It was Chili Night at the hacienda and I needed a bit of liquid refreshment to go with my meal, so I once again delved deep into the dark recesses of the beer fridge and liberated a red ale to have with dinner. This evening’s random selection, a Fordham Copperhead Ale, was yet another offering from my beer-of-the-whatever club that was graciously gifted to me by Benita.

Fordham Copperhead Ale is produced under the Fordham label of Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company which is under the corporate umbrella of Coastal Brewing, a company that was formed when Fordham Brewing Company arranged for the buyout of Old Dominion Brewing Company in 2007. With that transaction, Fordham emerged as the majority shareholder with AB InBev playing the part of a minority shareholder and silent partner. The manufacturing facilities merged in 2009 and both lines are produced in Dover, Delaware. Fordham & Dominion produces 7 beers under the Fordham label. Under the Dominion label, Fordham & Dominion produces 8 beers (including their Pinup Series with beers like Candi, their well-regarded Tripel and the Double D Double IPA that G-LO reviewed a while back) and 4 craft sodas.

Before we get to my review, here’s what Fordham has to say about their Copperhead Ale…

Copperhead Ale is Fordham’s flagship beer and an interpretation of the American Amber Ale. Caramelized malts give this beer its sweet flavor and signature copper hue. Bravo hops attribute a slight bitterness to the finish.

And here are my impressions…

  • Appearance: Clover honey color with very little foam.
  • ABV: 5%
  • Aroma: Malty and doughy (a bit like wet bread) with some sweetness and a faint aroma of citrus (oranges, clementines).
  • Taste: Minimal fizz with a certain crispness, a big doughy flavor, some caramel sweetness and a bite of hoppy sharpness in the finish.

The Verdict

I wasn’t expecting all that much from this beer. I’ve never found red ales to be especially crafty, though I would give them a nod over a pilsner as I have found that they are a nice change of pace and a good complement to a meal. The Fordham Copperhead Ale was no exception. It wasn’t especially flavorful, but it was refreshing and certainly complementary with my big bowl of chili.