1687 Brown Ale
Six pack, $9.99++, 5.5% ABV
Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
Ah, a brand new brewery birthed their first baby.
I was a bit surprised to find this in West Hartford pretty soon after its release in the summer of 2012 – it’s rare in this age with instant info dissemination via Twitter that actual real life distribution is not too far behind. Fortuitously, Hoang had some random recipe for some chicken dish that required brown ale. Double win.
Part of me feels like Charter Oak exists solely for me. I mean… Charter Oak? The iconic sorta true, mostly not story about colonial badasses that is commemorated on everything from our state quarter to 20 businesses and schools and everything in between. I won’t get into all the Charter Oakiness of our state, but if you live here, you know it’s rather pervasive.
Off the top of my head, this is probably the 10th page on CTMQ with heavy Charter Oak focus.
Before tasting the beer, I have to give props to the label art. Even better than that is the phrase that appears there: “A true legend.” Clever, no? Seriously, think about that for a second… A true legend. Sort of what the tale of our Charter Oak has become, right?
But one sip of this brown ale and it is readily apparent that this beer is absolutely true. Truly good and true to the style of a brown ale.
Charter Oak says:
Charter Oak’s 1687 Brown Ale (this was the year the legend of the Charter Oak took place, and Wadsworth hid the document in the majestic Oak Tree – later to become known as The Charter Oak) is an American style which is slightly more robust than the traditional English Brown Ale. This beer will be brewed to a dark copper shade and be somewhat sweet and malty with distinctive toasted flavors from both our premium specialty roasted and chocolate malted barley, also allowing for a faint undertone of caramel. This style is lightly hopped for balance and this ale will prove to be a wonderful selection for a sessionable beer. Our medium-bodied, limited bitterness and hop aroma will make this an excellent choice.
Upon drinking this, I have to admit I was surprised. I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be very good. Maybe it was the ol’ (often unfair) predisposition against contract brewing. Maybe it was my hesitation at a beer playing on my interest in Connecticut’s history. Who knows.
By the way, you should stick to drinking this beer. The brown ale braised chicken kind of sucked. The bitterness of the cooked beer was just not good – and I happen to love baked chicken.
I was left looking forward to Charter Oak’s next beer – and I appreciate that they seem to be releasing them very slowly. Quality takes time… Or so I hope that’s the situation here.
Overall Rating:, A-
Rating vs. Similar style: A