25 Mar Copperhead Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale by Tony
Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Bottles
It’s pretty amazing when you get a sneak peak at something. It’s even better when the experience is great, and the back-story is totally worth sharing! We met with Seth yesterday to taste Copperhead Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale. It’s a bit of a tweak from the last iteration, and it’s delicious. But as with most things beer-related, the beer is just the thread that weaves the story together.
Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale has some pretty rad artwork. The labels feature red, burgundy, and bright orange with Copperhead’s typical grungy, illustrative style. This one has, you guessed it, a snake tearing into a Kangaroo.
You see, Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale was initially born with another name. It was Yellow Tail Pale Ale, catchy, rhyming, and named after the yellow tails that copperhead snakes have as babies – a perfect name! However, Seth and Alicia got hit with a cease and desist from some big shot winery along with a poignant email, detailing that Copperhead was intentionally trying to damage their brand. Long story short, they changed the name, but there’s quite a bit that took place in between.
When you go to the brewery, ask Seth about this story, and let him tell you his reply to them. It’s hilarious, and there’s no way in hell I can do it justice in this post – you just have to hear him say it, rolling his eyes and laughing the whole time.
(A baby copperhead with a yellow tail. Photo credit: Virginia Herpetological Society)
Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale poured a light gold, and a little hazy. It had a smooth-as-velvet mouthfeel with lots of tiny bubbles. It poured with a tiny bit of chalk-white head, but the head scattered off like a snake in the bushes, and it left quite a bit of delicate lace along the walls of the glass.
I think there are mild beers and there are subtle beers. Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale was subtle in the very best way. The aroma of this sneaky little Pale Ale was super-bright and citrusy. Sitting at a subtle 5% ABV, it’s crushable, and just like a tiny baby copperhead, it could get dangerous real quick!
When you first take a sip, you’re greeted by those citrus notes on your nose and palette, and there’s a refreshing splash of the most subtle sweetness. That’s followed again, by a subtle bitter finish with some fruity, citrusy hop flavor nots that linger – Chinook and generous Azacca hops. Last time it was brewed with German Melon hops, but Seth wasn’t satisfied.
The last few weeks of beer in Houston have been filled with Hazy IPAs and the likes, and Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale might be able to join the convo. Copperhead’s not calling it a hazy this or a Northeast/New England that; it’s just a good pale ale. However, the bright citrus notes and recent events make it a relevant comparison. If you’ve had and loved Striker IPA (I did.) or Saint Arnold Pub Crawl Pale Ale, I think this would be a good beer for you. It’s much more comparable to the latter, though.
Kangaroo Killer Pale Ale’s another great beer from Copperhead. I’m giving it a 4 because as I take a sip, it’s refreshing and makes me sad I had to leave after just one. A second definitely woulda hit the spot.
I expected it to be a little more hazy and Northeastern, just because of the recent events I suppose, but it wasn’t as punch-you-in-the-face-juicy as those, although there were definitely some subtle, comparable, notes. That’s not a discredit to the beer, just faulty expectations on my part.
Seth brewed up 30 barrels of the Kangaroo Killer, and it went half and half kegs and bottles. It’s going to be a regular rotation, but with ever increasing demand for Striker (and rightly so) and the recent drought of Medusa, it’ll probably dry up soon, and you’ll be left wishing you didn’t sleep in.
They’re about to double up their capacity in the next few months, and Striker (and other hop-forward offerings like Kangaroo Killer and Feeding Frenzy) will move to cans soon. That little beauty up there to the right is their can mockup.
They’ve got 10 cases on hand, and sales start at noon, but there’s a two 6-pack per person limit, so bring a friend. Or don’t. Some folks will call you shady for hogging all the beer when they get left out because they didn’t show up early.
This beer is great. I think once word gets around, it’ll be another highly-demanded ale just like Striker, (which recently got cold-box mandated in Houston HEB’s). Did you have the last iteration of Kangaroo Killer, with the German Melon hops? How’d you like it? Let us know in the comments below. Beers to you, Houston.
KANGAROO KILLER PALE ALE UPDATE 5/25/2017:
So, this is the new batch that is a little different. Seth used the yeast from Feeding Frenzy. He’s planning on repitching the yeast between these two beers, and he double dry hopped this batch. He said it will be ready for crowlers this Friday (5/26/2017) and maybe bottles this weekend.
Beers to you, Houston!