People email me. They ask if they can post something to the beer blog. I generally say "Sure!" and then I never hear from them again. I was really looking forward to that Italian writer who knew all the Czech beers. If he is reading this - WHAT'S TAKING YOU?!?
Anyway, kind correspondent Gary in New Hampshire wrote this and sent a photo...
The Woodstock Inn is about 80 miles north of my home is southern New Hampshire, and I had not heard of it. I havn't heard of many things, it is true, but I am glad my store had Woodstock Brewery Pig's Ear Brown Ale. What luck! What a treat! They have been brewing for awhile apparently and, as you can see from their website, there is quite a lot going on up there. Anyway, I have never seen these offerings at the grocery store before, and I am glad they are apparently breaking into the mainstream. Harpoon and Shipyard are larger microbrews, and average about 6 bucks a six-pack, this was 7 bucks for a six-pack.
My problem as a reviewer is that I like many many beers, except for the type that rhymes with 'Sudsweiser' or 'Swiller'. That said, this brown ale is reminds me of one of my favorite beers, Newcastle Brown Ale, and I like it much better than Portsmouth Brewery's Smuttynose Brown Dog. I love it when flavors are strong in beers, hotsauces, etc, and this is not a strong tasting beer like, if memory serves, Samuel Smith's. It is a perfect, mellow brown ale. Looking at the website, the company has stronger offerings, like stout, so mellow brown is perfect considering the other possibilities.Interesting observations, Gary, especially about the Newcastle and other browns. There are three general sorts of English-speaking world brown ales which make something of a range into which you get to consider dropping any new brown you meet someplace or another:
The brewery is located at a restaurant and Inn, which suggests a remarkable opportunity for a week of staying, eating, tasting! Beer lover's paradise, perhaps.
- hoppy US style which echoes old-style hoppy porter in lighter form,
- the singular tangy legacy of the blended old stale or stock and old-school mild we find in northern English browns like Newkie Broon and Sammy Smith's and
- the richer, lucious sometimes uncious southern English style like Thunder Hole from Baaa Haaa Baaa and perhaps, at the light end, that Smuttynose Old Dog Brown, sitting one notch below modern rounder porter and another notch above modern mild.