Okay…I’m just going to say it. Three Floyds Brewing, of Munster, Indiana, may very well be the best, complete-line brewery in the United States of America. I’ve had a lot of stuff from a lot of different places. But from no brewery have I said “wow” at every sampling I’ve had. (Disclaimer: Dogfish Head isn’t exactly super-available here in Wisconsin, but I’ve heard the same of them)
After betting with my wife’s uncle on last year’s Hoosiers/Boilermakers basketball games (a couple darned good bets) where I put up a 12-pack of New Glarus if the Hoosiers won against a 12-pack of Three Floyds if the dreaded Boilermakers won, I came out with a lot of Three Floyds. GO HOOSIERS! Granted, it took almost a year for the beer to arrive, but c’est la vie. (To be fair, I also put up a 12 on the Old Oaken Bucket game in November…bad bet).
So after taking delivery of a 12 of Pride & Joy, and a 6 each of Robert the Bruce and Alpha King, I decided these need to be…professionally dissected. And since I just made and tasted my very own first mild, I decided to start with the Pride & Joy Mild Ale.
Appearance: (4.5/5) This is a nice-looking beer. That deep, copper-red sitting beneath a thick, foamy, pure-white head is something to look at. That head hangs around a while, and laces a bubbly, foamy lace down the glass as the copper stuff disappears. Eventually it disappears.
Aroma: (4/5) Probably the weakest point of this amazing beer. It’s…not mild. It’s actually noticeably fruity and hoppy. You don’t get much malt in the nose at all like you should. But you get plenty of citrus, and a little pine. It’s a very pleasant aroma. It completely misses the mark on style, but I think Three Floyds kinda does that on purpose.
Taste: (5/5) Style be damned, this is good. This simply isn’t a mild ale. It just isn’t. It’s a slightly-more-malty pale ale. There’s that hoppy, citrusy, fruitiness combined with just a little sweetness from the malt. This beer floats up your nose as it works its way down. Though the 42 IBUs (hop bitterness) is almost double the style standard, I just can’t help but…hold on, I need another sip…
Drinkability/Mouthfeel: (5/5) Hold on, I’m still drinking… Seriously, though, the balance in this beer is unexpected. An over-hopped mild…still balanced? They do it. Like I say, though, it drinks more like a pale ale than a mild. There’s body to it, but enough effervescence to keep it light on the palate, and in the gut. It would be easy to accidentally drink four or five of these.
Design: (3.5/5) I’ll be frank. There’s too much design. And that’s Three Floyds’ calling card. As a matter of fact, “too much” is what Three Floyds does on everything. But they always manage to make it work. But this is a very busy design that makes it difficult to see what it is you’re getting. The dark greens (despite the glitter/foil finish) are difficult to read against the black background, and I have no idea what is mild about a clown. But I guess that’s just me.
Overall: (22/25) By the numbers, this is far and away the highest ranked beer I’ve done on this site. And there’s only one beer in my fridge that I think goes even more beyond the greatness that is Pride & Joy and, guess what…it’s another Three Floyds. I’ll get to that one before long.
Honestly, I’m going to go ahead and question the concept behind putting a bunch of hops in a style of beer that is intentionally supposed to not have a lot of hops at all. That’s like dropping a Chevy 350 V8 in your Toyota Prius. But then again…how fun would it be to drop a Chevy 350 V8 in a Toyota Prius? Did I just solve my own conundrum?