On the company’s website, Portland-based Shipyard brewing lists its Export Ale as its flagship brew. The pun may or may not be intentional. Although an “export ale” isn’t a Beer Judge Certification Program recognized style, there are a couple of blonde ales brewed in Maine-adjacent Canada which go under the export moniker, so perhaps it’s these to which Shipyard is referring. That being said, this is a little more interesting than, say, Molson’s take on a blonde ale.
The Shipyard Export pours a slightly orange golden color, a bit lighter than a penny, with a thick head which fizzles out in time. The carbonation is a bit on the fizzy side. The first scent of the beer is a bit sweet.
The taste is mild, but interesting and well balanced. The hops offer a mix of flavors. There is some citrus and pine, with the citrus tending toward orange rather than grapefruit, some black pepper spiciness, and a slight leafiness. The brewery’s website lists American (Cascade and Willamette) as well as European (Tettnang) hops.
The malt flavor is more straightforward, sweet and bready, with a bit of caramel – think of bread pudding. The simple sweetness of the malt provides a nice balance to the hops.
The beer may have been better for a summer day than January, but would be good anytime you’re looking for something mild (and the Shipyard Export is available year-round). Like Smuttynose’s Old Brown Dog, this is another great example of a mild beer done well.