I got this note from my man Gary in New Hampshire this morning:
Long Trail Ale and the brewery's family of choices is well known in northern New England. The Long Trail in Vermont is for hikers, and includes part of the Appalachian Trail. Basically, it is a walk from north to south, 200 miles more or less, with the Appalachian trail branching off to the east midway. There is a certain type of youngish, healthy and rugged person you meet at the top of a mountain who unslings his pack and pulls out a six pack of this brew (hopefully to share). I happened to be working on a couple of them the other day, saying to my unsophisticated, untutored self, 'wow, this reminds me of Bass Ale'. My mother-in-law was in town, and she is really the best of mother-in-laws, and she was buying dinner and picking up the tab, so I got a Bass Ale and did a comparison. They do not taste alike, Bass has more ooomph, with tangy hops or something. BUT, Long Trail Ale is an excellent day to day beer, thick and delicious and flavorful. If I had a party tonight I would fill the fridge and the bathtub with Long Trail. I think it would please just about everyone. I have also enjoyed their Double Bag ale, which is also thick and delicious, but has a higher alcohol content and can sneak up on you.I mentioned to Gary that I drove past this brewery on a mad dash to the sea and clams. I didn't stop but I did think to myself that I can't think of a lovelier spot to make real ale, a creekside spot in a green Vermont valley.
Don't wait for your mother-in-law to take you out: if you can find it, Long Trail Ale and the others from these guys will make you happy.