Michael Bury's picture

Judge's Review: 75 Rating - Awe Junior by Gate City Brewing Co.

July, 2019
Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
5 / 6
30 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
14 / 20

Awe Junior by Gate City Brewing Co. is being evaluated as an American Pale Ale (2015 BJCP Category 18B); however, it’s more of a New England Pale Ale but falls short of being a full NE IPA. It pours a golden color with a tall, cream-colored head that sits on top of a murky beer.

Like many other New England-styled beers, the nose is all tropical fruit, all of the time. However, in this one, the guava, resin, and papaya come off as extremely overripe fruit that has turned. This characteristic continues in the flavor, but the moderately-high bitterness is unbalancing and in a direct contradiction to everything else that’s going on. The dry finish promotes a lingering, astringent bitterness.

Awe Junior is unfortunately a miss for me. The past-its-prime fruit character coupled with the too-high bitterness for the style tilts the beverage into a zone that makes it more difficult to drink. The fermentation was clean so it’s just a matter of slight recipe adjustments for this brewery to make.