Day Two In St Michaels

Day two in St Michaels. This year I discover that my uncle Ron’s taste beer is more sophisticated than most. Delighted, he tells me of the ales at the C Street Saloon on the main street (the one and only street in town). There is even an English-style ale there, which makes me salivate. My wife wants to spend the morning shopping with Aunt Dottie.

St Michaels’ town motto is “The town that fooled the British” deriving from a August 10th, 1813 ruse. The residents learned of a British plan to bombard the town and fort. Hanging lanterns from the trees, they tricked British gunners into overshooting the town. Dottie says the motto should be updated to read “The town that fooled the tourists.” Overpopulated with fashionable clothes shops, art boutiques and tourist crap shops, there is little much else to do. I endure the commerce until lunchtime at the pub.

The C Street Saloon sits on the corner of St Michaels Blvd and Carpenter Drive. Like all the shops in the town the pub was formerly a home (often Victorian style) converted to business some time in the 1950’s. The bar is separated from the restaurant, forming two long rooms comfortably seating about two dozen apiece. The faire is typical sea-shore pub food: fish, crab, burgers, etc.

There are two beers of note on the menu. The first being the aforementioned C St Ale, and another a Yuengling Porter. Yuengling’s lager is easy to find, but the porter is new to me. I decide to start with a mug of the ale. Ron tells me that it is actually brewed 50 miles away in Annapolis.

A mug of clear amber beer comes to the table. It retains a thin white head after the trip from the bar. On the nose there is a great floral hop aroma. Not much malt, but certainly noble hops. It’s cold and has a carbon dioxide bite which complements a medium bitterness. The sweetness is well attenuated leaving behind a few British malt flavors to delight the taste buds. Medium body with uncharacteristic medium-high CO2, it finished dry and bitter without begin soapy. Warm it up a little and reduce the carbonation for a great English bitter.

Next up is the Yuengling porter, black and opaque. A whiff reveals strong molasses, but not much else. It tastes sweet, but one sided. The hops are barely noticeable with their bitterness coming out halfway through the glass. Low carbonation, medium body. Overall, a disappointing shallow porter. I order another C Street ale.

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