The Battle of Put-In-Bay

Brewery and Country of Origin: Erie Brewing Company of 1213 Veshecco Drive, Erie, PA, 16501, USA

Date Reviewed: 9-04-12

On the 3,112 acre state park peninsula of Presque Isle in Millcreek, PA, there is a small lagoon like feature originally known as "Little Bay." The bay is famous for its significance during the War of 1812. There, much of the US's naval fleet on Lake Erie was docked, right up to the fierce Battle Of Lake Erie. It resulted in a decisive US victory over the British, who were captured along with their ships. It was one of the largest naval battles of the war, and though it was the turning point which gave America the strength and advantage to recover Detroit, it was not won without taking its toll. Many on both sides died or were seriously wounded. And as far as fleet, well, two of the Navy's largest ships were damaged beyond repair and scuttled. After the battle which took place on September 10th, 1813, there was a terrible winter which inundated the great lake settlements, causing many to die from smallpox and severe seasonal diseases. Today, the bay is known as Misery Bay, nearly painfully commemorating the hundreds of casualties that took place at that very site, along with a memorial dedicated to the leadership of then Commander Oliver Hazard Perry. And like Misery Bay, this particular IPA has some very dark sides to it. For one, this is an IPA, which drinks like the opposite of one. The overwhelming malty presence makes it seem like this beer doesn't know what it is. And yet, this is a pleasant, drinkable brew which does, thanks to its self induced confusion, taste pretty good. Unfortunately, though, the bay is much like its epynomous brew: sure it tastes alright, and the US did handedly win the battle... but this beer isn't what it should be, and what America lost was more than substantial.
Date Sampled: 8-31-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: American IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 6.50%
Serving Type: 12 oz Bottle, 16 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 2.73


Misery Bay pours fairly smoothly with little carbonation action. This gives the result of a meager, thin foam head which dissipates quickly. This is dark amber/bronze colored with a slight hazy glow when held up to the light. No lacing occurs on the glass.


Immediately noticeable is a big, overpowering caramel malt aroma which subsides only just enough for a dimunitive trace of hops to be detected in the aroma. The aroma is a good indicator of this beer's general flavor profile.


This is a medium bodied beer with a dull, lingering finish. A moderate body makes this an easy drinking beer with at least some substance to enjoy and take in. This beer has a medium weight which can be felt when sitting in your mouth.


As indicated by the aroma, this is a very sweet, caramel malt injected beer with a big malty flavor overall. The beer starts malty and finishes with a balanced, hoppy finish more typical of the style. Especially when considering this beer is marketed as an IPA, this is a very malty beer, regardless of what style it is supposed to represent. There is a normal bitter finish which lingers.

Our Take

Perhaps naming a beer after a lake lagoon known for the historical hardships of its inhabitants wasn't the best idea, but it does teach you a thing or two if you're curious and have access to Wikipedia. Unfortunately, none of these things really matter for this beer, which as we stated earlier, doesn't really make any sense. There was a very low amount of detectable hops in the aroma, which was dominated by sweeter caramel notes. And as for the overall taste of this beer? Aside from the slightly hoppy finish, we couldn't even tell that this was sold under the label of an IPA. Unforunately, a beer which could have been given a better score recieved one of a just average level. And sometimes, that's the way things fall into place. You can make an awesome eggplant parmesean, but when you're customers bite into the meal thinking it's chicken or veal, you're going to get some pretty disgusted faces.