Erie Brewing Company - Misery Bay IPA
- ABV: 6.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 75
- Serving Temperature: 45-50°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Caramel, Oats
- Hops: Columbus, Amarillo, Cascade
It may be an unusual sort of name, but like all of Erie's beers, Misery Bay IPA's moniker has an historical angle. It was named in remembrance of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. So now that we've explained what's going on with that, let's dive in. On the pour, expect a lightly hazy golden orange color topped with some just-off-white foam that leaves a bit of lacing as it recedes. Lush floral and citric fruit aromas burst forth, reminiscent of orange zest, along with a bit of a leafy, herbal edge. Yes, sir, this is an American-style IPA through-and-through, boasting a classic all-American team of Columbus, Amarillo, and Cascade hops. These hops deliver on the palate too, offering a delicious, vividly citric/floral flavor profile. Though very firm at 75 IBUs, the richness of the pale and caramel malt core provides surprising balance. This is augmented by the use of oats, which is quite unusual for an IPA, but contributes to the beer's remarkably creamy body. This is a beer that should work with a variety of spicy Asian fare, like Szechuan, Thai, or Vietnamese, where the hops can complement the food's brightness. Cheers!
Erie Brewing Company got its start as Hoppers Brewpub inside Erie, PA's historic Union Station, an art deco-styled railroad station build in 1927. The brewpub, which was founded in 1993, produced a miniscule amount of beer in its first year—just over 1000 barrels—but that grew over the course of the next few years, more than doubling by 1996. In 1999, the company made the leap from brewpub to full-blooded microbrewery, and the enterprise left Union Station for a new production facility where they remain today. Production ramped up to 6000 barrels per year.
Through the first decade of this century, there were some ups and downs in terms of ownership and management changes, but despite this the company still managed to grow its production and distribution. Key to the success is current brewmaster, Shawn Strickland, who began working for the company around the time of its transition to their current facility (in fact, he helped move the equipment), and has been a guiding force for the brewery. His hard work paid off in 2009 with a gold medal win for Erie's flagship Railbender Ale at the GABF. 2010 saw a number of upgrades and additions to the brewing equipment, and then in 2012 the company welcomed a new management and ownership team led by Rob Lowther. Under the new management team, who is dedicated to improving and expanding distribution relationships and opportunities, and with the recent brewery upgrades, Erie is poised to become established as a sizeable regional brewer over the next few years.
If you live nearby or are traveling through the area, pop in to their tasting room (which is open Weds-Sat) to sample their brews or fill up a growler to take home and enjoy later. To learn more, visit them at www.eriebrewingco.com or call 814-459-7741.
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