It’s always nice to see new beer in my local liquor stores. There are so many wonderful beers being made these days, a beer geek like myself relishes the opportunity to try something new. Although most of this author’s favorite beers come from the UK, it’s still good to see more American beer here in Alberta. The reason it’s so nice to see new stuff is because there are so many worthwhile products on the market and it’s always good to see one of those beers on your shelf.
This influx of new American beer has given me the opportunity to try what’s becoming an iconic beer style, the American amber ale. Established in 1996, Coronado Brewing started out as a brewpub in Coronado, California. It wasn’t long before the brewery began distributing beyond their own doors, starting with Hotel Del Coronado. In 2003, Coronado Brewing entered a relationship with a local distributor putting more of Coronado’s beer in the hands of local beer lovers.
By 2012 demand for Coronado’s beer was such that a 22,000 sq foot brewery was built in San Diego, allowing the brewery to distribute beyond California’s borders. Their new facility includes a 25 tap tasting room and will come equipped with a cask station and a nitro tap. You’ll also be able to stock up on your favorite Coronado beer, glassware, and apparel.
Today, four of Coronado’s core beers are available in Alberta in 650ml bottles. Mermaid’s Red is a slightly hazy beer somewhat the color of peaches. Streams of pinpoint carbonation support a fluffy, cream colored head with decent retention.
Hops leap from the glass giving lots of resiny pine needle hop character. Hops are supported by malt, giving a sort of caramel nose. Caramel provides decent support for the hops. Aroma seems at first to be a little straightforward but the combination of hops and malt give the nose a pleasant sort of character.
Mermaid’s Red is a decently medium bodied beer whose slightly buttery mouthfeel is cut by a not unpleasantly mouth coating carbonation. Mermaid’s Red starts off with a caramel malt sweetness but is quickly bolstered by more American hops. Again we get an almost mouth coating pine resin carrying you through to the beer’s finish.
Under other circumstances a beer like this could be simplistic and lacking in character. Coronado Brewing however, gives its Mermaid’s Red flavor, character, and balance just by giving you the right flavors of malt and hops. Overall this is a nice tasting, well balanced amber ale. Give it an 8.35 out of 10. This would be a nice beer to have with something spicy and Mexican.