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Friday, June 15, 2007

Shipyard Brewing Chamberlain Pale Ale

I got some good news recently: Shipyard's Chamberlain Pale Ale is no longer a Maine-only, 22 oz. and draft-only release. Shipyard, based in Portland, Me., first brewed Chamberlain in 1995, and I'd been grabbing 22s of it whenever I visited Maine. But last month Shipyard sent me a sixer with a press release: the rest of the country was now getting this Brit-type pale ale named for the hero of Gettysburg and governor of Maine.

That calls for a celebration, and me and my opener are going to start one. I smell hops and esters as soon as I open the bottle: lively number. Mmmm...the nutty malts and Ringwood character, the firm bitterness of tri-traditional hops (Cascades, Fuggles, and Tettnang), smells like ale. I like Sierra Nevada and its cleanly-fermented descendants, but I've always loved English ale yeasts. It's flavorsome, it's distinctive. I know there are plenty of hardcore beer geeks who hate Ringwood yeast and Shipyard, the brewery run by Ringwood's chief advocate in the U.S., Alan Pugsley. But Shipyard sells a lot of beer, and there are still plenty of successful breweries using Ringwood yeast.

Eh, no need for debate. I'm enjoying my beer. Welcome back to Pennsylvania, General Chamberlain!


Anonymous said...

You know I'm a huge supporter of RW breweries who do it right...but I'll believe this when I taste it. For now...I'll give you a big HMPH!


Lew Bryson said...

I expected nothing, more.

This is good beer, but I won't be shocked if you disagree.

Anonymous said...

Had the wickedly hot Captain Lawrence Fresh Chester Pale Ale in NYC at d.b.a. recently. that's hot as in cult status, not alcohol content. Another excellent choice...I'll bring ya back a growler sometime; I know you aren't goin to NYC anytime soon. ;-)