Pope Crisco: Southern Star Pine Belt Pale Ale

Hey readers, I hope everyone has been doing well during my hiatus. Over the past four weeks I have been busy learning the ins and outs of mortgage servicing for a job in Bank of America’s mortgage department, and I have often found myself too braindead to keep things up on the ole blog.

Now that I have gotten into something of a routine though, the day-to-day struggle is getting to be less taxing, and I have found the energy to punch out a review as opposed to get numbingly drunk and falling asleep.

To get back into the swing of things, I have picked up a brewery new to my taste buds, Southern Star Brewery. Hailing from Conroe, Texas, this is one of the few small breweries in the state to can, as opposed to bottle, their beer offerings. The beer is their Pine Belt Pale Ale.

The beer, being poured from a 16-ounce can, comes out a cloudy, nearly opaque, umber color. Atop the beverage a very formidable, frothy, off-white head forms. The head, while exceeding the limits of the pint glass, keeps its body and avoids falling over the side of my pint glass.

Taking a healthy whiff off the top of the head, slightly brushing my nose against the foamy goodness, the aroma of hops, primarily of grapefruit, mingles with a subtle malty note of caramel.
Sufficiently enticed by both the appealing smell and appearance, I take a healthy first sip of the pale ale. Flavors of slightly toasted sugar and pine hops frolic in balance across my tongue. As the sweet malt body subsides, it is replaced by a warm, mild bitterness on the backend, both in medium body.

While I would characterize the flavor as good, but not great, this beer has one of the most rich and creamy mouth impressions I have ever enjoying in an ale not coming from the tap, and without a nitrous widget in the can or bottle.

Southern Star has brewed a beer that, despite my “meh” response to the flavor, being neither impressed nor dissuaded, still is a beer that exhibits all the elements of a beer that has been crafted from good, quality ingredients, and a skilled brewmaster.

I am a little disappointed that I did not fall in love with the beer, but I will easily buy another sample from their offerings with the anticipation that it will be brewed with equally enough care and pride.


I brew and drink beer, smoke pipes and cigars, eat till I’ve had more than my fill, and escape in pulp rags till my eyes turn buggy. I don’t claim any expertise in any subject other than the chase of my own earthly pleasures. I write to help others find their own pleasures so that together we will decay in spirit with these lesser pursuits.