Sea Dogs Blue Paw Ale vs. Bump City Brews Blue Ball Ale

So one of my favorite beers to drink on a hot summer day is a refreshing Blue Paw Ale brewed by Sea Dogs Brewery in Portland, Maine.  After a lot of googling, I found a replica recipe on BYO (Brew Your Own) magazine online.  I brewed it up once in August of ’09 and the result was a nice tasting wheat ale, but didn’t have the same aroma profile as I anticipated.  I brewed it again in December of ’09 and the result this time around was noticeably better.  Personally, I think the secret was letting the Blueberry extract that I added to the secondary carboy sit for an extra week before kegging.  The body of the beer turned out the same as the first batch, but the added blueberry aroma got me one step closer to what I was looking for. 

Last weekend, while I was browsing though the thousands of beers at Full Throttle Bottles, I actually found Sea Dogs Blue Paw available for $2.  Great!  I can compare my brew with theirs and more importantly improve mine to mimic Sea Dogs but also add a little Bump City twist to it (im thinking hints of Biscuit).

Alright – let’s get drinking! 

Pour:

Blue Paw – Fizzy Head that disappears quickly after the pour.  Light Golden and Clear. 

Blue Ball – Moderate off-white head, that also disappears soon after the pour.  Amber in color and hazy body…most likely from not cooling the wort quick enough after the boil and might add some irish moss or whirfloc tablet next time to get more clarity.

Aroma: 

Blue Paw – Prevailing fresh sweet wild Blueberries on a spring day in Maine – the only smell is that of blueberry, no hop aromas noticeable.

Blue Ball – Mild Blueberry aroma, present, but not overwhelming.  No hop aromas present.

Taste:

Blue Paw – Starts off with a mild blueberry flavor that is due in part to the favorable blueberry aroma.  Finishes like a wheat ale and won’t leave your breath smelling of blueberry bubble gum.  Very refreshing and sessionable beer.

Blue Ball – Starts off with a light hint of blueberry flavor and quickly changes to the flavor profile of a wheat beer.  Has what seem like a hint of hay flavor notes to it as well.  Still refreshing and sessionable although it is a little heavier than the Blue Paw.

Overall:

Blue Paw – Still the winner and only “Fruit” style wheat ale that I’ll drink.  The blueberry adds to the refreshing flavor of the beer rather than overwhelm it.  I can attest to the fact that it is a great beer to drink while sitting on a dock in Maine fishing for striped Bass. 

Blue Ball – Very good contender and definitely not bad for being only the second time I have tried to clone the Blue Paw.  The aroma improved dramatically compared to the first batch and the flavor was an improvement as well.  Taste great on draft and is a crowd pleaser at Bump City Brews.

Would I buy/brew more of it?

Yes and Yes!  Love my Blue Paw and am always trying to work on my Blue Balls…

BEER FACTS:

Name:  Blue Paw

Style:  Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale

Brewery:  Sea Dog Brewing Company

City:  Portland, ME

Country:  USA

Container:  12 oz. Bottle

Malts:  ??

Hops:  ??

ABV:  4.6% (Very low – Did not reach targeted O.G. or F.G. – should be around 5%)

IBUs:  ??

Date Brewed:  Unknown

Date Critiqued:  1.21.10

Description from Sea Dog Brewing Co’s website:

“Our unique contribution to the fruit ale category features the nutty quench of wheat ale combined with the delightful aromatics and subtle fruit flavor contributed by Maine wild blueberries.”

Name:  Blue Ball

Style:  Blueberry Wheat Ale

Brewery:  Bump City Brews

City:  Seattle, WA

Country:  USA

Container:  Cornelius Keg

Malts:  Unhopped Wheat LME, 2 Row Pale Malt, Wheat Malt, Munich Malt

Hops:  Hallertau & Williamette

ABV:  3.6% (Very low – Did not reach targeted O.G. or F.G. – should be around 5%)

IBUs:  16

Date Brewed:  12.12.09

Date Critiqued:  1.21.10

 

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4 Responses to “Sea Dogs Blue Paw Ale vs. Bump City Brews Blue Ball Ale”

  1. We have been trying to replicate Blue Paw Ale too. Our recipe is great on a hot summer day, and yet it is not Blue Paw! My Brewmaster is determined to make his Blue Dog Ale, Blue Paw worthy!

    Sous Brew

  2. Do you have any tee shirts available for sale for these great brews?

  3. I’m not sure but I think that Munich malt might be the biggest reason your beer is so much darker.

    Good Luck

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