Drink Magazine

Brew Review: Southern Tier Live

By Blake

Southern Tier Live

I’m a big fan of Southern Tier Brewing Company. It all started when I got my hands on their prized Pumking. After that, I fell in love with their beer. Located in Lakewood, New York, the brewery is named aptly for the region of New York, a section west of the Catskill mountains and just north of Pennsylvania. Though the brewery itself is located near the Southern Tier region of New York. I’ve never had a chance to visit the brewery but I’m sure with the quality beer I’ve tried I wouldn’t be disappointed.

I ran across Southern Tier Live at my local brew store and thought to myself, might as well try it since I’ve liked every other beer from Southern Tier. It wasn’t until I got home and was reading the label when I noticed it was a bottle conditioned pale ale. Which means extra yeast is added that helps add carbonation and remove oxygen from the beer. Due to the presence of the yeast, the beer develops and changes slightly overtime and gives the beer added shelf life.

Southern Tier Live

One of the best parts about being a craft beer fan is that you never know when an unexpected surprise awaits. Southern Tier Live was just that, a unexpected surprise. A bottle conditioned pale ale, which utilizes 4 varieties of hops and 4 types of malts. This unexpected surprise has turned into one of my go to beers whenever it’s available.

Southern Tier Live

Serving Type: 12 oz. Bottle

Appearance: A loud ppppsssttt and quick rush of beer up the neck reminds me that it’s definitely a “live” beer. It pours a dense, frothy white head that bubbles for a few seconds after pouring. The color is a moderately hazed orangeish brown. In my experience with this beer, if u get crystal clear LIVE you have not received the best Southern Tier has to offer.

Smell: Nose is quite effervescent, nice hops up front, very citrusy and floral, a real pleasant aroma. The way it melds with the other aromas make it pretty solid. It’s simple straight-forward, but rather effective. Simply put it smells delicious.

Taste: Citrus and pine upfront, toasted malts, and a bit grassy at the end of the palate that carries into the aftertaste. The taste of malt is pretty well interwoven with the hops and yeast as a pale should be. It’s enough to satisfy the hop tongue and crisp enough to session. The bottle conditioning lends a yeasty smoothness to the beer.

Drinkability: With four hops and four malts Live is a easy to drink beer that’s worth it’s while. It’s definitely very sessionable with the alcohol at only 5.5%.

Overall thoughts: Now this is a neat beer. With Live you get a bottle conditioned beer that isn’t like most pale ales you will try. It’s well balanced with plenty of flavor, but very easy to drink. Packed with tons of great hop flavor, but with a wickedly light (yet alluring) body, it’s probably the most refreshing, yet heavily hopped, beers I’ve ever had.  A very refreshing cool drink on a hot summer day. Live is the real deal. Definitely my kind of pale ale.

The Southern Committee Rating: 8/10

Southern Tier Live

Availability: Year-round release
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company [more info]
Alcohol by volume: 5.5%
Bitterness: 64 IBU

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