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Belt's Beer Garden: Livin' on the Edge

Spotlighting one of Spain's best breweries.

This week I found two beers from a brewery I had never heard of - Edge Brewing.

After doing a little research, I found out that Edge started in Barcelona, Spain back in 2013 by two Americans. Since then they have exploded in popularity around the globe and were even named the best new brewery in the WORLD by Rate Beer in 2014!

From what I have found online, they are available in Spain, Norway, and now parts of America. However, I couldn't tell you exactly where in the US they're sold. So if you see them, you should probably grab the bottle.

I haven't had many Spanish beers...in fact, this is my first go around with any beer from Spain so I'm excited to get this started!

I was able to find their Flor de la Vida (a pale ale) and Hoptimista (an IPA made with Cascade hops).

edge

First up, I'll try their pale ale.

flor

Flor de la Vida is one of their pale ales. It pours a dark golden, nearly copper color with very little head topping the beer. There is a thin layer of sticky white foam that sits atop the glass but nothing more than a dusting really.

On the nose there is a strong caramel and piney aroma with a slight hop backing. Along with the pine, there are hints of citrus and some floral notes hidden in there as well.

When I tasted the beer, it stuck mostly to the aroma: a lot of pine and buscuity maltiness up front. Flor de la Vida also has a lot of carbonation that fizzes on the tongue initially. Once the bubbles sparkle out and the malts dissipate, you are greeted with a slightly floral and grapefruit tang that doesn't last nearly long enough (for my liking).

There is an aftertaste that lingers for a moment between each sip; a slightly piney, slightly bitter hop flavor. Packed inside this bottle are 60 IBU, so it can be a little bitter for some of you. It is also quite dry on the backend, making you want to grab another sip...if not just to wet your palate again.

Even though I didn't get a ton of foam resting on my beer, the small amount did a huge job lacing the glass; leaving thick rings and splotches fully around the glass. But at 4.7% ABV, this shouldn't affect your judgment too much...nor will it dent your wallet either. The 11.2 ounce bottle only set me back $1.49, so it's certainly not expensive.

Overall, this was an interesting pale ale. The huge fizzy carbonation and floral notes I got on each sip reminded me of a farmhouse ale, while the high bitterness and loads of malts almost made this beer drink like an IPA more than a pale ale. It seemed like it was almost a hybrid of beer.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. The price was certainly worth the risk though. 7.5/10

There are a few versions of Hoptimista out there. I found their Hoptimista made with Cascade hops...and I'm slightly excited to try it. This was one of the Top-50 new beers of 2014 according to Rate Beer...so I have some high expectations moving forward.

hoptimista

Hoptimista, much like Flor de la Vida, didn't have too much head when poured - just a dusting of clingy off-white, nearly tan foam. This one also poured a much darker color, as it was a dark amber hue.

There was a nice piney/woody hop presence in the aroma, as well as plenty of buscuity malts, but not much else.

My first sip was much smoother than the last beer, as there wasn't as much carbonation to this one. There was, however, a slight resin flavor and some nice caramel tones in this beer.

After the malts fade from your tongue, you get a pleasant floral and citrusy finish from the cascade hops. The hop finish lasts much longer with Hoptimista than it did with Flor. That tasty citrus/floral finish lingers through the aftertaste, but turns slightly bitter at the end (it does have 78 IBU after all).

Hoptimista isn't nearly as dry as, and has a much bigger body than, its earlier counterpart. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a West Coast IPA like they do, as it reminds me more of an East Coast brew, like a Victory or a  Southern Tier. But, regardless, it's certainly a very solid, very flavorful beer.

The 6.6% ABV is hidden well and, at $1.49 for the 11.2 ounce bottle, it didn't cost any more than Flor. It's a really good value for a pretty good beer. Would I rate this as one of the best beers from 2014? Probably not. Would I get it again? Absolutely. 8/10

Overall, my first experience with Edge Brewing was a good one. Their pale ale might have been a little too carbonated and malty for me, but I can't let that stop me from trying more of their beers. I am really interested to find, and try, their Eternal Sunshine (an Orange IPA...sound amazing!), Apassionada (a sour ale), and Space Coast (a session IPA). If any one knows where I can get my hands on those, please let me know!