Mooncusser Pale Ale
Did you celebrate on Thursday? It was a pretty important day, in the grand scheme of things.
It’s too early to be Christmas. Thanksgiving is still a ways away. It’s not even Halloween yet. Regardless, for those in the know, Thursday was a very, very important day.
Of course, we’re talking about Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Granted, it doesn’t have the cachet of a National Hamburger Day (which was Wednesday) or a Sour Beer Day (which is Friday) or even a National Banana Day (which is April 15th), because all of them revolve around consuming some sort of food or liquid.
So, we’re taking back Talk Like a Pirate Day. How? you may ask.
By releasing a very pirate-y pale ale: Mooncusser Pale Ale.
Back in 2016, we released Mooncusser Pilsner, only brewing it twice. It was a textbook pilsner and definitely a good beer, but we’ve since decided to retire it.
However… let’s face it…. “Mooncusser” is a pretty rad name. It deserved a rad beer to back it up.
As we explained back in 2016, mooncussers were pirates. They’d invade a lighthouse — hey, we’ve got one of those nearby! — tie up the lightkeeper (what an awesome title for a job!), and turn out the lights. Then, they’d scamper up a nearby hill and light a fire. The sailors out on the high seas would mistake the inland fire for the lighthouse, usually causing them to run aground. Then the ‘cussers would force themselves aboard the disabled ship and go to town, pillaging and whatnot.
However, the light of a full moon would render their plans useless. Angered, they’d shake their fists at the heavens, cussing that full moon.
Making them “mooncussers.”
<cheesy segue alert>
But you won’t be cussing this brew!
<we warned you>
Pale ales can run the gamut from juice bomb to hops explosion, but Mooncusser is sort of middle-left on the juice scale.
“Mooncusser is a juice-bomb-meets-balanced-crusher,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink. “It’s more similar to Summa Down Unda than any of our other pale ales: firm bitterness, great aroma, juicy-ish but without being sweet.”
If you recall, Summa Down Unda was a New Zealand hops-focused pale ale with a bit of kiwi juice in there, helping to increase the juiciness in a beer with some relatively juicy hops.
“I would liken this to Always Ready,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman, “but a bit more on the tropical side thanks to the Vic Secret and Ella.”
“It’s pricey and not always obtainable,” Brian says, “so it’s best for us to be selective with our application of it. The request for this release was a southern hemisphere-focused hop bomb of a pale ale, and this seems like just about the best application I can think of for using Vic Secret!”
This is the first time we’ve used Ella, a relatively new Australian variety.
“It’s kinda like the baby brother to Galaxy,” Brian says. “Similar attributes, but not quite eclipsing its sibling, it’s a great hop to use in conjunction with other more punchy hops. Ella plays a great supporting role.”
And Citra is there to tie everything together.
“I wanted something that would play well with Vic Secret and Ella, but not steal the spotlight from them,” Brian says, “and Citra really seemed like a no-brainer for that.”
The result is an intensely well-balanced pale ale with a medium-light body, bright aroma, and, with a low, 5.4% ABV, is ridiculously drinkable.
“It is pretty sessionable just like Always Ready,” Lauren says, “so I may switch over to Mooncusser for Eagles and Penn State game days.”
“It’s super drinkable,” he says. “I can definitely envision coming back to this one again.”
Mooncusser released for distribution on Thursday and is available now in the Tasting Room. Don’t miss it!