"Introduced by the Vikings," proclaims the label, "spruce and pine ales were very popular in Northern Scotland until the end of the 19th century." Like other brews from those days of yore, Alba Scots Pine Ale (11.2 fl. oz., $4) contains no hops; barley malt is instead balanced by young, spring-harvested Scots pine and spruce. The distinctive flavor, initially herbal, then (in an "Aha!" moment for the palate) decidedly if not overwhelmingly piney, gains character as it warms to room temperature. This is not a brew best served cold.
As for the pizza, that basil leaf was much more impressive before my grandma slice ($2.45) was reheated in the oven. Do you know about shrinkage?
Alba's Pizza & Restaurant
36-20 Ditmars Blvd. (at 37th St.), Astoria, Queens