Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Middle Ages "Im Paled Ale" (IPA) - The Middle Ages Brewing Company - Syracuse, NY

In my third installment of brews picked up while watching my son's hockey tournament in Buffalo, I now turn my attention towards the Middle Ages Brewing Company, and their offering of an Indian Pale Ale. It's named ImPaled Ale, and through a play on words, it lets us know that we may be in store for something a little rougher than usual. I was certainly hoping so, as I take my IPA's pretty seriously, and this one hailing from Syracuse, NY had me rooting for it. Here's what the website had to say:


A complex and artistically balanced multi-layered IPA (India Pale Ale) with an intense finish of cascade hops.

6.5% Alcohol by volume

Available in kegs and 12oz bottles


Middle Ages Brewing Company offers handcrafted ales brewed in the fashion of medieval, merry old England. A Syracuse couple, Marc and Mary Rubenstein, owns the brewery. Marc, the head brewer, interned at two microbreweries, Kennebunkport Brewing in Kennebunkport, Maine, and Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine.

Mary says, "Our beer is handcrafted: no computers to control brewing cycles; we physically weight out the malt, do not use any adjuncts such as rice or corn fillers; and we mix our beer by hand. Using a rousing stick, Marc and Mary mix the fermenting wort when the yeast requires oxygenation, just before fermentation begins. As a brewer in Portland explained to her, "Then you become one with the yeast."

To maintain the tradition and tastes of English ales of the Middle Ages, the brewery uses two-row malted barley imported from Munton and Fisson Plc., in Stowmarket, Suffolk, England. The malt is germinated barley that has been kiln dried. "Our yeast strain is a direct descendent of brewing yeast originating in Yorkshire, England. It has been cultivated for the past 150 years," Marc said. We figure it should bear a resemblance to the Medieval yeasts." Middle Ages Brewing harvests its yeast from batch to batch, mixing it with warm beer to activate it.



Wow…this is not what I expected. Typically, in American IPA’s, you get this really citris-like aftertaste, but no so much with The ImPaled Ale. Here, the pour was clean, with very little head. In fact, what little head there was disseminated pretty quickly. It poured more like English Ale. And although the fruit overtones were there, you didn’t get that acid-like aftertaste. It even tasted more like pure English Ale. There was a certain bitterness to it that reminded me that I was drinking something that came from the earth, but I really like that in a beer. This is one solid IPA.


8.5/10 - Solid

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