I'm downstairs noodling around in the Beeronaut control center… looking to update some DJ software on the old Mac where all my music files are stashed. Good evening to pop open a can of beer that I have purchased, and get around to reviewing it.
I visited Miskatonic Brewing Co., close by in Darien, when their tap room first opened. At that time, they seemed to need some more work on their taste and a few more QC tweaks. Well, since then, they've added a canning line and gotten into local stores. So it's time to pay another visit, metaphorically. Among the brands on the shelf is Shield Maiden American Pale Ale. Their description is, "A delicious malt backbone is complemented by Warrior, Equinox and Cascade hops which lend citrus and tropical fruit notes." That's from the description as posted to RateBeer.com. The text on the can is somewhat more florid, and related to the Lovecraftian theme of their brewery name.
I opened the can and was hit with a medium-strength note of pine and citrus American hops. There was a lot of foam kicked up when I poured the beer, atop a brassy malt body with just a little haze. Once the foam finally settled down, it left legs and clumps of foam on the side of the glass.
I tasted the hops up front. Again, the usual tropical fruit and pine of American pale ale. Bitterness is pretty distinct, at 50 IBU. The malt is there, with a bit of toast, but not enough to try and take over the hop-focused taste. At 5.5% alcohol by volume, it's easy to drink, and leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. A decent flagship beer for this brewer, with no drawbacks, and good to keep in your basic repertoire.