Beer Reviews

Side Quest (Hazy Pale Ale)

Side Quest unlocked…

Keep a few of these in your inventory for those days when you want to take a break from the grind and head out on an unscripted adventure. Heroically hopped and brimming with tropical and citrus notes, Side Quest is a rewarding detour from the main game. Read on to get the stats on Side Quest, the latest exclusive brew in the Hop Box!

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone, FoBAB judge, and level 20 Beer Mage.


Malts: Pilsner, White Wheat, Dextrin, Flaked Oats, Acidulated

Hops: Citra, Talus, Galaxy

First off, Side Quest is available exclusively in the latest Hop Box.  Talk a little bit about what the Hop Box is all about, and how Side Quest fits in? 

The Hop Box is a mixed pack that allows us to showcase all the different, interesting ways hops can be used in modern brewing. The beers in this pack utilize a combination of new varietals of hops, novel brewing techniques, and exciting innovations in yeast. Side Quest is the first Hazy Pale Ale we’ve included in the Hop Box, so we loaded it with some of our favorite varietals—Citra, Talus, and Galaxy—to really enhance the hop-derived, fruit-forward profile of this beer. 


Can you give a little background on the name “Side Quest”?

Role Playing Games (RPGs) are a genre of video game in which the player assumes the role of a specific character. That character usually is tasked with somehow saving the world, like by defeating an evil demon, which requires the player to navigate them through a series of missions that are intertwined with a central narrative. These missions, or quests, are part of the main story, and are required to complete the game. Side Quests are optional tasks that aren’t part of the main story, but are there to add depth and personality to the experience. Because they don’t have to tie directly in with the main story narrative, side quests are often where the creativity of the writers is on full display, allowing them to tell thought-provoking stories with immediate resolution. Aside from allowing developers to expand the in-game lore, difficult side quests also often offer special rewards, like powerful equipment or spells, which help the character through the main story.


Side Quest is a Hazy Pale Ale. Talk a little bit about the style?  

Pale Ales are a hop lover’s dream. They’re loaded with flavorful hops, but lower in alcohol than IPA, and typically have a subtle malt sweetness that balances the hop bitterness and leads to an incredibly drinkable beer. To make a Pale Ale Hazy, the main key lies in when the beer is dry hopped. Traditionally dry hopped beers, including many Pale Ales, are made by allowing fermentation to finish before adding a dose of hops. By adding hops during fermentation, the time that yeast is actively converting sugars extracted from malt into alcohol, physical changes to hop oils by yeast create intense fruity flavors. Hops are also used sparingly in the boil or whirlpool, meaning the beer has little residual bitterness. Additions of other grains, like wheat and oats, create a smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel. Add all these factors together and you’re left with a low bitterness, incredibly fruity, juice-like Pale Ale, with haze as a by-product of this process. By not passing these beers through a filter (or in our case, a centrifuge, since we don’t filter any of our beer), that haze is preserved in the final product.


What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

Side Quest is bright gold with plenty of haze and thick, white foam. The aroma bursts with hop-derived notes of pink grapefruit, ripe pineapple, and fresh passionfruit. Mild bitterness is met with slight sweetness, allowing the fruity flavors to dominate, creating a juice-like brew. The finish is dry and crisp, with lingering hints of grapefruit and pineapple.


What makes you want to drink this beer?

This beer is the perfect refreshment after a day of adventuring. Need to recover from an arrow to the knee? Or maybe you’re tired from a long day of Chocobo herding? Savage Deathclaw ruin your day? Head to your local tavern and grab a pint! After a few Side Quests, one of your traveling companions (it’s dangerous to go alone!) might even open up and give you some new gear, or tell you an interesting story around the fire back at camp.


How many XPs does it take to obtain a Side Quest?

The only prerequisite for this Side Quest is that you need to have already purchased the item “Hop Box” from a local merchant, though they’ll only sell it to you once you’ve reached level 21. If you’re unsure of where the closest shop is on your map, the Rhinegeist Beer Finder can guide you to the nearest vendor. Once you open the item in your inventory, the Pale Ale will instantly become available to you. Now you simply have to select the correct can from the case and open it—Side Quest complete! You’ll find your thirst bar is now fully replenished and your relaxation meter is maxed.


Appearance: Gold with heavy haze and thick, white foam.

Aroma: Pink grapefruit, pineapple, passionfruit, hints of crackery malt.


Taste: Mild bitterness and mild balancing sweetness allow the juice-like fruit flavors to dominate, enhancing notes of pineapple and grapefruit.


Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a dry, crisp finish.


Overall: Gold color with heavy haze, Side Quest is loaded with hop-derived flavors of pink grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit, which are amplified by a full, juice-like body and dry, crisp finish.


What foods would pair well with Side Quest?

Side Quest would pair perfectly with a large chunk of meat sold to you by a man in a cave, or to wash down a cheap mana potion.


Ideal glassware for Side Quest?

A large pixelated stein, or a standard shaker pint if that’s all you have.