Casco Bay Summer Ale, St. John’s Tropical Mango Pale Ale, and St. John’s Island Summer Ale

St. John's Tropical Mango Pale Ale

Yesterday we spent the evening at a BBQ that our friend’s Elina and Adam were hosting. I took along some beers for review. All three beers are contract brewed via Shipyard Brewery in Portland, ME.

The Tropical Mango Pale Ale from St. John’s brewers just plain wasn’t for me. I’m not a huge Mango fan, but the beer sounded unique so I bought it. The Mango flavor was overkill. Reminded me of a wine cooler, but not quite that sweet. The flavor of beer was still present. Nonetheless, it was a very easy drinking beer and despite not being a huge fan, I sucked the bottle down pretty quick.

Casco Bay Summer Ale

Cacso Bay Summer Ale was another sub-par experience. It’s a blonde ale that has a bit of that funk you find in certain beers of this style (e.g. Boulder Sweaty Betty). It’s a hard flavor to describe other than “funk” with a tinge of “skunk”. As I drank the brew, I have to admit it grew on me. By the time I was done with it I thought it actually made a decent summer beer. I probably wouldn’t go looking to buy it again, but I also wouldn’t turn one down if it was offered to me.

St. John's Island Summer Ale

St. John’s Island Summer Ale is another blonde. Not as good as the Casco Bay. Lacked character. Another offering from St. John’s Brewery that I’m not interested in trying again.


The food spread was pretty sweet. Elina and Adam are very good chefs.


I met a lot of people at the party. Most of the guys had jobs in the tech industry and all of them liked beer. Perfect combo.


Before heading home for the night I convinced Adam to crack open his bottle of Saison Du Buff. This beer is a collaboration beer; Victory Brewing, Dogfish Head, and Stone Brewing got together to dream this one up.

I had the beer back in June at the last Tweetup I held. At the time I was certain that the bartender had given me the wrong beer. I asked for this saison, and the beer I was tasting was piney and herbal. In my mind, that’s NOT what a saison is supposed to taste like.

I was stoked to try the beer last night to test my “I got the wrong beer” theory.

Annnnnnd I was wrong. Saison du Buff is a piney and herb-packed saison. Jasmine was what I thought I was tasting. The label calls out parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Way more like an herbed beer – somewhere in-between the Nora and the Rock Art Jasmine Pale Ale. Quite drinkable in my opinion. Here’s what the other guys had to say (and I paraphrase):

Adam: “Very delicious. Doesn’t remind me of a saison. I would definitely buy it again.”

Brian: “Was terrified at first. I don’t like Saisons. This beer had more flavor and depth than expected. Would drink the hell out of this beer.”

Thanks again to Adam for sharing!!!

Author: Joshua Dion

I write about beer in an un-intimidating way, welcoming beer lovers of all experience levels.