If you travel to the east side of Baltimore, you’ll eventually get to a huge, public space called Patterson Park. The park dates back to 1827 and, prior to that, was a key defensive position during The War of 1812. It even saw some action during the Civil War.
Today, the park consists of 137 acres, and is a vast space with lush, green lawn and features several attractions for visitors including jogging paths, tennis courts, a swimming pool, an ice rink and more.
However, the most intriguing of them is a 60-foot, Asian-style pagoda dating back to 1891. It was originally used as an observation tower for the city, but has since been restored in recent years, and is open to the public.
It’s worth a visit, but if you’re in the neighborhood, head about 10 blocks east to the Highlandtown neighborhood and check out Monument City Brewing on Haven Street. Much like the pagoda, their brewery and tap room is an old historic Baltimore building that has been renovated and restored into something amazing.
Sharing in this kinship, Monument city released Pagoda Pale Ale, a beer that pours with a dark gold color. It has good carbonation, and in keeping with a solid pale ale, has a mild alcohol content of just 5.5% ABV.
Originating in England, pale ales are typically very light-bodied, with pronounced hop flavors that can vary from nicely mild to VERY bitter (bordering on landing in IPA territory).
Pagoda Pale Ale is brewed with Cascade hops (floral and citrus flavors), and is double dry-hopped at the end of production, so you get a ton of beautiful, citrus aroma reminiscent of fresh grapefruit. The initial sensation is that it’s very smooth, and you’ll notice that mild grapefruit flavor in the aftertaste, as well as a bit of sweetness from the darker malt that is used.
Despite what you’d think by the strong, hoppy flavors, it’s really not overly bitter. Combine that with the light body and very manageable 5.5% alcohol, and it makes for a great day-drinking beer where you’d want a few beers in a sitting.
Definitely one I’d recommend to both the casual fan and beer geek alike, but if you’re not a fan of bitter hops, you’ll want to check out some of Monument City’s other beers.
Much like the historic pagoda at the park, I’m hoping Pagoda Pale Ale is around for a good, long time.