Beer from Here: Natty Greene’s Brewing Company – Southern Pale Ale
I’m a big fan of American history and got excited when I discovered Natty Greene’s Brewing Company when we first moved to North Carolina in 2012. Yes, I’m a history nerd too, and there’s a lot in the Tar Heel State.
College friends Chris Lester and Kayne Fisher began their quest to start a brewery in the late-1990s/ early-2000s by opening three craft beer bars/restaurants. In 2004, Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing Co. opened in a renovated three-story building at the corner of Elm and McGee Streets in downtown Greensboro.
So what’s with the name?
A general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, Nathanael Greene was born in Rhode Island and played a key role in several battles in the northeast. Greene was a close friend of George Washington and in late 1780 he was appointed Commander of the South. One of his first battles was the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in what is today modern Greensboro. By the end of the war, Greene was successful in pushing British General Charles Cornwallis and his troops out of the Carolinas. He was a national hero.
So there’s your history lesson. Now onto the beer.
Southern Pale Ale is one of four year round beers available in Natty Greene’s portfolio. Others include Buckshot Amber Ale, Guilford Golden Ale, and Wildflower Witbier. The brewery also sprinkles in four seasonals, and many small batch brews at “The Bunker” in the Greensboro.
The pale was golden-orange in color with a fluffy, two-finger head that was fed by visible carbonation. Aromas of pine and tropical fruit dominated, in addition to notes of sweet caramel.
Like the aroma, pine and resin overpowered my taste buds (in a good way), and a solid biscuit malt backbone supported the ale. A medium mouthfeel was also accompanied by a tangy, grapefruit zest. The brew ended with a touch of bitterness that screamed more pine from the lingering Cascade hops. A thick lacing coated my glass all the way to the bottom.
Simply put, Natty Greene’s has an easy-drinking pale on their hands, and one that is easy to find. Pick up a six-pack of this 5.2% and 35 IBU ale for your next football tailgate or crack one open when you fire up the grill this weekend. And take a moment to think about the history of America, and give a toast to General Greene and the other patriots that fought for our freedom and gave us the opportunity to enjoy craft beer today.
Southern Pale Ale and other Natty Greene beers can be found in bars, restaurants, grocery chains and specialty stores across North Carolina.
Brewery: Natty Greene’s Brewing Company
City: Greensboro, NC
Style: American Pale Ale
Availability: Year-round, draft and 12 oz. bottles