Belfast Bay Brewing Company - Lobster Ale
- ABV: 4.75%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 32
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Pale, Torrified Wheat, Carafoam, Black, Caramunich II, Dark Crystal, Melanoidin
- Hops: Summit, Mt. Hood
Belfast Bay’s traditional red ale pours a rich, deep red color capped with a robust head of beige foam. Look for big caramel and toffee aromas to greet the nose, with toasty malts and some softly fruity overtones. It smells great to us, and thankfully these archetypical red ale notes carry on into the flavor department, too. We found it well balanced among flavors of toasty bread, caramel, hints of buttery toffee, and fruity esters. Hop bitterness is mild to moderate, offering a balancing counterpoint to this malty brew. Expect a lingering toasty note to build in the finish with a touch of clinging hop bitterness. Grilled and roasted meats with hearty sides are your best bet for a pairing. Try grilled pork with mashed potatoes & gravy, or roasted chicken or turkey with stewed vegetables. French onion soup is a good call, too, or you could go with vanilla ice cream topped with a drizzle of caramel and crushed graham crackers, if dessert is what you have in mind. Cheers!
Belfast Bay Brewing Company came to life in 1996 when long-time restaurant owner, Pat Mullen, decided it was time to make the jump into brewing. He installed a 7-barrel brewing system in his restaurant, The Barn, and built a bar with over 20 local microbrews on tap, including a mixture of both his own and others from around the state of Maine. He also hired Dan McGovern, formerly of Lake St. George Brewing, to serve as brewmaster for the new brewpub, which soon set about not only producing beer for their own taps, but also for sales to local bars, restaurants, and retail establishments.
1996 was still quite early in the craft beer revolution, but many more microbreweries would soon pop up throughout New England within a short span. Belfast’s first distributor had just four microbrews in their portfolio; a few years later, when Mullen decided to make a switch, there were 21. After getting, as he says, “lost in the cracks,” Mullen took the bull by the horns and hired sales reps and two vans to personally drive Belfast Bay beer around the state, making personal connections with pub owners and bartenders, and getting the beer directly into their hands. The strategy worked, and within three months they had sold more beer than the distributor had in the previous five.
Much has changed in the succeeding years. Pat sold his restaurant and original pub location (although he still enjoys visiting monthly and brewing a 5-gallon batch). Belfast’s focus is now on two very popular beers: McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout, and a malty red ale called Lobster Ale. For more info, visit www.belfastbaybrewing.com.
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