One of Maine’s pioneering beers is celebrating a birthday today.
Geary’s Pale Ale turned 28 years old on Dec. 10 – the anniversary marking the first time that pints of this pale ale were pedaled in Portland.
To understand why Geary’s Pale Ale is still a big deal in Maine, you have to understand the climate into which it was released. Maine’s first brewery, D. L. Geary Brewing Company first incorporated in 1983, and sold its first beer in 1986 – these were the days where Anchor Brewing out of San Francisco, Sierra Nevada Brewing in Chico, and Boston Beer Company were just scrounging together their operations. This group would see the craft brewing revolution all the way through to its current trajectory. Having survived the staggering downturn of breweries that happened in the 1990s, Geary’s is, in many ways, responsible for paving a path for the later booms of breweries to come.
Since those first pints, Geary’s has stayed true to their vision, and have made a name for themselves by not falling prey to any short-term trends, bust staying the course with their solidly-crafted brew.
“Our Pale Ale has been more than just our bread and butter – it’s the Geary’s brand,” says brewery founder D. L. Geary, “Nearly 30 years ago I set out to make consistent, quality English-style ales and in perfecting the Pale Ale, this mission has been accomplished.”
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your last Geary’s Pale Ale, expect to find a well-balanced pale ale with enough hops to be interesting, but not overrun with them. This is a more subtle beer than modern Pale Ales, and as a result can be somewhat under-appreciated or even overlooked. On tap widely throughout Portland and available in 6-packs at beer and grocery stores, it isn’t a hard beer to find – if you take the moment to look.
“We’re honored to have been the first in Maine,” says Geary, “and it’s wonderful to be here so many years later still making great craft beer.”
Cheers to 28 years!