Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Cascade Pale Ale

Stevens Point Brewery
Stevens Point, WI

Style: American Pale Ale

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Drinkable, but flawed)

I’ve heard more than a few folks refer to Point as the ultimate in shit beer, what you’d drink if they were out of Schlitz, Hamm’s, and Meisterbräu and the only other alternative was (gleep!) Bud Light. Mostly these were people who thought if they’d never seen a TV commercial for something it therefore must suck, because to be honest, Point’s flagship brew, Point Special, is no worse than any macro lager out there, and might be even a little better. Besides, Point is still independently owned and the oldest brewery in the Midwest, having been founded in 1857.

So when I was at one of the Midwest’s better beer bars recently and saw Point Cascade Pale Ale on tap, I was intrigued enough to order up a glass.

It slid before me just like any hand-crafted pale ale worth its salt should: a light-to-medium amber, sporting a snowy, semi-sticky head. Cascade hops are instantly evident in the aroma—in fact, it smells downright hoppy, probably from the dry hopping—and a deeper wiff reveals some malt on the far edges. It enters the mouth a bit too soft for a pale ale, and quite light and crisp. There are hops up front, but both flavor and bitterness are far too short-lived. The entire rest of the sip is watery, period. That malt I detected in the nose is nowhere to be found, even as the beer warms, and the palate can be equated to Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance: no body. (Did you just laugh right now? Because I’m slapping my knee with one hand and typing with the other!)

A nice attempt from Point, but after a promising start in the aroma department their Cascade Pale Ale falls short of even middle of the road craft pale ales. It is, however, far from undrinkable, and if you ever find yourself in a situation where it’s either Point’s offering or any of the Bud/Miller/Coors garbage—or if you’re a hophead itchin’ and twitchin’ for your next alpha acid fix in a bar filled with stouts, bocks, and Belgians—Cascade Pale Ale’ll do in a pinch.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on March 25, 2008.
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