Our second installment of Craft Beer to Cross the Border For takes us north to Wisconsin where we find the “gulpable” APA, Ride Again, from Lucette Brewing Company.
It wasn’t long ago that a journey through the cheddar curtain for the rare and exotic craft brew usually resulted in a trunk load of New Glarus Spotted Cow and maybe a few sixers of Lakefront Eastside Dark. While I would never snub my nose to the aforementioned beers, I will say that Wisconsin, like most of the U.S. of A, has also been experiencing it’s own renaissance in the brewing industry. Open a beer cooler in Wisconsin today and you’ll be bowled over with a dizzying array of choices from new and interesting craft breweries. Case in point: Lucette Brewing Company.
Lucette Brewing Company, named after Paul Bunyan’s lady-friend Lucette, only started making beer in 2010 and currently operates on a small-batch system, turning out 15 barrel batches in their Menomonie, WI facility. While their core offerings come in 16 oz six-pack cans, they also occasionally roll out some specialty Belgian ales in corked and caged bottles.
My focus today is on Lucette’s Ride Again Pale Ale. Let me begin by saying that it took one purchase of a sixer of this beer before I fell head over heels and ever since, its been on heavy rotation in my refrigerator.
Cracking a tall boy open, Ride Again pours a beautiful copper color. Right off the bat, in the nose you are greeted with a massive, perfumed orange-rind citrus aroma followed by a kick of woodsy pine. Tucked underneath all of this potent aroma, the malt still shines through with light whiffs of baked bread and caramel. In the mouth, this beer is unabashedly showcasing the hops. You immediately get oily citrus intermingled with dank pine. While the aroma is somewhat juicy, the beer itself is bone-dry, allowing the caramel malt to dance with a pithy grapefruit hop finish.
This is everything I want an American pale ale to be: gulpable. This is an exciting offering from an exciting new Wisconsin brewery. But, buyer beware! Before you go scouring the shelves for this one, give the brewery a call to check availability, as even their Wisconsin distribution is often very limited.