Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mountain State Brewing Company Tasting

While on vacation at Deep Creek Lake in McHenry, Md (next to the Wisp ski resort), we wanted to grab a good dinner, and had heard about Mountain State Brewing's brewpub which was just down the road. Looking very much like a rustic cabin, this wasn't your typical brewpub - instead of the typical pub fare, this brewpub has two wood burning brick ovens and specializes in flatbread pizzas.

After ordering an Olive Another (olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, and artichoke hearts - yummy), we sampled the four beers they had available on tap - a blonde, an amber, an IPA, and a stout.

General comments:
All the beers had low levels of carbonation and were served at a cool (not cold) temperature - reminded me of beers from an English pub. Seemed to work better w/ the stout and IPA than the other two. Heads were thin in general as well.

Beer Notes

Cold Trail Ale - described as an American blonde beer using oats and wheat in the grain mixture, this was the light beer of the group. Very pale straw in color, there was no hop aroma at all. Clean tasting with extremely minimal hop bitterness, there was a slight caramel sweetness on the finish. Definitely a session beer, or one for those that go to a brewpub but really want to order a Michelob Light anyway.
Almost Heaven Amber Ale - "lightly hopped" w/ Wilamette hops, this deep red amber ale was tasty, although "lightly hopped" was an understatement - no hops on the nose, and only a very slight hoppy bitterness in the finish. The principal flavor was a pleasant nutty caramel, but it didn't linger on the palate long. This was Suz's favorite - easy to drink yet flavorful.
Seneca India Pale Ale - at 5.2% ABV, this IPA uses a mixture if Chinook, Casacade, and Amarillo hops for flavoring. Lighter in color than the amber, there was still very little hoppy smell to the brew. But although the menu said this IPA did not have a lingering bitter aftertaste, I found the opposite to be true - the bitterness was LONG on the finish, but pleasantly so - that's what you expect from an IPA, and this didn't disappoint.
Miner's Daughter Oatmeal Stout - this was my favorite beer of their selection. An extremely smooth, inky black beer, there was some initial bitterness which faded quickly, followed by a strong coffee finish with a slight chocolate note to it. Very pleasant, and a stout which was very easy to drink.

Overall I thought the beers were good, with the stout being the standout. Add to that some great pizzas ( and a s'mores flatbread dessert which was amazing), and this place was worth leaving your cozy ski lodge to visit.


No comments: