The beer: Fire Ant Funeral
The brewery: Texas Ale Project in Dallas
Style: Amber ale; lighter colored than dark ales, these malty ales are named for their color, which can range from amber to copper or reddish brown, which is why they are sometimes called red ales. Hop levels can vary quite a bit in this category. American ambers tend to have more hop character.
The pitch: This is a solid, nicely balanced amber ale, brewed with seven different malt varieties. Caramel malt and toasty biscuit aromas foreshadow the flavors that first hit the palate. A judicious dose of hops lends a nice spicy note and a welcome bitter counterpoint to the slight malty sweetness. Moderate carbonation and a dry finish give this medium-bodied ale a refreshing quality. Although it's an easy-to-drink beer that's enjoyable any time of year, it seems perfect for a Super Bowl party.
Fun facts: One of the first three ales launched by 1-year-old Texas Ale Project, Fire Ant Funeral debuted in cans at stores in November. The ale's name stems from co-owner Brent Thompson's brush with fire ants during his lawn mowing days as a kid. The fire ant funeral refers to the blazing fire that he set after pouring gasoline on an anthill and igniting it -- much to his father's chagrin.
The one-year anniversary of the opening of Texas Ale Project's taproom is approaching. To mark the occasion, the brewery is having a release party for its new seasonal ale, The Caucasian, a White Russian Imperial Stout. The event is on Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Serve it, pair it: Although great on its own, it would also pair well with chili, barbecue, burgers and cheeses like aged Gouda or gruyère.
Get some: Widely available in six packs of 12-ounce cans for $9.99 at stores with a large selection of craft beers.
Tina Danze is a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @TinaDanze.