Today’s Beer of the Month Club Review comes from The Original Craft Beer Club. The two beer selections — Derailed Black Cherry Ale and Railbender Ale — are from the Erie Brewing Company in Pennsylvania.
The last time I drank on a real train was years ago during a journey from Rome to Florence. The beverage of choice? Limoncello, a sweet, lemony liqueur. It reminded me a little bit of lemon-scented cleaning fluid.
A much better drinking choice for train trips is the delicious, railroad-themed beer from the Erie Brewing Company in Pennsylvania, featured in this months Beer of the Month Club Craft Beer Selection.
Named for the Erie’s railroad industry history dating back to the 19th century, the brewery line honors the industrious worker.
Derailed Black Cherry Ale
I tasted the Derailed Black Cherry Ale for my Beer of the Month Club Review from Craft Beer Club after a day at work when my feet were tired from long hours standing and my throat hoarse from long hours chatting.
I poured the ale into a thick German beer mug (probably not the most appropriate vessel but it felt ceremonial) and sipped it while preparing a detox dinner. My boyfriend and I had been eating a lot of heavy meats, pastas and unhealthy food. It was time for a colorful dinner of veggies and this beer would match that theme perfectly.
I’d recently scored a 4 lb. bag of heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market so we feasted upon oven-roasted tomatoes and flounder, steamed broccoli, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, mixed baby greens and, of course, Derailed Black Cherry Ale to drink. A great, tart, slightly sweet complement to all those vegetables!
The description of “black cherry” led me to assume that the taste would be more intense and full-bodied, but it’s actually quite light. This isn’t intended to be an insult, but the beer was so light it almost reminded me of flavored water — a light beer with an undertone of flavor. A hint of sweetness, a lot of tartness, somewhat sour. Had it been just a tad more sour, it could almost pass for a lambic. I certainly wouldn’t endorse the description’s proclamation that “mild caramel malts… create a creamy, smooth and crisp ale.”
The Railbender Ale
The Railbender Ale is a world apart from Derailed and would probably be more apt to actually be enjoyed by the railroad laborers of yesteryear.
With this flagship beer, Erie Brewing creates a delectable twist on the Scottish Style Ale. A luscious malty flavor, married with caramel notes and just a hint of hop, makes for a lovely, easy drinking experience. I didn’t cook a dinner to pair with this beer, but it would be great to balance with some spice. It would do wonders to wash down a dozen super hot wings or enjoy alongside a few tacos continuously doused with your hot sauce of choice.
The Bottom Line
I was regaled this month by the Beer of the Month Club selection with both an incredible classic I’d love to seek out again and an unexpected fruity beer that I would be unlikely to try on my own. Horizons expanded? Check. Happy taste buds? Check. Beer of the Month Club provides satisfying beer-drinking experience? Check.
For novice beer drinkers out there, October, just around the corner, is National and International Beer Month (even if not officially). Oktoberfest boasts special edition marzen style beers issuing out of craft and major breweries, celebrations and specials in brewpubs nationwide and festivals the world around. It’s not too late to join the fun and sign up for your Beer of the Month Club this fall!