The Shed Brewery in Middlebury, Vt. Is one of Vermont’s first brewpubs, with their roots going back to Stowe, Vt. before they moved to a larger facility. One of their flagship offerings is Mountain Ale, brown ale offered year-round.
Mountain ale pours a beautiful reddish brown with a slightly off-white head. The aroma of malt, caramel, and biscuit stand out. The head dissipated fairly quickly, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass.
The first sip revealed the malt bitterness you expect with a brown ale. There was a nice caramel flavor that gave way to a spicy sweetness, almost like a cinnamon but that is faint. There are also bread notes, a slight hop note, but the malt and caramel notes take the cake here. It is a really enjoyable beer if you like brown ales. This tastes a little different, and the flavors do remind me of Vermont. I can definitely imagine sipping this as the snow falls or even by a lake in the summer.
The sweet notes in this brew help make this stand out from other brown ales. It is a nice take on an English classic with a Vermont twist. It is medium-bodied in the mouth with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a smoothness to this brew which makes it really easy to sip.
Overall this is a pleasant brown ale that you can sip any time of the year. At 7.4% ABV it does have some punch to it but you can easily drink a few of these. This was a nice surprise and if you like brown ales I recommend giving this a try.