings warrants multiple return trips in my book.

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