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Brad Darnell's picture

Judge’s Review: 72 Rating - Old Gold by Grain Theory

January, 2023

Old Gold

Old Gold

United States
Old Gold, Grain Theory

Old Gold is the product of years of tweaking. Originating as a homebrew recipe that was brewed many many times until it medaled at the national level. Fast Forward about 10 years and now it is a taproom favorite at the brewpub. Grain Theory features a wraparound balcony on the 2nd floor in downtown Abilene, Texas. A crisp, easy, and traditional light lager that satisfies our hot little West Texas community on our sunny balcony.

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
Pilsner, Light Munich
East Kent Goldings, Saaz, Tettnager



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Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
4 / 6
29 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Old Gold by Grain Theory is being judged according to the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines, Category 5D – German Pils.

The glass arrives with a nearly clear dark golden orange beer and a small bubbly white that persists as a thin and patchy topping. The initial aroma is medium-high grainy and doughy sweet malt with soft spicy Noble hop character. The flavor starts out with the medium-high grainy malt carried over from the flavor and exhibits some medium spicy hops beside the rich malt. A dry finish with lingering hops completes the initial evaluation.

Going back to the aroma, light sulfur notes emerge with some agitation as does a bit of green grassy acetaldehyde underneath, the latter of which should not be present. No additional aroma characteristics are discernable. With the additional agitation, the head resets briefly before receding again, this time faster than initially. In subsequent sips, I acknowledge the aforementioned acetaldehyde and a soft sour note, though the rich malt maintains its dominance in the flavor. This sample is medium-bodied with light carbonation that is somewhat accentuated by the spicy hop character.

This beer has a rich malt base to build upon, but it needs to stay on the yeast longer to clean up the acetaldehyde noted herein.