Beer of the Week: Ninkasi Radiant Ale

By Iron Chef Leftovers

I like Ninkasi beers – they tend to be solid and drinkable, easily available and priced at a point that you won’t break the bank drinking them. A while back, I realized that there were a handful of their beers which I hadn’t tried yet, so I decided to give them a shot. Radiant Ale, their summer seasonal, was one of those beers. The beers run around $5 in a 22 oz. bottle (which is what is being reviewed here) and are generally available just about anywhere you can buy beer. The beer clocks in with 40 IBU and a 6.0% ABV.

From the Ninkasi website:

Earthy and floral hops balance this Northwest-style pale ale, with a touch of Crystal and Vienna malts for flavor. Crisp and flavorful, Radiant Ale is a clean-finishing summer offering in the Ninkasi tradition. The smooth malt character is balanced by an elegant hop bitterness, the perfect complement to a glorious summer day.

Tasting Notes:
A touch of Crystal malt is used to sweeten-up this beer in addition to some Vienna malt for balance. The multiple hop varieties are grassy and earthy in tone and differentiate Radiant from most of the citrus forward Northwest Pale Ales!

Food Pairings:
Fish, Poultry, Tomato Sauces, Rustic Breads, Toffee, Cookies

The beer pours orange, almost tan in color with a fizzy, light cream head. Light amounts of hops and citrus appear on the notes with a fair amount of grain in the mix – reminds me slightly of a lager (possibly from the Vienna malt). A good bit of slight bitterness on the initial sip (not sure if that was a good or a bad thing), with a nice crispness which fades into a long, grain heavy finish. I really couldn’t find any defining notes in the beer – not a ton of hop flavor and not an overly complex beer, almost like an ale on training wheels. It felt like a beer that was designed for people who like lighter beers. That being said, it would be a fine beer to sip on a warm summer day on the back deck with a friend.

Ninkasi Radiant Ale orbits into the picture with a bright 3 masses of incandescent gas out of 5.

In case you don’t get the reference, They Might Be Giants can help you out:

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