what: Ascensus Pale Ale
Last year, Conquest Brewing provided a totally exclusive beer to the Heroes In Blue’s Knight of Honor gala. (See On Tap for event details.) Well, they are generously back at it again with an updated recipe of last year’s Ascensus Pale Ale that is even better than the last. This year’s Ascensus pours golden and deliciously hazy. Brewer Matthew Ellisor really focused on the hops here by hop-bursting (basically adding lots and lots of hops late in the brewing process) with Falconer’s Flight hops to give it a big, heady aroma but not make the beer itself overly bitter. There’s a great sense of pine and mango and maybe even a little peach. It’s effortless to drink and yet one of those beers you want to slow down with and really take in all the flavors. The ABV is down this year as well to a highly drinkable 4.8 percent.
The Latin “ascensus” means rising or heavenward, and that is certainly a great way to describe this beer as well as tribute to the spirit of Heroes In Blue.
Conquest will also be providing the latest batch of their saison using a house yeast strain they have been developing, and of which Ellisor is rightly proud. The saison has a dry finish and very little of the barnyard funk that can scare newcomers away, making it a terrific gateway into the style. They will be muddling it with fresh blueberries if you like. (Try it both ways. Neither will disappoint.) — Tug Baker