The second Stonehammer Brewing selection this month was Red Maple Ale, an ale style beer that was brewed with locally sourced maple syrup. I had no idea there were categories for maple/honey beers at so many beer contests — but there are and apparently this beer has won a handful of awards.
When I think of maple syrup I think sweet tasting. I had anticipated the Red Maple to have a sweet aftertaste to it and oddly enough it doesn’t. The ale has a very bitter finish and if you’re craving maple syrup this isn’t the way to go — it’s hard to pick out the maple among the other flavours.
The beer poured a very dark red, almost brown colour with minimal head. Aroma wise there was a hint of hops and maple and a lot of malt. This beer was surprisingly subtle and is a good balance of bitters, malt, and sweet. It tastes more like a classic red ale than a proudly maple beer – but it works and it was surprisingly smooth drinking.