It’s officially Padres Season Humans!!! In celebration of the first week of spring training we are reviewing a brew named after Mr. Padre himself, Tony Gwynn. The San Diego .394 Pale Ale was the joint business venture between Tony Gwynn and local Mira Mesa brewery AleSmith Brewing Co.
Brewmaster Peter Zien recalls meeting with Tony, stating “He wanted a light body and while he loved hops, he didn’t want a lot of bitterness. He wanted the beer to end sweet, not bitter.” – San Diego Union Tribune
AleSmith created a golden pale ale featuring a full American hop flavor and aroma with subdued bitterness and a sweet, malty finish. This particular pale ale was also designed to fill the gap between the AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale and AleSmith IPA at it’s 6% ABV. The name of the beer itself comes from Tony Gwynn’s career high batting average of .394 during the strike shortened 1994 MLB season, and to honor the city that Gwynn loved and played for. The beer was approved by his team and released on June 6th 2014, just ten days before his passing of cancer. A portion of the proceeds from this beer go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation.
Currently, efforts are underway to construct a museum at the AleSmith tasting room to commemorate the man who meant so much to both baseball fans and the San Diego Community. To find out more, check out the article on the museum right here on our website!
Appearance: The .394 Pale Ale pours a golden amber color with a small white head that dissipates quickly, fading to a ring that sticks to the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Unlike what would be expected from an American Pale Ale, the San Diego Pale Ale is highly aromatic, just like Mr. Padre wanted, with a crisp and citrusy hop-nose that is balanced by hints of sweetness. Hints of pine are also noted.
Taste: For its strong hoppy aroma, the .394 has a very light body. It has a very classic pale ale taste with a strong malt flavor that is complemented well with the hops. Not a strong or overpowering beer by any means, but just enough flavor. Crisp clean, almost sweet finish that leaves the drinking wanting more!
Mouthfeel: This Pale Ale is moderately carbonated with a light body. It boasts a clean, refreshing finish that is not too bitter.
Overall: This a very solid American Pale Ale that is worthy of its name. The San Diego .394 is a refreshing beer that has the aroma of a IPA with a solid malt body that is complimented with notes of citrus. Not too bitter. Great beer to enjoy at the beach or at the Ballpark. Great anytime beer. Thank you Mr. Padre, Cheers and go Friars!!!!
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