Shed Brewing Co. Mountain Ale

By: Beer Baron PA

 It’s the start to an easy day just hanging out on some neighbors’ tractor and watching the trees put on their fall colors. The mountain fields cast their shade in the distance and nearby the dew spills over the ground, setting the stage to enjoy The Shed brew– ‘Mountain Ale.’ The Shed Brewery operated also as a restaurant in Stowe, VT which closed, but the brewery was bought by Otter Creek Brewing Co. back in 2011. In the meantime, Crop Bistro (a local bistro/brewery) started their business on the same property where it still operates today. Where the seed falls, another will beer. Uh- I mean grow.

Here comes the fun part. Grab a brew and lean in. In 2010 Long Trail Brewing Co. acquired Otter Creek Brewing Co. Then a year later, Otter Creek Brewing Co. acquired Shed Brewery. The acquisition allowed Long Trail to own 7.5% of all Vermont beer sales. Smart move. The great thing is, the brewing equipment was allowed to be relocated to Middlebury where the signature ‘Mountain Ale’ is still being brewed.

The Breweries complement each other. For example, Long Trail doesn’t have a lager, whereas Otter Creek does. Here’s a bonus. Otter Creek has another branch of beers under the Wolaver’s name. These are certified organic by the USDA and appeal to the organics movement consumer.

It’s all very interesting. Without the research do you really know if your beer is really produced by said brewery? Rumor has it, a local Vermont brewer is contracting out beer from Paper City Brewing Co. (based in Holyoke Massachusetts -mind you) yet labeling their beer as Vermont made. How does that make you feel?

Shed-Mountain-AleFirst Impression: The Label is very attractive. My eyes first go to the name of the beer with its bold black letters against the creamy-gold, white-yellow label. With the winter trees cutout against the background it brings nostalgia of the end of autumn. In between the trees sits a… I don’t know exactly. It looks like a bucket for collecting sap? Anyways, I’m fond of the artwork. It’s simple, eye-catchy, and not too much is going on. Short and sweet. The label does say that the brewery moved from Stowe, VT to Middlebury VT without telling us why. But that’s ok right? One thing I do agree with on the label are the words “a rugged brown ale.” I would say so. It’s enjoyable.

Pour: ‘Mountain Ale’ pours an auburn/copper color with a creamy beige head. After the pour it becomes a darker brown. At last the murky beer settles into a foreboding color of autumn. The head stays around for a while and takes its time to settle back down. A nice 12 oz. of brown ale.

Taste: Malty overtones dominate the aroma, and a sour ester is somehow caught along with it.  There are some light fruity notes, prune-like. A few moments later, a twig-ness becomes evident. Ever so slightly a burnt nutty will come out. Caramel mingles with the taste. Each flavor is distinct from the other. The taste is not bad, something to try and enjoy with some satisfaction.

Grade: C

ABV: 7.4%

IBU: 35

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Shed Mountain Ale