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Brad Darnell's picture

Judge’s Review: 85 Rating - Starship Ranger by Grain Theory

January, 2023

Starship Ranger

Starship Ranger

United States
Starship Ranger, Grain Theory

In efforts to test the boundaries of the new thiolized yeast strains available, we pulled back on our typical IPA equation to create a classic pale ale while incorporating a minimal thiol precursor. The successful result is a highly crushable brisk pale ale with flavors of white grape and lemongrass that exhibits an enticing guava aroma with a pleasant little dank note. 

Beverage Profile
Served at: 
40º F
Pale Ale, Pilsner, Dextrin, Biscuit
Cascade, Chinook, Hallertau Blanc, Centennial, Nelson Sauvin, Hallertau Blanc



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Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
5 / 6
35 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Starship Ranger by Grain Theory is being judged according to the 2021 BJCP Style Guidelines, Category 18B – American Pale Ale.

I am presented with a beautiful harvest orange and mostly clear beer that supports a medium-sized eggshell white head on top, that mostly persists and forms some lacing. Moderate guava and mango hop aromas greet my nose, accompanied by apricot and nectarine notes. A medium biscuit malt sits underneath this brilliant hop bouquet. My first sip introduces the medium-high hop bitterness and some resinous hop character still supported by medium biscuit malt.

The nose invites another several deep sniffs as I find light malt sweetness alongside the still-intriguing hop bouquet. I note faint toasted bread crust late in the nose. The flavor is hop-dominant with the malt providing enough balance to ensure multi-dimensionality. Fresh stone fruit and tropical fruit notes linger into the dry finish. The beer is medium-bodied with medium-high carbonation.

This beer would pair well with a soft angel food cake, with the hop bouquet providing the fruit notes to complement.