While in Northern Wisconsin over New Years I took full advantage of the “mix your own six pack” feature of the local grocery store. Its something I look forward to because for being in a fairly remote town, this store carries a decent amount of good craft beers. I picked up probably 12 individual beers, most of which I’ve never had.

This selection comes from the Angry Minnow Restaurant and Brewery in Hayward, WI.

I’m always intrigued by “brewpubs” and thought I’d give it a whirl.

The aroma of this pale ale contains very floral hop notes. The beer has good pale ale flavor without being too malty. Hops and their good friend bitterness reside in here but there is a definite caramel malt balance.

This beer is light amber / orange colored and medium bodied.

The hop profile makes sure to let you know they dominate this pale ale, and personally I like that. What I enjoy about pale ales is that they have a lot of leeway in terms of characteristics. The two major breeds of pale ales come from either England or America. Americans tend to hop up their beers, almost in typical, macho American fashion- which I find is a bit overdone in general, but on the flip side I say great, use the hops we are capable of growing consistently well and flaunt them. I think its much less the use of these hops (mainly Cascade come to mind) but the overuse of them that seems a little played out. In any case, I like each countries’ pale ales for their own reasons and enjoy this River Pig very much. I’d happily reach for this beer whenever I felt like a solid, hoppy but not too hoppy American Pale Ale. I bet its hard to find, but if you have the privilege of spending any time in Northern Wisconsin I would definitely recommend. Would be a great fishing beer.

ABV: 5.4%

Grade: B+