Thursday, June 9, 2016

Railbender Ale (Review)

Beer Review #123

For my first review of an Erie Brewing Company beer, I'm checking out their Railbender Ale. This Scottish Style Ale is only my second review of the style, after Smuttynose Scotch Ale (Review #75). For that earlier review, I had a difficult time pinning down a definition of the style, and nothing much has changed since then.

The brewer says: "Erie, Pennsylvania, the site where three sets of railroad track gauges met, was an important transportation hub in the mid-nineteenth century. Railbender Ale is named after the laborers who laid the railroad tracks. It is brewed with pride, strength and purity; symbolic of Erie’s historic railroads and their workers. Railbender is a strong Scottish Style Ale with astonishing drinkability. One try and you’ll want to “Bend the rules and ride the rails!”

At just 26IBU'sRailbender is certainly drinkable, but with 6.8%ABV its beginning to enter the territory where you'll need to start being careful, and several these would go down easily, so watch out.

I guess if you live in "The Isles," the differences between Scottish, Irish, British, and Welsh seem apparent. But lets face it, if you're an American, the people's and cultures seem more similar than different. Railbender  is a smooth, Earthy, malty-sweet beer that we Americans could just as easily imagine Frodo Baggins (or his creator) drinking as William Wallace.

Railbender pours clear amber with a head of creamy head of off white foam, while smelling earthy and bready like the land that inspired it  (or like the homeland of the immigrants who built the canals of America).

The taste follows suit. Sweet, earthy - hints of peat bog, smoke, molasses. The wort that went into this kettle could have just as easily been distilled into scotch as fermented into beer.

Musical Pairing: The Gathering Wilderness by Primordial

 Twin Tiers Beer Trail:
-Twin Tiers Craft Beer Club (Sayre)
I-86 Beer Trail
The Jolly Farmer, Waverly (Waverly)
Bluestone Brewing Company (Sayre)
- Diversion Brewing Co. (Chemung)
The Grille at the Train Station (Sayre)
River Rat Brew Trail (Central Pa)

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