Hidden Gems: Ipswich Five Mile Stock Ale
If you’re from Massachusetts, there’s a good chance that you’re already familiar with the Ipswich Ale Brewery. Having been founded in 1991, it’s one of the longest-running craft breweries in New England, and their beers have become widely available not only around the North Shore, but also in several states along the east coast. Recently, they released their first in a series of limited-edition brews, with the intention of supporting local agriculture and producing great beers that are unique to the area where it all began. The “Five Mile” series will be composed of beers that get at least 50% of their ingredients from local sources, and which contain at least one ingredient grown within five miles of Ipswich (hence the name). It’s a great idea, and it’s part of what makes craft beer unique and interesting.
Their first limited-edition release, the Five Mile Stock Ale, uses ingredients from several local sources; the Marini Farm in Ipswich, Valley Malt and Czajkomsky Farm in Hadley, and hops from their very own hop yard in Ipswich. At 6.4% abv, it’s on the malty side, but with a nice, fruity hoppiness in the background from being dry-hopped with the locally-grown Cascade hops. Cascade hops tend to add a flowery, citrusy grapefruit flavor, but here it is pleasantly subdued by the malt profile for a mild, easy-drinking beer that tastes like a cross between an IPA and an Oktoberfest-style lager. It’s a beer that manages to strike a good balance while remaining flavorful and original, and it helps to support local farms. I’d call that a win.
All of the beers in the 5 Mile series will be limited-edition, single batch brews, so get them while you can!