Long Trail Brewing Company - Double Bag
Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):39
Serving Temperature:45-50º F
Suggested Glassware:Stange, Tulip
Malts:Pale, Dark Caramel, Wheat, Chocolate
Hops:Northern Brewer, Willamette
Double Bag is essentially an amped up version of Long Trail Ale. It’s a style known as Sticke Alt – “sticke” meaning “secret” – which could be considered as a double or imperial altbier. It’s a fairly rare style, but one we’re always interested to try, as it pumps up all the qualities that we love so much in altbiers. On the pour, Double Bag looks very much like its little brother, with a ruddy amber complexion with orange flashes around the edges, great clarity, and plenty of light beige foam. On the nose, look for a deeply malty and quite fruity character. Berry and cherry-like esters are readily apparent, overlaying deep caramelization and touches of toasted bread crust, all joined by dashes of woodsy and herbal hops. In the flavor, we get deeply toasty notes with strong impressions of toasted bread crust, with rich caramelization adding depth and roundness. A dollop of sweetness is countered by hop bitterness, which rides in with the minty, herbal edge of Northern Brewer and the floral, spicy character of Willamette. Those fruity notes – courtesy of this top-fermenting German style’s ale yeast – really shine here too, with an engaging dried fruit impression. For food pairings, we’d steer toward stews, grilled meats, veggies, oily fishes, and all sorts of stick-to-your-ribs fare. A snack of nutty cheeses is a good call, too. Prost!
When the first batch of Long Trail Ale was produced in 1989, it was still very, very early in America’s craft brewing renaissance. Founded that year by Andy Pherson in an old mill, the brewery was a trailblazer for craft beer in Vermont, and the Northeast more broadly. Originally called Mountain Brewers, the brewery was so well known for their flagship beer that they changed their name to Long Trail Brewing Company at the same time they relocated to their current facility on the banks of the Ottauquechee River in early 1996. The brewery and their eponymous beer are named after Vermont’s Long Trail, which travels the spine of the Green Mountains from Canada to Massachusetts, where it intersects the Appalachian Trail – whose construction was inspired by the Long Trail.
Being an iconic craft brewer with a long history and deep roots in the community, it’s no surprise that charity and community involvement are central to the brewery’s philosophy. The business sponsors charitable events for numerous non-profit partners like Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, Vermont Mountain Bike Association, Green Mountain Club, and the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation. The brewery produces a wide array of year-round, seasonal, and limited production beers, and even some non-alcoholic CBD-infused seltzers. If you ever have the chance to visit their Riverside Pub, located about two and a half hours northwest of Boston, you should take the opportunity to go and enjoy over a dozen brews on tap, included limited releases, as well as good food, live music, and a beer garden vibe in a uniquely beautiful area. For more info, visit them at longtrail.com.
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