A great new beer. Went to Novare Res last night with Pattie and a couple of friends from college. I was just a day early to catch their 12 Stouts of Christmas. We were meeting people later, so I grabbed a Rogue Double Dead Guy, then a Petrus Dubbel Bruin, both on tap. I decided I'd finish it with a hop bomb and finally try Victory Hop Devil IPA, which they had bottled, but the bartender said they were out.
"If you're into pale ales, though, we've got a new one from Belfast." It wasn't even on the tap list yet, so I ordered it, thinking it was from Belfast Brewing Company, who brew McGovern's Oatmeal Stout and Lobster Red Ale.
At my first sip of Tug Pale Ale, this clearly did not come from by Belfast Brewing. The hopping was so big, bright, so citrusy, that this couldn't even be from Maine. Maine breweries mostly go balanced and English-style with their pales.
On my way out, I checked the tap handle and double checked, "Is this from Belfast Maine?
It turns out they've been brewing for more than a year down there at Marshall Wharf brewery, run out of the 3Tides pub. I remember hearing about the pub a long time ago, in someone's blog, then I guess I forgot.
Well I'm embarrassed not only that a brewery went under my radar, but that it's a brewery of this caliber. I wish I could read more about them, but the Village Soup story that covered them originally is closed to people who don't have paid subscriptions.
What I do know is that they have 12 house beers on tap at a time, with an ambitious rotating lineup that includes 2 IPA's, a mild, an oyster stout, a Scotch ale, a Baltic Porter, and the most intriguing to me: Illegal Ale-ian, described by their Web site as a "hybrid kolsch / wheat beer brewed with blue agave nectar."
Kind of makes me want to call in sick to work tonight and drive up to Belfast. I won't, but I will be begging Florian's to get their hands on some growlers.
Jan at Beer Bloggers has a great review. On Tug Pale, she writes, "at the other end of the scale the Tug Pale Ale offers a hop experience as dramatic as any I’ve had at any gravity." So true. It's a 4.2% abv that could easily become a favorite session beer, if I can get my hands on it here in town.