Geary Brewing Company - Off Trail Brown Ale
- ABV: 5.5%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 38
- Serving Temperature: 50-55º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Imported Malts
- Hops: Cascade, Mosaic
Pouring a deep reddish brown hue and topped by a cap of fluffy beige foam that drops to a lasting collar, Geary’s Off Trail Brown Ale impresses immediately, and backs it up with its aroma. Look for a nice balance on the nose, offering a touch more hop character than many other brown ales, and giving this English-style beer some “American flair”, in the words of the brewery. We get deep caramel, hints of toast and nuts, a dusting of cocoa powder, plus a dash of fruitiness reminiscent of citrus, berries, and dried fruits coming from aromatic hops and some yeast-derived esters. On the palate, expect the toastiness to open up much more, with some roasted edges that linger in the finish, while the caramelization at the core remains rather dry in a Northern English fashion. A decently firm dose of hop bitterness easily counters any residual sweetness while also delivering plenty of citrus zest character in a decidedly American style, giving this brown ale an English-American hybrid feel. For pairing options, roasted or grilled meats and veggies, smoked sausage, dark chocolate, and smoky cheeses are at the top of our list. Cheers!
In 1983, only thirteen microbreweries existed in all of the United States, with the majority concentrated out West in states like California, Oregon, and Washington. Inspired by the idea of brewing small-batch, high-quality beer for the enjoyment of fellow New Englanders (and themselves, of course!), David and Karen Geary began D. L. Geary Brewing Company in October of that year. But they did not rush headlong into production; instead, David flew to Britain in 1984 to begin researching English and Scottish brewing, and training in their techniques. Helped by Scottish brewer and nobleman Peter Maxwell Stuart, who arranged for him to work at a number of different commercial breweries in both Scotland and England, David honed his craft among some of the finest breweries in the world, including the famed Traquair House Brewery (producer of some of the greatest ales in all of Great Britain).
Meanwhile, David and Karen set to the task of building the business. They laid out their business plan, identified and purchased the property that would become home to the brewery, raised capital, bought brewing equipment, and designed packaging. It was also during this time that the recipe for what would become Geary’s Pale Ale, their flagship brew, began to take form as David drew from the tradition and technique of Britain’s best brewers. Finally, construction began in 1986 after almost two years of preparation, and in December of that year the first batch of Geary’s Pale Ale was sold. The establishment of Maine’s first microbrewery signaled the dawn of the microbrewing renaissance in New England, which now boasts scores of excellent breweries and brewpubs. In 2017, the brewery was sold to husband and wife Alan & Robin Lapoint, who have positioned the brewery for continued growth through their fourth decade and beyond. For more information on their tasting room and beer garden, call them up at 207-878-2337 or visit www.gearybrewing.com.
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