My last encounter with Erie wasn’t quite what I expected, but since I believe you should try everything twice, I opted to check out their IPA. Here it is, the Misery Bay IPA from Erie Brewing Company.
Aroma: Citrusy hops, with almost a hint of sweet chocolate malts.
Appearance: Pours golden amber, almost no head.
Flavor: Grassy hop taste, warming alcohol, with some earthy malt and a nice, full and bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, medium-bodied.
Overall: Odd aromas to this beer out of the bottle, but the taste is really nice. The lack of a head is disappointing though, although maybe it’s an aspect of my glass. Aside from the appearance aspect, this is a pretty nice IPA.
I buy about 95% of the beer I consume at home from a great place called Oliver’s Beverage in Albany. They have a great selection and allow you to mix and match 6 packs, and give you $3 off when you do that, which basically gives you 6 beers for the price of 5. It’s a great deal that allows you to try a bunch of different things and not be pot committed to things that don’t strike your fancy. I’m almost done with a recent mix and match pack that I created. One of those is the Railbender Ale from Erie Brewing Company. I picked it up because it had a cool name and Erie is fairly local, more so than San Diego. So here it is, the Railbender Ale.
Aroma: Citrusy hops and some other resiny notes, reminds me of a pilsner in aroma.
Appearance: Poured light amber and then settles as copper, small head which dissipates quickly.
Flavor: Some nice malt sweetness, followed by hops on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel, very mild carbonation.
Overall: For an ale, this beer doesn’t quite make it up to par. I was looking for a more robust nose and flavor but it reminds me more of a light beer, just not as watery. I didn’t pick up that much rich malt flavor and there was nothing more complex about it. Honestly, nothing about it seemed screamed “Scottish Ale!” which is surprising considering it’s won awards at the Great American Beer Festival. It’s okay, but I probably wouldn’t drink it again.
Troegs is one of the best East Coast craft breweries I have encountered, maybe even the best from Pennsylvania. Plus, they are really nice guys. I’ve hung out with a few of their brewers at the Ommegang Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival and they are friendly and love to let people sample their beer. I was on a “cold weather beer” run the other day and saw this stout. I love the smell and taste of coffee, so I thought it’d be a smart addition to my mix and match pack. It’s a stronger beer, so it’s one to savor, not chug. I present to you, the Java Head Stout by Troegs Brewing Company.
Aroma: Citrus and bitter hops quickly followed by light cocoa and subtle coffee notes.
Appearance: Pours thick and smooth black/brown, small head.
Flavor: Roasty coffee, brief hoppy citrus, then cocoa on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, with nice carbonation.
Overall: A very nice stout with nice warming flavors. You can’t taste the alcohol that much, but it’s a little strong anyway for a session beer. The coffee notes are subtle while the cocoa flavors are more pronounced. I wanted a bit more aromatics considering it’s brewed with coffee beans, but it’s an enjoyable cold weather beer.