Erie Brewing Company - Railbender
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):25
Serving Temperature:48-53° F
Suggested Glassware:Pint Glass or Mug
Malts:2-Row Pale, Munich, Crystal
Hops:Fuggle, East Kent Golding
This brew is Erie's flagship product, and it won gold at the 2009 GABF in the Scottish Ale category after taking the bronze the previous year. Pouring a very pretty, rich, amber color, Railbender is clearly a malt-forward beer from the first sniff. Lightly bready caramel malt aromas come forth right away, with a significant toffee-like quality. Expect the hops to be soft, adding a bit of a leafy/woody quality with a touch of spice. Characteristic of Scottish-style ales, it's very malt-forward on the palate too, as significant sweetness makes itself known upfront. The malt is almost chewy, and we can't help but see some similarities with German bocks. Look for the aromas to come through here as well, bringing big caramelized, bready, toffee notes, while the British hops deliver some woody, spicy notes to counter the malt. Though not what we would call boozy (like the Scottish Ale style's Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy big brother), the alcohol still offers a bit of a spicy kick to help cut through the malt sweetness and add some balance. Try pairing with a roast Cornish Game Hen, German sausages, meatloaf, ham or roast pork, or try a snack of fruity, mild, and buttery cheeses such as Brie, Gouda, Havarti, or Swiss. 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 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. Their hard work paid off in 2009 with a gold medal win for Erie's flagship Railbender Ale at the Great American Beer Festival. 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 which was, and is, dedicated to improving operations and expanding distribution relationships and opportunities. In June of 2017, Erie opened a brand new brewing facility at 6008 Knowledge Parkway, which also features John's Wildwood Pizzeria for a combined "Pub & Pie" restaurant where visitors can enjoy award-winning pizza and brews. To learn more, visit them at www.eriebrewingco.com or call 814-459-7741.
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