Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Few Notes On Dacker

Davidson Brothers beers are bottled in Portland, Maine at the Shipyard Brewery. Not coincidentally, this is where Rick Davidson who recently returned to his role as the brewer of the Brothers Davidson, learned the art of brewing back in the good 'ol ninetees. Until recently, their IPA (a very solid beer made with Ringwood yeast - tastes like something Middle Ages or, say, Shipyard might make) was their number one seller.

And then, along came Dacker. Dacker (as in Adirondacker - noun; dude who lives in the Adirondacks) is a malty, Strong Scotch Ale that runs about 6.2%. We were blown away the first time we had it, probably because it is quite delightful on draft. The bottled version is not quite as good (again, it's brewed at Shipyard, which likely acounts for the difference). This, in the words of brew dude Rick Davidson, is Dacker's story.

Late last summer, Kerry and I had occasion to spend a few nights at the fine
Wawbeek on Upper Saranac Lake. One afternoon, I met a man and we got talking
about brewing. He’d heard of Davidson Brothers, but had never been to the pub.
Like so many people I meet, he was a home brewer, but he said he often brewed
the same recipe, one handed down to him from his father and grandfather. I told
him if he ever got down to Glens Falls, I’d like to try some of his original
The next week, he appeared outside the brewhouse door with a couple
bottles filled with his ale. I showed him around the brewery and sampled his
ale, and he had a taste of our Smoked Porter and our Scotch Ale. His ale was
very, very good and I told him so. He offered to write out the recipe if I
wanted and said we could make a batch to sell in the pub. Why not? After all, it
was exceptional. He said he didn’t want any credit or mention. He just thought
his was an ale others would enjoy. Read the rest...

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