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Beer of the Month: Central State's Table lives up to the easy-drinking style [Chicago Tribune :: BC-WBS-BEER-MONTH:TB]

The beer: Table by Central State Brewing (Indianapolis).

What it is: Central State calls Table a "rustic blonde ale," though in beer speak it is a "table beer" - a bright, earthy, low-alcohol ale popular in the Belgian and French traditions meant to appeal to a broad swath of drinkers and pair well with a meal. It's a wonderful, though sadly unappreciated style in the U.S. - done well, table beer is among the most interesting iterations possible of "light beer."

In the can: It's clear you're in for interesting refreshment as soon as the aroma hits; Table smells of tart citrus - lemon and orange - and grassy hay. It's bright, tart and zesty up front on the palate, rife with notes of lemon and yeast underscored with light melon and floral character. A late peppery bitterness creeps in as Table dries out into easy drinkability that's bright and effervescent and even a bit reminiscent of dry Champagne.

Alcohol: 4 percent

Find it: Available year-round in four-packs of 16-ounce cans.

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