Recently, I made my first visit to the Pump House Brewery in Moncton. I had just begun the bad part of my March-Break-ruining cold, but I wasn't going to let some damn cold get into the way of me trying some ales and eats.
Food-wise, they have some good-looking stuff. I nearly went for one of the brick-oven pizzas, but I'm a sucker for pulled pork sandwiches (not G.I. Joe Pork Chop Sandwiches), and went with one of them. It was pretty darn awesome. The mayo was a little odd, but, luckily, there wasn't much of it. The fries were average.
As for beer, I just got a sampler. At first, I only got 8/9ths of their offerings, which you see here, as their IPA was getting switched. L-R, top to bottom, you have:
- Cadian Cream Ale - a little better than the bottled version. Still not quite my thing, and still average.
- Pail Ale - fine, nothing stood out
- Fire Chief's Red Ale - decent; a little better than I remembered, maybe because it was on tap
- Scotch Ale - probably my favourite of the lot, as it was so memorable. It's a light-bodied ale that doesn't completely overpower with what it has. Mind you, all I had was a mini-sample. The scotch notes in it - the peat, the wood... they were pretty strong and lasting, even from a wee sample (look, I'm even talking Scot, here). I wonder if it might get to be a bit much, even after a full glass or bottle. Still, it was a bonny beer in that it was so memorable and had a lot of character.
- Blueberry Cream Ale - hadn't had one of these since Pump House made a push at the St. Peter's Blueberry Fesitval trivia years ago. I thought it was decent then, and liked it a bit more now - maybe it was the blueberry floating in this one. Tastes like they use the same base for this as the Cadian Cream Ale.
- Muddy River Stout - a light stout, advertised as "sour". Well, it wasn't really sour in flavour. It was an easy-drinking light stout with a bit of character, though. I'd try a full-size one another time.
- S.O.B. (Special Old Bitter) - this one was OK. I think I expected something more. I'd like a full-size shot of this one.
- IPA - I asked about my missing sample at the end, and got it. The server warned me it was pretty bitter and that it would be like drinking unsweetened grapefruit juice. I love bitter IPA's, so he needn't have warned me... I can see how someone new to the style might be put off, though. It was one of the three most memorable beers of the bunch. There was a lot of pith in the flavour. There was a good deal of bitterness and grapefruit character to it. I'd have this one again sometime, too.
- Seasonal / Special - I think it was a Rye Pale Ale. I forget. It didn't stand out, anyway. Just came across as a pale ale with a bit more of a malty backbone to it.
I bought my pint glass, was given a "Save the Ales" sticker, and was out the door. Next time: full-size tests!