Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Lobster Ale | Belfast Bay Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
117 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Lobster AleLobster Ale

Brewed by:
Belfast Bay Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lobster Ale is a copper "Red" ale with a medium hop flavor and aroma. It offers all the qualities of "Red Ale" with subtle levels of fruity-ester flavor and hint of caramel. A slight yeast haze and chill gives Lobster Ale a clear. foamy. rich head. Belfast Bay Brewing Co, is near tile Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia known for it Red Ale breweries.

When Pat Mullen's wife suggested that a brewery from Maine should make a beer called Lobster Ale. a user-friendly red ale seemed to be the perfect brew, We scaled back on the heavily hopped formulas our neighbors produce. We then added slight amounts of black and dark crystal grains to produce a smooth. medium hopped brew. The result is a very flavorful and drinkable red ale with an extremely smooth finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 304
Photo of EPseja
4.39/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature. Thanks to BA yelterdow for the hookup!

A - Deep chestnut brown with a fluffy, sand-colored head. Retention is mediocre, and lacing is sporadic but cohesive in the spots where it does form.

S - Biscuity English maltiness with a touch of hoppy florals. Simple, but elegant. Nothing more or less than it should be for this style.

T - Starts with the smooth mellowness of a finely crafted Barry White tune; sweet without being overtly sappy. Dry and biscuity in the middle, with a perfectly balanced dryness in the end and a pleasing, toasty aftertaste. An excellent example of simple, "non-extreme" finesse.

M - Easy and slightly watery on the way in, rising to a creamy froth with a vibrant effervescence on the tongue. Quickly condenses to a seafoam wave for a quick and fulfilling swallow.

D - This is the definition of a fantastic session beer, and one that could hardly be surpassed as a companion for a good steak dinner. Upon first smell and taste, I could easily have mistaken this for a great English ESB. It's got the right mouthfeel, and a supreme balance that keeps the next sip constantly coming. This beer is the antithesis of everything extreme brewers are trying to accomplish -- and thankfully so.

 1,301 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey-amber with a foamy 1 finger head that dissipated to a faint skim. No lacing.

Tons of caramel aromas in this one. Light hop leaf scent, and a bit of toasted malt.

Caramel malt sweetness, backed with some light hop bitterness and finishing with an odd soapy flavor (really -- after the first few sips, I was really hunting for it, and it is there). Funny enough, if it had a touch more bitterness, and no soap, this is a blind test dead ringer for Gritty's Best Bitter. Very very close.

Lightly adequate carbonation and medium body. Which it had a bit more fizz.

Overall, very very easy to drink, and a middle of the road amber ale. I've had better, but also far worse. Decent.

 696 characters

Photo of bob3701
3.87/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was drawn in to buying this from the packaging though the boat on the lable should have been a lobster boat, don't you think? Poured into a pint glass the head disappated to nothing very rapidly. A somewhat murky amber color with striking red highlights. Just looking at this beer I thought it was not going to be good but it had an interesting aroma and with the first sip I thought it was a damn good beer. This went down real easy and my son and I killed the six pack in the blink of an eye.

 496 characters

Photo of Morey
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-copper color with brilliant clarity (especially for a red). Nice white head with tight bubble formation that settled to a thin lace after about 10 minutes or so.

Smells of roasted malts and buttery lobster tail (ok...not really, but it would pair nicely).

Taste is primarily the amber malts with a pinch of subtle hop character.

Mouthfeel is thin yet refreshing.

I could easily drink this beer for the night.

Morey's Bottom Line: Nothing earth shattering, but I like this beer. Easy to drink, but with plenty of flavor. I talked to the head brewer at Belfast and he wanted this beer to be sessionable...and it definitely is.

 646 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of August 2010. Sampled on November 7, 2009. The pour is more copper and bronze than red but there are few hints of ruby in the mix. The head was thick and frothy. Fruity and malty sensations are ley with the first whiff of the aroma. The mouthfeel tends to be medium and smooth. The taste has a nice balance of bitterness and malty sweetness. A good clean hoppy and dry ending. A decent enough brew.

