A New Bedford Bar and a Maine Brewery Taps a Unique Collaboration
The 14th annual Rose Alley Ale House Beer Summit is well underway and there's a new beer on the menu with quite the reputation and a familiar name.
Each year, beer connoisseurs come from all over to take on 28 beers in 28 days. The popular downtown New Bedford bar is normally packed from open to close as beer lovers enjoy craft brews from throughout the country.
The house rules allow each patron only six beers per day for safety reasons and water is readily available for key hydration.
Here's this year's lineup:
Notice the first beer on the list, the Rose Alley Summit IPA 2023. Now, it may not be brewed at the bar, but Rose's collaboration with Mast Landing Brewing is still impressive.
The Maine-produced beer is a double dry-hopped India Pale Ale that's light and refreshing, a perfect brew to kick off the challenge.
"I reached out to Mast Landing and they thought it was a great idea," Rose Alley general manager Greg Crane said. "It was the one unique beer on the list that no one else has and it's a damn good beer, a super-light pale ale."
The tap handle was a collaborative group effort, with a design by Amy Tomkiewicz.
"We were aware of the ongoing annual event and since they’re supporters of us and included us with some of our core beers, we were happy to collaborate with them," Mast Landing Director of Marketing Gene Buonaccorski said. "We took inventory from some of our flagship ideas and brews and produced a beer that was suitable to put Rose Alley's name on it."
"Our brewery is very focused on local community or other communities who have supported us," Buonaccorski said. "A collaboration is important for us to keep engaging with the people who got us to where we’re at today. It’s always cool to get a beer out there that’s specifically designed for our clients such as Rose Alley as we continue to grow."
Brewed exclusively for Rose Alley from a seven-barrel brew system, the beer arrived in New Bedford in 20 half-barrel kegs, which is enough (hopefully) to last the length of the summit.
"For someone that's worked in the beer industry for the last 10 years, working for multiple breweries, it's a great way to honor the tradition of craft beer and the community that it surrounds," Homegrown Distribution sales representative Matt O'Dowd said.
Every bar seat was occupied and standing room was limited as I picked the brain of a local beer drinker who was sipping on a summit beer with some friends.
“I give it 4 out of 5 stars, it was really good," Lenny Machado said of the ale. "It's very well-made, very hoppy and citrusy. For fans of a Sam Adams Summer, you’re going to like this beer. It doesn't have the same bite, it's more of a smoother Sam Summer.
"Honestly, it was only a matter of time. I’m surprised it took them this long to do it, but it’s fitting. It only makes sense."