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I recently enjoyed a bottle of Coopers Sparkling Ale, so I didn't think twice about running out and buying a bottle of its stable-mate, Coopers Pale Ale. That's because I didn't have to, I'd bought them both at the same time so all I had to do was rummage around in the nether regions of the proxamkeller, pull out a bottle and plonk it in the fridge for a suitable cooling period. Even I can usually manage that.
Thomas Cooper was a methodist preacher who emigrated from Yorkshire to the Land of Oz in 1852 and within 10 years had formed a brewery in Adelaide, as you do. He had an innovative idea of capitalism, whereby he refused to sell his beer to pubs, insisting on selling it in bottles only to members of the public. Thankfully, his descendants smartened up a little and Coopers ales are available worldwide. Coopers is the last of Australia's old-established family breweries...which is sad. But, they seem to be going strong...which is good.
They do a range of beers including a Dry Stout and a Sparkling Ale, and most of their beers are un-filtered, un-pasteurized and generally left to natural devices. It follows that the bottled products are 'conditioned'.
Bottle conditioning means that some yeast is added to the bottle allowing it to continue fermenting. It also means that the beer is going to have a cloudy appearance due to sediment being present. This can put a lot of people off, but it's perfectly natural - in fact this is where the term Real Ale originates.
Pale Ale is self-explanatory really. A beer that is top-fermented is an ale, and if it's light in colour, then you have all the requirements for a Pale Ale. They're usually a light bronze colour and are influenced more by hops than malt.
Speaking of turning pale....
The owner of a pharmacy walks in to find a guy looking a little off-colour and leaning against a wall, shaking. He asks the assistant, "What's with that guy over there by the wall?"
The assistant says, "Well, he came in here this morning to get something for his cough. I couldn't find the cough syrup, so I gave him an entire bottle of laxative."
The owner says, "You idiot! You can't treat a cough with laxatives!"
The assistant replies, "Aye? Well he's been there six hours and he hasn't coughed once."
Back to the beer....
"With its fruity character, and robust flavour, Coopers Pale Ale is perfect for every occasion. Naturally fermented in the 'Burton-on-Trent' style, a secondary fermentation creates the trademark sediment that gives it its fine cloudy appearance. This cloudy residue can be stirred through the beer by tipping or rolling the bottle before drinking."
Being a tight-fisted git, I make sure all the sediment goes into the glass...I want every nanolitre of beer-related protein.
CPA pours a hazy, pale yellow colour with a half-inch or so of white froth which soon collapses to nothing very much, but still manages to leave a little lacing on the glass.
The aroma is mainly of citrus hops with a somewhat herbal tone. There are some bready notes, but not a lot, and it's faintly nutty.
It's medium-bodied, but the mouthfeel seems rather watery and thin. As for the taste, there's a touch of caramel malt, but that's soon overwhelmed by a citric hop bite - a definite lemon flavour. There's not an awful lot going on - the malt character is...um, lacking in malt character, and the hops seem to be focused solely on a citric note (although there is a subtle leafy tone in the background...somewhere). The finish is a little grainy with a slight dryness.
* The Verdict *
At 4.5% ABV, I have to say I was a little disappointed with this. It had none of the complexity of their Sparkling Ale, and nothing like the taste. In fact for a bottle-conditioned ale, it was pretty bland. Having said that, it's got to be better than the likes of Fosters (isn't everything?), but it's not an awful lot better.
A decent enough thirst-quencher, but I don't think I'll be getting a case in for the barbie season (which in Scotland runs from July 14 through to July 16...unless of course it's raining).
Would I drink it again? - Probably not.
What a great beer!!!
Firstly, I'm no beer expert. But I think I have good taste when it comes to beers and like to try a variety of different beers when I get the chance......hick....
This beer is not available everywhere. So far I have only been able to find it in Tesco's and Morrisons. The reason that I was looking for this beer in the first place is that I have made a number of the Coopers homebrew kits which have turned out great. So I wanted to try the real deal.
This beer is bottle conditioned. Meaning that when they bottle the beer they add some extra sugar for the yeast to consume and this carbonates the beer. This improves the taste and mouthfeel of the beer rather than force carbonating it like most commercial beers. I actually use the live yeast sediment from the Coopers bottle for my homebrew. You can mix this sediment into the beer before pouring it. I think this contributes to the flavour but it's a personal choice. The yeast is actually quite goodfor you. I believe it is full of B vitamins. So now you can justify having a nice cold one!!
Once poured into a glass it has a thin white head. This disappears after a few minutes and doesn't really leave any lacing on the glass. The beer is pale golden in colour. It tastes/ looks like a bit of a lager/ wheat beer cross in that it has a fruity/ citrusy smell and has a light citrusy taste. Pour it into a glass and it looks a bit like a hazey/ cloudy wheat beer. It is also moderately carbonated a bit like lager.
I really love this beer and can't recommend it enough. It's very refreshing and would be great for a summer BBQ. It's quite light for flavour and in no way overpowering. If you like lagers or wheat beers you'll probably like this. The only downside I can see is that it usually costs around £1.50 for a stubby 375ml bottle. The Coopers Original Pale Ale is 4.5% Alc but I think in the review heading it said 5.8%, that is the Coopers Sparkling Ale. Which, by the way is also a very good beer. I am bottle conditioning the homebrew version of the Sparkling Ale at the moment.
Pale Ale, 5.8 percent Alcohol. Brewed in Australia