Clipper City Brewing Company - Oxford Class Organic Amber Ale

Clipper City Brewing Company - Oxford Class Organic Amber Ale

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club U.S. & International Variety Beer Club

Country:

United States

Alcohol by Volume:

5.20%

Clipper City Brewing Company - Oxford Class Organic Amber Ale

  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.20%
  • Bottle Size: No
  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 19.5
  • Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug (clear)
  • Malts: Organic Pils, Organic Munich, Organic Caramalt, Organic Chocolate
  • Hops: Organic Hallertauer Tradition
The Oxford Brewing Company was originally founded under the name British Brewing Company in Baltimore in 1986 as the first microbrewery in the mid-Atlantic. The company was sold in 1994 and renamed the Oxford Brewing Company. In 1998 it was acquired & merged with Clipper City B.C. Just this past April, they announced that their Oxford line of beers would go completely organic, with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, accredited by the USDA's National Organic Program, certifying these beers as organic products. Organic tends to be a polarizing term; the two most typical reactions are "hey, keep the granola for yourself, hippie" or "this product is better for me, farmers, and the environment, so I'll throw a few extra bucks at it". Products labeled as "Organic" must contain at least 95% certified organic raw materials. When it comes to beer, most "organic"-labeled beers have organic malt, but that's where it stops. Hops, for example, are rarely fully organic, which sneaks under the organic label radar since they account for less than 5% of the ingredients by weight. The Oxford beers, however, contain both certified organic barley malt and hops. Look for big caramel and light, milk chocolate notes combined with a note of sweet dough rolled in molasses. A hint of sweet citrus hides in the background, letting the malts hold center stage. Goes down quite easily, with a silky feel, notes of caramel, chocolate, molasses, and a roasty note, all balanced by just the right balance of hops. In fact, the hops are essentially undetectable in flavor, but the balance they provide against the sweeter elements of the malt should not be overlooked. Finishes with a lingering, lightly toasted barley grain character, chocolate and very faint notes of ripe red apples. Try this with chicken mole or green apple slices and melted cheddar.
The history of the Clipper City Brewing Company goes back to the mid-1980s when Hugh Sisson, owner and founder of Sisson's, a local restaurant and bar, first recognized the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore. Upon attempting to get a license to brew beer at his restaurant, he quickly discovered that legislation prevented brewpubs in Maryland. So he began working with Senator George Della, Jr. to successfully lobby the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation permitting brewpubs in Maryland. In 1989, Hugh began brewing at Sisson's, Maryland's first brewpub. The move helped usher in the wave of craft brewing in Baltimore, and Hugh engrossed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's brewpub and its beers, while simultaneously serving as this pioneering facility's first Brewmaster. After five years of brewpub brewing, Hugh took his craft brewing to a larger platform by starting a full-scale microbrewery. Three guesses as to who stepped in to say he couldn't do it… that's right, the state. It seems that "they" (a.k.a. "the man") took issue with his owning both a brewpub and brewery. The logic behind this legal blockade? Your guess is as good as ours—this is the business model used throughout Europe for hundreds of years. Fortunately, Hugh was undaunted by the legal challenge, did battle with the powers that be, yet again, and pulled out the win less than two years later. In early 1996, Clipper City Brewing, borrowing a Baltimore sobriquet as its name, officially began brewing on the scale Hugh was going for. For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (410) 247-7822 or check out their web site at www.clippercitybeer.com .
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