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Three Floyds Pride & Joy Mild Ale
Written by Noel
I’ve gotta be honest. When I first grabbed Three Floyds Brewing Co.’s Pride & Joy off the shelf at Trader Joe’s a handful of days ago, I wasn’t expecting much. I knew next to nothing about the brewery (all I knew was that I had heard of it)…and c‘mon…Mild Ale? In my mind, ale should be anything but mild. But I couldn’t argue with a TJ’s mix-n-match six pack, so it made the trip back home with me. On Sunday I took the plunge while the Baltimore Ravens opened up a can of domination on my hapless Chicago Bears. The game was so awful that the beer had more of my attention than the TV. Perhaps I should thank the Bears, then. I’m not sure I would’ve given the drink its due if not for their incompetence.
Pride & Joy pours, looks, and for the most part smells like your standard American pale ale should…just milder (fitting). A slightly lighter straw color. A distinct but not overpowering hop note when you sniff (after some research, I realized “mild ale” nowadays usually means “mildly hopped”). Some subtle citrus in the nose as well. Accordingly, this beer doesn’t punch you in the face when you drink it. Flavors aren’t thrashing your taste buds. And yet…they’re all still there. Hints of lemon and grapefruit. Just a tinge of caramel maltiness. Crisp and refreshing as it goes down. And the hops…robust yet subtle. How is that possible?
It struck me as I continued to sip–not under- or overwhelmed by the beer–that that was exactly what made it so great. Pride & Joy would be just as safe a choice in the dead of winter as it would be in sweltering heat. It’s classy enough for a banquet, but casual enough for your summer BBQ. It won’t overpower the pale ale newbie, but neither will it leave the hophead disappointed. You could sip a single bottle down over a few hours while watching the sunset, or finish a six pack with a buddy while watching a game. And while the flavors do an excellent job of softening the alcohol, the ABV of 6.5% gives it just the right amount of potency.
Fittingly, as I swirled the last bit of brew in the bottom of my glass and contemplated its glorious modesty, a commercial flashed on the screen, praising Bud Light for its “Not too heavy, not too light” taste and touting that “The difference is drinkability.” I guess Anheuser-Busch isn’t as full of false hopes and empty words as I thought. Just substitute Pride & Joy for your Bud Light and let the truth of those slogans soak in.
Grade: AThree Floyds Pride & Joy Mild Ale,