Canoe Club: Three Random New England Beers

Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
Export Ale
American Blonde
5.1% ABV
7 oz. taster
Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
Old Thumper
Extra Special Ale (ESB-esque)
5.8% ABV
7 oz. taster
Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Old Brown Dog
Brown Ale
6.5% ABV
7 oz. taster

I’m at a math conference in New Hampshire, in my dorm room avoiding company. Perrinator is at Ohio Cage Combat VIII in Toledo. I’m using this blog as a sort of travel journal, but only describing what beers I drink. So I won’t describe the beautiful hike I’m going on tomorrow, followed by a much less beautiful dinner. And I won’t describe the Hanover street fair today, nor the awesome chicken gyro with Thai peanut sauce I had. I won’t describe the swim I’ll take Wednesday night in the Connecticut River, nor how I’ll be caught, semi-nude, by Dartmouth Security. Instead, I’ll describe some beers from the Canoe Club.

The Canoe Club is a rather pricey restaurant on the main street of Hanover, New Hampshire. The clientele is a mix of dolled up undergrads and sports-coat-wearing elderly gentlemen. Last night, a live pianist played instrumental versions of classic rock songs (e.g. Stairway to Heaven) in the background. Every Monday, there is a live magician. But it’s the closest thing to a normal bar I’ve found so far in Hanover and they have an admirable selection of New England beers on tap.

I started with the Shipyard Old Thumper, which is described by the brewery as an “Extra Special Ale,” which is a fancy synonym for an ESB that isn’t quite an ESB. My waiter accurately described it as “caramel forward.” I would add to that, “burnt sugar,” but maybe that’s redundant. It was respectably tasty, though not big-bodied like microbrews in Michigan tend to be. I detected slight cherry essence on the finish.

Shipyard’s flagship beer, Export Ale, came next. It was less exciting– hints of apricot and almond, with a slightly too-sanitary smell. Although less exciting, it certainly wasn’t bad.

Smuttynose’s Old Brown Dog was initially unimpressive, but grew in the glass. My first reactions were: “sweet-ish, not much character,” but my impressions grew to “pumpkin spices, vanilla.” Overall, it was a bit too soda-like for my tastes (cream-soda-like), but turned out to be my favorite of the three beers.


~ by nininja on September 5, 2010.

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