Railbender AleNovember 2, 2009 Erie, PA
Erie Brewing Co.
Available: PA, OH, NJ, NY, MI, IN, MD, DE, VA, FL, TN, OR
Erie, PA was an important railroad hub in the mid–nineteenth century, the city being the site where three sets of track gauges met. Railbender Ale, Erie Brewing Co.’s flagship ale, is named after the laborers who laid the railroad tracks.
Original gravity: 1064
Waxed orchard fruit, subtle candied citrus, and cut grass on a bed of nougat, nut bread, and caramel-kissed malt. A bit muted in texture, with a slight tannic finish. Very drinkable for its alcohol level. The beer comes across to me as a bit confused―like it doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be.
- John Hansell
I like beers that don’t specify style on their label, as it adds to the curiosity factor when tasting. About this beer, for example, I know only that it has a moderately elevated strength and fascination with trainspotting. On the pour, I find further that it has a deep copper color and candied Mandarin orange aroma touched with hints of nutmeg and walnut, leading to a surprisingly soft and rounded flavor with caramelly malt and gentle notes of stewed fruit culminating in a slightly spicy hop finish. Not the aggressive beer the label imagery might lead you to expect, but a gentle giant that I expect would be quite comfortable beside a roast chicken or stuffed pork loin.
- Stephen Beaumont
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher and editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
Once described as “beerdom's Brillat-Savarin,” Stephen Beaumont is the author of five books and countless articles on beer, spirits, food, travel, and how it all goes together.
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