Review Date 7/29/2001
What do you think
about beer? When you hear the word, what images come to mind? A cold glass
of Bud, or perhaps just sipping it out of the can? Maybe a Heineken, a
Beck’s, or a Corona spring to mind. Maybe you don’t drink at all, and
therefore don’t think of much at all when you hear beer mentioned. Maybe you
don’t like the taste of the beers you’ve tried, so a negative thought is
what you think up. Whatever you think about beer, I’d be curious to know.
Leave a comment and tell me if you’re so inclined.
Sadly, I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the depth and diversity present in the beer world. There’s a popular image of beer as something you chug down by the 12-pack during a football game on Sunday afternoon. Beer is seen as a means to an end (catching a buzz or getting flat out drunk), and not as much else. I don’t see it that way. I see beer as an end in itself. Each glass I drink is satisfaction in and of its own merits. I savor the flavor of my beer, and appreciate the way it smells, tastes and feels. I marvel at how well different brews pair with different foods. Most of all, I just enjoy my beer. There’s a beer for every moment, a beer for everybody. You just have to find it.
I was thinking about this Friday night while sitting in Coddington Brewpub in Middletown, Rhode Island. I was enjoying their rich, malty red ale with a cup of the best clam chowder I’ve ever eaten in my life. It was New England style, rich and creamy and packed with more clams than I’ve ever had in chowder anywhere. The addition of fresh dill is a very nice touch, and the malty, firm bodied red was an excellent companion to the chowder. As I sipped my beer and ate my soup, I looked around and noticed people having a great time and really enjoying their beer. Laughing, joking, having serious discussions over a pint. Some were intently focused on a Red Sox game. Others, like me, were enjoying a brew with dinner.
At one table, a family of two adults and two children were happily devouring a gourmet pizza. Dad and mom enjoyed a beer with dinner while the kids were drinking soda. That’s the way things should be, I thought to myself. Beer being enjoyed in moderation, as a beverage and not an intoxicant. These people all knew what beer is really about. This, my friends, is how I see beer.
Later that night the significant other and I were off to Foxwoods Casino. We decided to have a beer before hitting the slots, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Vermont brewer Long Trail’s Pollenator on tap along with Bass, Guinness, and several varieties of Samuel Adams. More people seem to be thinking like I do about beer, because craft brew is becoming more and more common everywhere I go, even at casinos like Foxwoods (nearby Mohegan Sun has a built-in brewpub).
Pollenator is a perfect summer beer. It’s crisp and refreshing but very, very flavorful. The brewer describes it in the following manner:
Pollenator Pale Ale is brewed with a touch of fresh New England honey. Inspired by no particular style at all, Pollenator is free as a bee with no strings attached. A refreshing Pale Ale perfect for casual spring and summer fun and whatever comes naturally!
You can get it all year long in Vermont, but it’s a summer seasonal everywhere else it’s sold. I found it to be deep gold in color with a light head formation and a firm malty nose. The palate is medium bodied but rich and slightly candyish. The honey imparts those traits and gives the beer a full mouth feel. There’s a subtle toasty character that runs right through the brew on into the nicely balanced finish that leans ever so slightly towards bitterness.
I enjoyed Pollenator on tap but it’s wonderful in the bottle too. It’s a great beer of summer, and I hope you think of beer as fondly as I do after you’ve tasted it.
Special thanks to beerlabels.com for preserving a copy of the label.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.