I’m a sucker for beers with a cause, especially ones that hit close to home. As half of my family lives Williamsburg and the other half lives in Richmond, the congested I-64 ‘holiday’ travels usually pushes me out to Route 5. This road has been constantly updated over the years with the addition of the Capital Trail, which is a separate bike/walk path that stretches from Jamestown to Richmond. The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation has been funding the entire operation and they are about 100 days away from completing their multi-year project. While they are still raising money to pay for everything, Hardywood stepped in and donates money they make from their seasonal flagship beer to this foundation. And now that this beer is back in stores, it is just the right time to write up an review on it.
Capital Trail Pale Ale, Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond, VA)
Pale Ale, ABV: 5.6%, IBU: 50
Presentation: Can pour into tasting glass, rest into mouth. Just like their other canned beer, this is one that can be enjoyed poured into a pint glass, but does not lose much straight out of the can. For the review, we checked appearance and smell in a tasting glass.
Appearance: Light to medium orange color, slightly darker than most pales. Head was white and stood about 1 finger high and dissipates easily. Head did not get in the way drinking out of can, which is a plus.
Smell: Traditional pine/grass and citrus on the nose apparent from the tasting glass as well as the can.
Taste: Very crisp with hops kicking in towards the middle, but not very pronounced. Clean throughout, the dry-hopping gives the ‘green’ taste to it in the middle half.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Very, very clean and balanced. ABV slightly present as well as the IBU. While it is not weak or watery in any way, shape, or form, it is extremely drinkable and the flavor notes do not stick around, giving a perfect reset to the beer.
Overall: Charity work aside, this is a great summer beer for a variety of reason. One, it is not heavy nor does it not have any massive hop flavors that would weigh down in the heat. Second, it is balanced and tasty right out of the can, a quality exhibited in other Hardywood beers. Lastly, it has a lower ABV, so picking up that 6-pack for a concert, camping, or beach cooler will not knock you over after a few. I’m putting this in my rotation this summer and y’all should too, cause this is a seasonal release and will be gone when the temperature shifts again.