T Minus 7 Days – Promising Pale Ales – Cottrell & Cisco

Getting back to highlighting some of the lesser known beers that will be poured at the Bluffton Beer Festival, Cottrell Brewing and Cisco Brewers are two northeastern brewers that are new to me.  Interestingly enough, in this age of IPAs, both appear to be best known for their pale ales.

Northern Comfort

Cottrell Brewing is based in Connecticut, equidistant between Hartford, CT and Providence, Rhode Island.  Their Old Yankee Ale is rated A+ by the Alstrom Brothers on Beer Advocate.  Checking in at 5% alcohol by volume (the same strength as a Budweiser), the reviews make this look like an excellent session beer.  Citrusy, leafy hops, balanced against a medium bodied biscuity malt taste.

The name might not play well in other parts of the south, but if this one tastes as good as the descriptions suggest, the Old Yankee might just decide to retire around these parts.

Cottrell will also be featuring their Mystic Bridge IPA.  Reviews suggest this IPA is a bit restrained, with characteristics similar to Altanta’s Sweetwater IPA.  Moderately hoppy, but not extreme.  I look forward to giving it a taste.

An epic piece of tail

Cisco Brewers is based in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  They are best known for their Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, which rates an A- with the Alstrom Brothers on Beer Advocate.  The brewers describe this beer as being an English style pale ale, hopped with East Kent Goldings Hops.  These English hops are typically not used in American Pale Ales or IPAs, so I’d suggest giving this one a taste to see if you notice the difference (usually more floral, less citrus/grapefruit).

Also from Cisco, we’re expecting to be pouring The Grey Lady, which is brewed in the style of a Belgian Witbier.  Wit is Dutch/Flemish for white, and refers to a refreshing style of wheat beer that is popular in Belgium.  Wit beers are typically cloudy and pale in color, with hints of fruit flavors, such as lemon or orange and coriander.  Hoegaarden is the archetypal Witbier from Belgium, and we’ll be pouring this at the festival as well.

Speaking of Wit Biers, we will also have Harpoon UFO White, Avery White Rascal, and Westbrook White Thai, so there will be a few others to compare The Grey Lady with.  Avery White Rascal has somewhat mixed reviews on Beer Advocate, but it is one of my favorites in the style.  I’m looking forward to Westbrook White Thai which takes a different approach on the spices, opting for lemongrass, ginger and Sorachi Ace hops.

Before I forget completely about Cisco Brewers, we’ll also have their Sankaty Light for lager drinkers.

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