Beer of the Week: Monkey Paw Oatmeal Pale Ale

A rare and interesting taste experience

Oatmeal Pale Ale (5.4% ABV)

The majority of the beers at Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery (805 16th Street) are brewer Derek Freese’s realizations of owner Scot Blair’s outside-the-box ideas. A prime example is the East Village brewpub’s Oatmeal Pale Ale. In the brewing world, oats are almost only ever used to make stouts, making this a rare and interesting taste experience. The nose is thick with brown sugar as well as tangerine notes brought on by Challenger hops, while the beer’s flavor resembles a biscuit lathed in sweet orange blossom honey. The oats give the brew a buttery mouthfeel that resembles the creaminess of a beer on nitro, providing yet another intriguing characteristic for a beer that’s anything but ordinary.

Available at: Three kegs per batch of Monkey Paw beer make it to various accounts around town, so the safest bet for finding this or any of Freese and Blair’s brews is at the pub. Should this “freak show of a beer” (Blair’s words, not mine) tap out, Pineapple X-Press Extra Pale Ale or Sweet Georgia Brown English Brown Ale make for delicious alternatives.

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Restaurant reviews, food trends, top cocktails, wine, beer and generally the best eats and drinks in San Diego, with reporting (read: eating) lead by food editor Troy Johnson. Looking for the Erins? Erin Chambers Smith and Erin Meanley? Find their most recent musings over at the Around Town blog. And yes, we know that one needs a new name. We're working on it. 



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