Geary Brewing Company - Original Pale Ale
- ABV: 5.2%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 38
- Serving Temperature: 45-50º F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: Imported Malts
- Hops: Cascade, Mt. Hood, UK Golding
This is Geary’s flagship pale ale, brewed since 1986 – a time when the U.S.’s craft brewing renaissance was still embryonic and beers of this type were still a novelty. In fact, Food & Wine named this beer to their list of 25 Most Important American Craft Beers Ever Brewed. This English-style pale ale pours an attractive amber color with a robust cap of fine-bubbled khaki foam. In the aroma, look for delicate, lightly toasted biscuit malt character and light caramelization, overlaid by floral, lightly herbal, and subtly citric hops. On the palate, there’s a nice overall balance with nothing out of place or overbearing, a hallmark of most English-style ales. Look for prominent caramel, biscuit, and toasty notes to form the backbone, while flashes of fruitiness make themselves known as well, conjuring apple skins and stone fruits. Hop bitterness comes through moderately firm, and there are plenty of spicy, floral, earthy, and somewhat tea-like tones decorating it all. For pairing options, roasted fowl and pork will work nicely. We’re partial to citrus and herb roasted Cornish game hens. Classic English cheeses are an excellent match too, like Cotswold, Gloucester, Cheddar, and Stilton. 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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