Hoppy Xmas Countdown – 13 Dec

We’ve officially passed the halfway mark on the Advent Calendar of Beer. It’s been a lot of fun so far. Thirsty work but someone’s gotta do it right?
Today’s beer is a new-ish addition to a well established brand, and one that I just hadn’t got around to reviewing until now.

Name: Cape Pale Ale
Brewery: Jack Black’s Brewing Company
Country: Cape Town, South Africa
Style: Pale Ale
Rating: 3.75 / 5

Jack Black opened up their very own brewery earlier this year (after contract brewing for years) and along with that came a new brewmaster, a bunch of new beers and redesigned packaging. The Cape Pale Ale is one of the new additions (along with the Weiss and Pilsner).

The beer is in the smaller sized bottle, 340ml which somehow always disappoints me. I’m not sure why – a can of 330/340 doesn’t faze me but somehow smaller bottles do. Maybe I’m just greedy :-p


The beer pours a bright gold and gives a good whiff of nice fruity hops. But surprisingly, the aroma settles into a something a little more akin to a lager, so bready with some slight sulphur. It’s got some decent porous head which lasts pretty well.

Pale ales are meant to be sessionable and easy drinking while still delivering on flavour. This one does just that. It’s actually more bitter than I originally expected (and contrary to the settled aroma) but in a lovely way. Very balanced while still giving the hops the centre stage. There’s a couple of citrusy, zesty flavours in there which is great.

The only detraction for me is the dissipating aroma. It’s such an important part of beer, that I would have liked to see it linger a little longer. Otherwise, lovely beer. I’d love to try it on tap.

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