Been looking forward to trying this pale ale from yet another new Massachusetts brewery, Battle Road Brewing Co, since I started seeing blog, Twitter, and Facebook posts about it. I wasn’t sure I’d find anything up my way as sometimes the newer breweries focus on the metro Boston area initially. I was happily surprised to see their 1775 Tavern Ale at Port Wine and Beer in the Market Basket plaza in Newburyport the other night. I grabbed a bomber (under $6) and gave it a day in the the fridge before trying it last night while preparing dinner.
I had avoided any reviews of the brew, so really had no idea what to expect other than it was an American pale ale. It poured a nice amber color from the Munich malt used in addition to the 2-row base malt. It was quite cloudy, so obviously not a filtered beer. Carbonation was relatively high, and the head was more bubbles than thick foam. Head didn’t last too long. I was surprised by the lemon in the aroma and even more in the flavor. With APAs I tend to expect citrus, but it tends to be in the apricot, grapefruit or orange arena, not lemon.
There is also a fair amount of graininess to the flavor. Not something I’m a big fan of in an APA. Some biscuit/breadiness as well, suggesting the English pale ale characteristic. There was also a touch of banana that surprised me. Not sure if it’s a yeast byproduct or not. There is also an slight metallic thing going on, which I do pick up in certain brews. Could be “metallic” is an incorrect descriptor, but that’s how my palette interprets it. Either way, I did get a noticeable Ipswich Ale flavor in the finish, and it’s not something I particularly care for. I do know that Battle Road is currently contract brewing out of Mercury in Ipswich, home of Ipswich Ale. Perhaps its a system thing, or a house yeast? Not sure, but there is definitely a relation to Ipswich ale via certain flavors and finish.
The lemon thing really stood out, as well as the grainy flavor. Unfortunately those two flavors will keep me from going back for more of this particular brew. Glad I tried it, and will likely try other offerings from Battle Road (their site lists a Farmhouse as well as an IPA on the horizon), but the Tavern Ale had a couple flavors that just don’t work for me.