ACBW Day 3 Featured Beer: Stone Cat Beer

Nestled in the heart of the quaint hamlet of Ipswich, MA, you’ll find the Mercury Brewing Company. A company that embodies the very spirit of Ipswich – innocence, trust, and the American way. It is a town that takes you back to a simpler place, a time of milk men, evening newspapers and red scare. By simply crossing a town line, you are charmed into believing the world can still sustain the child you will undoubtedly conceive at that adorable bed and breakfast off Main Street later tonight.

DISCLAIMER: I know nothing of Ipswich

Without a doubt, most of you Seacoast beer lovers have tried Ipswich Ale, the flagship beer of the Mercury Brewing Company. What many of you may not know, is that Ipswich Ale and its sister beers have some extended family, the Stone Cats, to be exact.

The Stone Cat girls are the unpopular cousins of the Ipswich family – they share so much in common; are made up of most of the same genetic material, but for whatever reason, you just never think to take any of the Stone Cat gals to the box social or even fill a line on their dance cards. The Ipswich sisters? Now THERE’S a sure bet. Dependable and reliable, they are sure to be a good date – their conversation is crisp and clean, even if they can be a bit repetitive. But those Stone Cats? We’ll, they’re just…different. Asking anyone of them to the dance would be going out on a limb for sure. Will they just chatter incessantly about some book? What will my friends think? Well, I went out on that limb and asked all three of the Stone Cats to ride in my limo and wear my corsages.

I have yet to see this beer outside of the North Shore, and during a recent trip down, I made sure to pick up the Stone Cat summer variety pack – a perfect choice for American Craft Beer Week.

Blueberry Ale

This is by far the most honest blueberry beer I have ever drank. Most fruit beers are made to taste as sweet as candy, simultaneously catering to the Smirnoff Ice crowd and giving fruit beers a bad name. Stone Cat Blueberry Ale does not take the easy way out. Immediately, you smell the blueberries. Just as you should. However, upon sipping it – you are greeted with a crisp berry flavor, not at all saccharine. This beer finishes with a taste of hops which plays gleefully with the berries as it passes your taste buds.

Suggested pairing: NOT swiss cheese. I was drinking this while I made lunches for tomorrow and made the mistake of eating some cheese.

Blonde Ale

As someone who loves hoppy beers, I find this to a refreshing twist on the Blonde Ale. It has the starts with the expected light citrusy taste, but finishes with a bold hop flavor. While the blend is enjoyable, the taste begs for small sips and some savoring. Expect to have this beer last a bit longer than most.

Suggest pairing: NOT Gold Fish crackers. I wanted a snack halfway through writing/drinking this post, the light salted flavor of the snack that smiles back did not mesh well with the Blonde Ale.

Heffeweisen

This one threw me for a loop, I could taste the Belgian Ale influence, but I had to go to the Mercury Brewing Company website to figure out exactly what I was tasting. As it turns out, it was subtle hints of banana and clove. I would recommend pouring this beer into a glass, not only because it is a heffeweisen, but because the sediment, which when stored sideways, amasses on the sides of the bottle. Also, I love beers that look like fruit juice. It’s pretty to look at and has a nice floral taste.

Suggested pairing: NOT Arm and Hammer Advanced White Toothpaste. I brushed my teeth and then realized I still had a few sips left.

Check out Stone Cat at: http://www.mercurybrewing.com/stonecat.html

-MM