Thursday, August 3, 2006


To me, summers in Maine will always mean warm days on a white sandy beach, cool sea-breezy nights spent being bitten to death by mosquitoes, all the while knocking back a few ales--what could be better? Well, I was kind of disappointed by this Shipyard Brewery offering. In the past, I've recommended this one to everyone who's looking for a good easy drinking summer brew. Maybe it's gone downhill in the past few years that they've contract brewed it (they used to make everything at Federal Jack's Brewpub in Kennebunkport, but now they also make it in Portland), or my tastes have changed.

It poured a nice orangey amber color, with a white head that dissipated leaving some wispy lace. CO2 bubbles abounded in the bottom of the glass. The odor was lemon, alcohol and . . . soap. Yes, soap. No, I wasn't hallucinating and poured a big glass of Sun Light Dishwashing Liquid. The biggest problem is when I tasted it; there was a nice malty bitter bite to it, some spicy hoppy notes, some citrusy sweetness . . . and soap. GODDAMMIT. I couldn't get it out of my mind, so I kept tasting it. I had to have another one, maybe that was a bad batch (this one had a "best by" date of 10/06), or I used a tainted glass.

Take #2, poured into new glass rinsed with copious amounts of water. Fuck. It's soapy. Screw it, I guess it's just not that good. Sure, it's easy drinking, with a medium mouthfeel and a crisp, dry finish, but I just can't recommend quaffing a whole bunch of these. I'm calling this one Soapyard Summer Ale from now on. Oh well.

P.S. I would recommend their Blue Fin Stout in a second, but not as a summer brew.