The Seaport Hotel is home to more than one million bees. That surprising fact jumped out at me when reading about Long Trail Brewery's new Seaport Honey Ginger IPA. The beer is brewed with honey collected in August from the roof of the hotel. The brew is currently being served at TAMO Bar & Lounge, located on the premises.
About 350 pounds of honey were harvested from 11 rooftop hives. Some 300 pounds were delivered to the Vermont brewery for production of the beer. Though the beer is only being served at TAMO, with a newborn at home I pulled a few strings and tried some from the roof of my soon-to-be-former apartment. If you squint you can see the actual seaport in the background of the photo.
I pour the beer and immediately smell the honey. I've brewed a honey beer, so I know that most of the sugar from the honey ferments out in the boil. Still, you can attain floral notes from the honey in the nose of the beer if you use enough of it; 300 pounds must be enough. It smells like dandelions.
The first sip is more hoppy than expected. This is an IPA, after all, and despite the honey it's not overly sweet (again, much of the sugar ferments out). I don't taste much of the ginger, which is probably a good thing. There's nice balance here, a solid IPA made more interesting by an addition of local honey. As a bonus, you can drink the beer in the place the honey was produced. These bees were buzzing over your head all summer long. With their help, Long Trail has managed to produce an appropriately weighted beer for the fall.
-- The second annual "Ales for ALS" event takes place at the Waterline Center at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Oct. 5. Dedicated to finding a cure for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), the event features samples of hand-crafted beers from a homebrewing contest as well as unlimited local foods. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here. All proceeds from this fundraising event will go directly to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).