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Beer Review: Wynkoop’s Silverback Pale Ale

This is part of an ongoing series published on Fridays. For our complete archives of beer reviews, visit


Silverback Pale Ale, Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver

Style: Pale Ale


ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce can

Malty? Hoppy? Surprisingly malty (with plenty of hops)

Reviewed: August 2013

Downtown Denver might be the last place you’d look for gorillas, but take a step inside the venerable Wynkoop Brewing Company and a large statue of one’ll greet you. The beast pays homage to a longtime fundraising effort by Colorado’s oldest brewpub to help save Africa’s mountain gorillas. To do so, the company offers up a portion of the profits from sale of its Silverback Pale Ale, which it began selling in cans in 2010.


When you sip on this brew, you’ll share something in common with our not-so-distant relatives: It is brewed with grains of paradise, a spice the gorillas eat in the wild. The brew pours a deep, golden brown color that reminds me of a nut brown ale. And maybe that’s the biggest takeaway about this brew: It’ll have you discussing everything from wildlife to beer styles while you sip on a beer that’s not too memorable, not too crisp, not too bitter, and not too boring.

That balance, while not exciting, is just what we want—at times. This is a beer that won’t knock you off your bar stool, but it is a good conversationalist (read: it is a great option to bring to a dinner party).

Would we buy it again? Beer for a good cause? Why not.

Follow senior editor Natasha Gardner on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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