I am a bit behind on my reviews, I did a major stock up run in mid-August and then my trip to Maine, and while I’ve sampled and taken notes on all of those beers I haven’t written the reviews yet. Need to get used to this two articles a weeks schedule, it’s just too hard to consistently do three with my new commute/job/schedule. Anyways, one of the stops I made in Maine was to Marshall Wharf Brewing Company in Belfast, easily the closest brewery to my parent’s house. This wasn’t my first visit to Marshall Wharf but it’s my first review, last year their canning line was down and the growler I bought didn’t make the trip back. Marshall Wharf is a throwback in many ways, while many breweries are building state of the art taprooms with décor by local artists the Marshall Wharf taproom is on the lower level of a building, with furnishings that are scant and clearly second (or third) hand. The location of the brewery couldn’t be better though, right on the waterfront of Belfast harbor. The brewery is only open during the early afternoon, by 4 you can sample their beers upstairs at Three Tides, an affiliated restaurant and bar. In August I stopped by and did a tasting of their eclectic selections, leaving with a four pack of Bitter Truth, a traditional English ESB. The one downer from the trip, I also grabbed a pint glass but it broke on the trip back south. They don’t appear to have an online store, so I guess this gives me a good excuse to go back the next time I’m in Maine!
Marshall Wharf Bitter Truth ours a clear deep copper with a pillowy off-white head. The scent is a mixture of bready malts and herbal hops. The flavor is balanced, just what you’d expect from an ESB. There is a solid malt presence, notes of toast, biscuits and caramel. This is complemented by the old world hops, touches of cut grass, flowers and pine along with a little bitter bite. Bitter Truth is medium bodied, smooth and not too boozy at 5.5% ABV. The finish is a mixture of crisp hop bite and just a hint of malt sweetness. Marshall Wharf Bitter Truth is a well done take on an underappreciated style, and the brewery will continue to be part of my routine when I visit family in Maine. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.