HELL’S GATE GENUINE PALE ALE—Embrace your inner Walmart Person

My Fellow Inebriates,

If my dad would buy himself a man-purse, perhaps I could ride in it for his liquor store forays. I could steer him away from weird things like FRÜLI and toward items more conducive to drunken oblivion. But despite my dad’s metrosexual penchant for getting frequent haircuts, he’s shown no inclination to buy a man-purse.

He’s mostly trustworthy when he goes liquor shopping. Yesterday he brought home a budget-minded six-pack of HELL’S GATE GENUINE PALE ALE with “crisp, bold flavour” and 5% alcohol. This is a brand past which both my parents have walked many times, expecting bottom-shelf nastiness. But when you’ve brewed your own using hop pellets and drunk the whole supply with minimal complaint, how nasty can any liquor store offering possibly be?

With no pretence of subtlety, HELL’S GATE will set you back $7.99 for six cans. My heart leapt when my dad walked in with them, and I was so grateful that I thought I’d rely on his tasting notes.


This comment seems a little restrained for a beer whose one-color-printed cans contain a golden, slightly hazy ale wafting a honey-like odor commingled with overcooked vegetables. Undisciplined sweetness hits the tongue while malt and hops trip over each other—but over to the side as second-fiddle players. I taste pellets here but I could be wrong, and if the beer is close to freezing it’s forgivable. Heavy carbonation and icy cold are true friends to HELL’S GATE GENUINE PALE ALE—strip away these conditions and its random flavors go berserk, appalling the tastebuds with funky, stewed characteristics conveyed via a medium mouthfeel and a finish that overstays its welcome in the mouth.

“Not smooth or creamy or any of those things”

What I’m really saying is I loved this beer. This is a camping beer—appropriately sweet for breakfast and so discordant in its baseline flavor array that it’s combinable with any food from baked beans to marshmallows. Throw a couple of flats of HELL’S GATE in your beater car, hope like hell it won’t break down before you reach that illegal camping site where you have to dig a hole for your nightsoil, then seek out People of Walmart who may be sharing your free campsite, jiggling their muffintops and chawin’ on jerky as they turn the beach into a giant ashtray. Break out your HELL’S GATE and bask in their approbation at “what you brung”; “lay” around with them and hurl double negatives into the starry sky…ahhhhh!

“It was beside the Cariboo cans”

My dad considers my praise for HELL’S GATE—which he regards as pitched at lager drinkers with a hankering to expand their beer-drinking repertoire (slightly)—overexuberant. Anyone considering it as a lager-to-ale gateway would probably never approach another ale after the GENUINE PALE ALE experiment ended. He may be right.

And there’s no reason you couldn’t take a decent beer on a camping trip. I’ve just never tried it before.

And my offer still stands: If my dad will get himself a man-purse, I’ll be happy to help him make better beer purchases.

3 thoughts on “HELL’S GATE GENUINE PALE ALE—Embrace your inner Walmart Person

  1. Ian black says:

    quite simply, you get what you pay for! If it ain’t a premium price, it probably ain’t worth drinking’. BTW — my home brew doesn’t use pellets or syrups — real grain, real hops — truly good beer.

What's your poison? Drop me a line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s