THE BREWERS OF Off Color acknowledge that they were a little lazy with Apex Predator. In fairness that was the point: a hands-off approach allowing the yeast to do as it pleased after pitching it cold into the wort and using no temperature controls. Equal parts irreverent, historically inspired, curious, and blasé, the tactic fits the brewery’s aesthetic perfectly and ultimately turned out a rather decent drink. But it just doesn’t come together quite as it would have with more careful tending.
Using only the lightest of base grains, Apex has a straw color almost as pale as pilsner. Its flavor is light and lemony, slightly zesty, perhaps with a bit of wheat tang in the finish. Carbonation is a touch understated for the style, but a growing alcohol presence (6.5% ABV) keeps the finish from being one-note. Another layer of flavors emerges after about half a glass, and none too soon: more biscuity notes at the outset and stronger fruit esters near the midpalate, like tangerine and a little banana. Still the beer lacks for enough spice or phenolic character—or really that much sensation of the yeast itself—to balance out its sweeter nature and elevate it into a delight.
Served: On tap (Clementi’s, Arlington Heights)