We all love traditions because of what they represent. One is consistency and another is the expectation of what the tradition brings. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, July 4th all are great traditions. But sometimes, just for a moment, it is fun to break tradition and try something new. That goes for beer for sure! Stepping out of your comfort zone is what great craft beer is all about. But I go further in this article today because I am presenting a great beer brewed outside of New Hampshire. You might ask, “Why?”
Because it’s just that good, it needs to be talked about…
Long Trail Brewery is located in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont and has been brewing for folks since 1989. They have grown from their original capacity of 8,000 barrels /yr in the basement of the Old Woolen Mill to a mega-barrel brewery located not far from the first site. Long Trail has five year-round beer offerings as well as six seasonals and eleven specialty or limited offerings.
You can visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/longtrailbrewingco or at their website at LongTrail.com
To understand how nice SMaSH #2 is, you need to know some background. Brewers tend to use a measured mixture of specialty grains for their taste and color attributes. This is then arranged with matching hop combinations. Finally, a matching yeast is selected to make the beer what it is according to the recipe.
SMaSH is actually an acronym which means Single Malt and Single Hop. Version #2 uses just Maris Otter malt and just Mosaic hops. This concept allows both of the contributions to shine on their own. There is no confusion of tastes, it’s just the malt and hops speaking very plainly to you. And they taste so nice together! Maris is nutty with biscuit notes while Mosaic is tropical fruit, citrus with whispers of pine. It’s beautiful golden yellow tones with a touch of haze and brilliant white head complete the portrait.
It is best enjoyed in a glass where you can put your nose in the glass and enjoy the beauty of its hoppy nature. The floral goodness of the dry hopping enhance the enjoyment. The complete package make for a truly enjoyable experience. If you are interested in IPA’s or hoppy beers, this one will garner your attention.
Most folks on BeerAdvocate.com give this brew a high 3+ to 4+ as an incredible enjoyment while others on different sites rate this as one of the most interesting beers they have tasted.
You can find this at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia and other fine craft beer providers. Get it before it disappears for the season!
Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to