Poor Pyramid. They used to be a staple of the PNW beer scene but they seem to be losing shelf space almost as quickly as they’re closing their Alehouses. Pyramid, along with the Widmer brothers, was best known for bringing the hefeweizen to the Pacific Northwest, as well as fruit beers with their ‘Apricot Ale’. You used to be able to find these beers in every store and gas station across the state, but these days they seem relegated, oddly enough, to specialty beer stores.
If I had to mark turning point for Pyramid it would be back in 2008 when they rebranded their classic, familiar Pyramid logo for a pile of hot garbage. This was especially egregious with their flagship Hefe which they renamed ‘Haywire Hefeweizen’ along with a redesign that’s reminiscent of the worst of 90s fashion. That same year they shut down brewing operations in their home turf of Seattle, Washington, and they shortly started to disappear from store shelves.
So imagine my surprise when I saw a Pyramid beer at my local grocer’s for the first time in years. Surprise surprise, it’s another citrus forward IPA, this years most popular beer trend. What they’ve done is take their established ‘Outburst’ Imperial IPA brand and throw in some orange and tangerine peels for the citrus taste. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well, we’re dealing with an Imperial IPA here, you’re going to have to do more than that. What we end up with is a funky tasting, hop heavy IPA that is hardly reminiscent of citrus at all. Nothing about this beer stands out to me as unique, special, or even solid. A disappointing return from Pyramid, and I doubt I’ll even notice when it inevitably disappears as well.
Mouthfeel: Thin and hoppy
Aroma: At least a note of citrus here.
Hops: Standard, heavy hopped Imperial IPA
Je Ne Sais Quoi: Not deliberately offensive