American brewers have been getting better and better at making Belgian-style ales, and North Coast has been winning medals with this one for years. It's made in the manner of a Belgian golden ale, a style that combines the lightest possible body for its substantial alcohol content (7.6% by volume) with relatively subtle hopping.
So it's light, sure, but full of flavor. The nose has been described as floral, but to me it's more like the beer's taste on the palate, which gently suggests several kinds of fruit, perhaps apples and peaches, swathed in malt. Something -- doubtless the hops -- also suggests a sly quality, like a pal you have to kind of keep an eye on.
-- Charles Perry
About $7.50 for a four-pack
Suave light ale with mellow fruit flavors
Where you find it:
Beverage Warehouse, L.A., (310) 306-2822,
; Hi-Time Wine Cellars, Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463,
; Beverages & More stores,