I love a bit of history on a beer label – those James Squire’s labels that told the story of the convict-turned-brewer were great (and I also loved that the story was split over six labels, so you had to find all six to complete the story).
The first thing that caught my attention with this bottle of Anchor’s Liberty Ale was the historical references on the label. Actually that’s not true, it was the second thing that caught my attention – the first was the rather cute squat little bottle itself.
The label states that this beer was first brewed on April 18, 1975. That’s great, gives you an immediate sense of history. It’s something Coopers should consider doing in Australia because, in terms of history, they’d crap all over virtually any other brewer of good beer in the country. They should be capitalising on that.
The Liberty Ale’s historical references don’t stop there either. The beer was first made to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s drunken “the British are coming” ride. It also claims to be the first modern US IPA brewed since Prohibition which, considering that US beer was crap for ages after “The Great Experiment”, seems entirely plausible.
Compared to those US IPAs that have come since, this is a fairly mild affair. There’s light pineyness on the nose, and that carries through onto the flavour as well. But I also detected some spicy-yeasty characteristics that made me think of Belgian ales, which was weird.
Even though other IPAs have passed this one by, that’s not a bad thing. For the Liberty Ale is still a pleasant beer to drink – and there aren’t too many US IPAs that you could easily drink several of in a session.