While it’s true
that everyone loves a beer with a good head, it’s also true that a cardinal
rule in the brewing industry, as in any business, not to get in over your
head. This is exactly what the Atlantic Coast Brewery of Boston,
Massachusetts seems to have done. Several years ago, Atlantic Coast, brewers
of the Tremont line of beers and Boston’s second bottling microbrewery after
Harpoon, opened as a very small operation but soon expanded rapidly in
response to popular demand and critical acclaim. Their beers, authentic
English style ales fermented with the idiosyncratic (and in New England,
ubiquitous) Ringwood yeast strain and brewed with a Peter Austin system,
were at first mostly distributed as draft product. As demand for bottled
product increased, however, the brewery invested in a spanking new state of
the art bottling line.
That bottling line may indeed prove to be the brewery’s undoing. Costing
nearly one million dollars, this was a huge step for Atlantic Coast, and the
loan that paid for the new equipment eventually had to be paid for.
Unfortunately, Atlantic Coast’s sales in the highly competitive craft beer
industry don’t seem to be sufficient to cover their expenses.
Tremont ales are some of my very favorite microbrewed beers. They are always
flavorful and unique and are a true treat when served cask-conditioned as
they sometimes are. It would be a shame to no longer see their beers offered
which seems to be a distinct possibility. There is currently no production
at the brewery according to reliable sources. There have been rumors of
contract production, but even if this occurs, no large breweries that engage
in the practice can brew a Ringwood ale and thus the beers would lose much
of their character. The F.X. Matt brewery of Utica, New York, makers of the
Saranac line of beers, has been cited as a potential producer of Tremont
ales. Matt is not set up to brew Ringwood ale.
Back on September 10th, 1998, I was having a particularly hoppy evening and
took the following notes:
I've just finished a glass of the hop monster that is Lucknow IPA,
clearly in the American slant on the style, and now I've just poured myself
a glass of Tremont's version, firmly footed in the English camp. Brewed in
Boston, this beer pours from the bottle to a truly beautiful light orange
color with a thick creamy head. It's a beautiful sight to behold indeed.
There's some Ringwood diacetyl in the nose and the palate as well where it
blends perfectly with a biscuity maltiness to achieve a state of true beer
bliss which is only accentuated by a big bitter hop finish that lingers on
the tongue for some time to remind you you've just had one heck of a beer.
Tremont's IPA is made with pale and crystal malts and hopped with English
Fuggles and Styrian Goldings. Alcohol content is a respectable 6.4%. Easily
my favorite beer from Tremont so far, and another example of the great beers
being brewed in New England.
For the first three years of its existence, Tremont IPA was a draft-only
summer seasonal. One can quickly see why it became a year-round bottled
offering. Tonight I’m drinking a bottle that tastes much the same as I
described it three years ago: cloudy dark orange in color with a medium
creamy tan head and a big hoppy nose. The malty palate is just as attention
getting and is nicely accentuated by buttery diacetyl notes. Chewy, caramel
malt is here too as is a big hoppy finish, lingering bitterness, and a
fantastic interaction between Ringwood yeast, malt and hops.
It would be a shame to lose this one.
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.