Allagash Tap Takeover – Ten Beers That Might Just As Well Have Created Many A Personal Craft Beer Fans’ Timeline

If you consider yourself a craft beer curious person, chances are pretty good you’ve had an Allagash White.  Perhaps just now, you heard a voice in the back of your head saying “ah, I remember the first time…”  Given the fairly wide availability of the Maine based brewery’s beers, the relative familiarity which most folks have with the style and that style’s approachability, and the undeniable deliciousness of their White Ale, the beer almost seems like required drinking for anyone interested craft beer.  And though as individual tastes may seem to generally move on to endless streams of extreme IPAs, barrel aged stouts, and possibly to more fringe styles such as sours, I would always question someone who claims to not remember those first sips of an Allagash White, or at the least won’t recognize its worthy place in the tasting experiences of many craft fans.  At least for myself, the beer holds a soft spot for another reason – it not only encouraged a curiosity in craft beer in general, but of course, to investigate the many other well done, delicious and interesting beers Allagash creates.  And isn’t this the way you would hope it would happen every time you taste something even slightly new, from a brewery you might not know much about?  A brewery’s well crafted but more common beer not only prompts you to search further into its “style”, but to also seek deeper into the brewery’s own offerings, finding out that everything else the brewery puts out can more than hold its own, many of which, in turn, becoming respected across the board.  Perhaps this is the ultimate definition of a “flagship” type of beer, if Allagash White can be called that:  a tremendous example for the style, as well as a worthy standard bearer for a superb brewery.

Tonight, Blue 5 gives us all a chance to perhaps revisit those first tastes as well as continue to expand horizons, all within the delicious, ever expanding “confines” of what this one brewery can do as they host a tap takeover featuring Allagash Brewing.  No fewer than ten beers will be on hand, ranging from where some of us began – Allagash White – to much less common beers such as their Interlude.  Here’s the description direct from the brewery’s website for this beer:

“Two yeast strains were used to create this unique 9.5% ABV Belgian style ale. The first, a Belgian farmhouse yeast, establishes the flavor foundations of a classic Belgian-style ale. The second, a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast, brings it to the next level contributing an intriguing myriad of flavors including pear, apricot, graham cracker, and bread crust. Finally, a portion of the Interlude is aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels, which impart a distinctive vinous plum character and a drying, almost tannic finish.”

This type of description continues with many others that the brewery produces.  The use of multiple yeast strains (most of which are “house”, or even proprietary to Allagash), and multiple types of vessels in which to age individual beers are just a couple of the techniques employed the brewery to create vastly interesting tasting experiences.  Perhaps you are somewhat aware of these methods, having had your mind (and taste buds) blown away the first time you tasted their “Curieux”, a Jim Beam bourbon barrel aged Tripel.  I remember the first time I wrapped my thoughts and mouth around the idea:  a bourbon barrel aged…Tripel?  (By the way, the “James Bean”, a coffee infused version of this beer apparently be on tap tonight as well.  Now, wrap your head around that one.)

Wherever your personal craft beer history finds you, a trip to Blue 5 tonight, needless to say, would be a good idea.  From standards that might have led you further into craft beer to beers to ones that continue to push the greater craft envelope, as well as your own palate, there will be plenty of examples to be tried.  No matter how many you end up tasting out, just remember to take a moment and be aware of how deep that soft spot in your heart is becoming for that one particular witbier.  A beer like Interlude almost owes itself to it, in some small way.  And without it, you might not have gotten here yourself.


~ by thebeerroad on September 11, 2013.

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