 451 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Topside in Gloucester. This was a couple months ago and i'm looking back over my notes, so I hope I can remember it.

A: Brown amber slight red and slightly clear. The light head retains pretty well.

N: Nose is of a light red ale with some toasty light malts, pretty lager like though.

T: Taste is purely red ale style, some lightly toasted malts and slight earthiness. Slightly bitter. Pretty light, crisp, and refreshing, but lacking on flavor.

M: Very light on the mouth, little creamy and low carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty dry and crisp.

 561 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12oz pint glass at the Great Lost Bear. It's fairly dark at the bar, so it's hard to judge the appearance, but it looks like a dark copper color. It's quite clear and has almost no head. It has a light hop aroma. There is a good caramel malt flavor to the Lobster ale (no, it doesn't taste like a lobster) that is balanced with some non-bitter hop flavors. There's a medium body and almost no coating of the mouth; it goes down clean. Personally, I find this beer very drinkable. I'm a big fan of red ales, and this is one of the best ones readily available in Maine. I could drink this beer all night.

 614 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice Red Ale. Pours a dark amber/copper color with a small white head. Head retention and lacing are very average. Smell is malt, not that pronounced.

I liked the taste, malty (more bready than sweet) a little buttery and a hint of a crisp bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit weak. Thin not to the point of being watery, but still thin. Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability. A good candidate for a session beer. solid but not spectacular.

 439 characters

Photo of drtth
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice dark copper color with a ¼" light-tan head that recedes fairly soon to a patch of foam and a small ring. Sipping early on produces a fair number of spots of lacing. However before the beer is half gone the head and lacing are a thing of the past.

Smell: The aroma has a buttery caramel character with an almost metallic character in the background. There also seems to be an earthy note from the hops.

Taste: The faintly metallic taste is present in the flavor, along with the lightly sweet caramel from the pale malts. About mid-way through the hops emerge with a definite but not unpleasant or overly strong earthy and herbal character.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium-bodied and smooth. Early on the carbonation is light with a steady scattered pattern of bubbles and a slightly prickly feeling. However, by the end of the beer the carbonation has been pretty much gone for a while. The finish is medium to long and dry as the earthy bitterness of the hops take over and then just fade away.

Drinkability: This is solid beer that I enjoyed drinking. I would have it again if available but I'll not be actively seeking it out in the future.

 1,287 characters

Photo of beergirlblog
4.23/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a beautiful amber-reddish, with a decent white head that stayed around until I'd almost finished the beer.

It smells sweet and malty and roasted-- the word sticky comes to mind, but I think that's a mental rehashing of caramel. The aroma skews towards being overly malty smelling.

The taste however, is a really nice, if not complex, balance between the caramel and roasted and malt flavors. There's a light hint of bitterness that keeps the other the flavors in check. The carbonation level is a little higher than what I normally like, but it worked alright with the taste profile and the way in which I was drinking the beer (while at work, classsyyy)

It tastes thin and sweet and again, roasted, in the mouth, nothing to complain about here.

Definitely drinkable. I had several. At least way more drinkable than most things. Good balance of flavor, thickness, and carbonation.

I'll definitely drink it again, especially because I can drink it on tap for free.

 984 characters

Photo of phantomwyse
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark, dark amber. Decent and dense two finger head produces a rich deep tan head. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet and toasty malts with just a hint at hops.

T: Nice and malty, plenty of roasted malts, some charred caramel. At the end there's light palette cleaning hops at the end.

M: Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

D: Not a great beer, but solid. Worked well with the clams and king crab I had.

 405 characters

Photo of captenaj
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: In keeping with it's name, this poured a deep red with a creamy head.
S: Mild hops and not much else.
T: Hops, which was pretty strong.
M: Thin, moderate carbonation.
D: There wasn't much to this beer, although the flavor that was there wasn't bad. This was nice with food but on it's own, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much.

