Beer review: Ellicottville Brewing Co. Mow Master

  • Photo by Jodi Miller
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From the April 26, 2012 edition

About the brewery

Tucked away in Western New York, Ellicottville Brewing Co. is a 17-year-old business with two brewpub locations, in its namesake and in Fredonia, N.Y. The brewery produces about 30 beers that truly run the gamut, from stout to blueberry brew. Most are bottled, but several are available only on tap at the brewpubs.

About the beer

First, consider the label: A guy in silhouette on a rider lawnmower throws you a thumbs-up (That’s right, pop that cap off, friend!). He’s plowing through green grass while sun infiltrates the rest of the landscape.

Apropos, since Mow Master is a great warm-weather beer that is bursting with vegetal flavors and smells — we got moss, cannabis, raw asparagus and, yep, fresh-cut grass up front. That’s the hops talkin’. Mow Master stops far short of macho hops overload and lets some sweet hay and spice shine through. Bitterness is moderate for the style. All these factors add up to a low-alcohol brew that will be a welcome partner to summer foods.

Beef or bison burgers on the grill — spring for a buttered and toasted bun — will stand up well to this beer. But stay away from spicy, tangy barbecue or chili, which will render Mow Master’s bitterness unpleasant. Or try a fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil salad lightly dressed with lemon vinaigrette. You might like the way the tomato, basil and lemon complement the beer’s hints of citrus.