Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Real Ale in Bar Harbor

One of the things that I like to do when I travel is to check out the local craft beer scene.  When my beautiful Angel, Clare, and I traveled to Bar Harbor, Maine for a vacation, we decided to check out the local beer scene.  That scene is dominated primarily by one craft brewer ... Atlantic Brewing Company.  On one afternoon, we paid a visit to the brewery.  We skipped the tour because we have done enough tours.  Rather, we wanted to try the beer. 

One of the beers that we both really liked was Atlantic Brewing Company's Real Ale.  The "Real Ale" is really an American Brown Ale.  The Beer Judge Certification Program has defined the American Brown Ale style very broadly, such as having a light to dark brown color.  That includes a lot of different shades of brown.  The aroma is sweet, malty and rich, with a focus on the malts more than the hops.  The hops make their presence more in the flavor, with a light to moderate hop flavor that is combined with a strong malt flavor.  That malt flavor could be a combination of chocolate, caramel and/or toasty flavors.  

According to the brewers, they created the recipe for this American Brown Ale while brewing with their mentor in a friend's garage in Montreal, Canada.  Their objective was to create a beer that is, in their words, "smooth and easy-drinking, yet still retained an assertive body to set it apart."  The brewers use Wye Golding and Pilgrim hops, along with Pale, Crystal and Black Patent malts.  They also use a Nottingham yeast.   The brewers describe the result as a "beer with nice caramel tones and a balance of the malt and hop profiles." 

The Real Ale pours a dark brown in color, with a very thick, somewhat cream colored foam.  It took a little time for that foam to recede, but, as it  did, an aroma of nuts, toast, and chocolate greet the nose.  Each sip was full of malt flavors, providing a sweet, somewhat bready taste, with a light roast and toast.  The balance of the beer gravitated more toward the malts than the hops, but overall, it was very good. 

We purchased the Real Ale at the brewery, but I have seen it in some beer stores.  If you happen to be at the brewery, it is definitely worth a try, along with the Mainely Meat BBQ!


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