 338 characters

Photo of Schwab
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured beer in glass and have to admit that it has a really nice amber-red-ish color. Leaves also a nice head, not very big but ok. Carbonation level seems also decent and beer is very well balanced between hops and malts. Mouthfeel is decent. Taste is good and definitely wants you to get some more

 299 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
best by 12/09

Pours a murkey amber/orange brown color with a small white head that vanished very quickly. Decent nose, simple malt and yeast esters. Sweet malt, awkward, almost sour bitterness and a looming machine funk going on here and a grainy aftertaste. Medium/light body. I think this beer would shine a little brighter with food, but i dont think i'll revisit.

 380 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle found in Topsham, this red ale was a mahogany color with some ruby highlights visible against sunlight. The head was a finger of khaki foam that displayed good retention and modest lacing. The aroma was of toasted malt, some mustiness and light hops. The flavors were slightly sour, roasted malt, citrus-like hops and a bit of nuttiness. The finish was crisp and bitter. The mouthfeel was slightly oily, the body medium and the carbonation medium. A very average beer.

 484 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Firstly, I'm glad someone finally wised-up and made a "Lobster Ale" for Maine. I mean, geez, you could put a lobster on almost anything and sell it to tourists! And the label looks good too, with a nautical connection with the white and red, a painting of a ship, and a lobster claw sneaking in! Good for them.

Secondly, it smells like a Maine beer. For whatever reason, those Maine brewers love their Ringwood yeast. It's toned down, but it's there. Lots of nice fruit, a balancing mineralish edge, and an undertone of buttery diacetyl that widens the entire gustatory experience.

It looks great in the glass as well with a very dark copper body that gleems with orange and gold highlights when held to the light, and a creamy tan head that holds well and leaves wide rings of thin, foamy lace.

There's lots of caramel to the maltiness, but fortunately it's not over-done, and extra-fortunately, doesn't show any oxygenation (which normally lends overtly bready and sticky-sugar notes). A median bitterness balances it, and there are some leafy, floral and grassy hops backing it. Add the character that the yeast lends into the mix, and you've got yourself a winner! A fairly straightforward ale that's not over-done in any way but still offers plenty of flavor and character.

 1,281 characters

Photo of cleeze
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark amber color with a bit of redness to it, especially when its held up the light. The head is slight and dissipates pretty quickly. The smell is nothing that amazing, malty with some caramel. It smells very sweet and syrupy, kind of like Killian's. Kind of weak.

Taste is interesting. Its got a lot of carbonation and only a slight taste of malt and hops. Its the kind of beer that certain people love since it has an appealing label and nothing all that amazing in the bottle. No intense maltiness, no super hoppiness or anything that would really set it aside from other beers. Nope, its just a decent, average amber ale...

I bet the tourist drink this shit up though

 685 characters

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.66/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Belfast Brewing Company's tapof a red lobster claw facing downward caught my eye at Camaradas the other night and figured I had not had an red in some time.

A: Poured into a pint glass to reveal a shiny crimson with a finger and a half creamy head. Sticky lace and strong retention for this sharp looking beer.

S: The nose was very too timid to show off the sweet malt and cascade hops.

T: Crystal malts are prominent in the flavor but perhaps a mixe of dry as well. Hop profile was subdued to my sensors. Ringwood yeast was enjoyable but the flavor lasting power could be improved or perhaps the lightness is intentional.

M: Medium and dry that builds your desire to quaf another one.

D: I enjoyed the Lobster Ale and would recommend to others that don't want a big beer but want to pack away a few

 807 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one from a 12oz bottle.

Poured a deeper amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, citrus and some graininess. Tastes of caramel, citrus, grainy, and toasted malts. Toasty and grainy all the way around.

Notes from 10/02/07.

 264 characters

Photo of mynie
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Solid red ale pour, lobster red (get it???) with a small but retentive white head.

Smells a little stale, maybe? Bottle says its good until June of 09, though. As it warms up you get more solid nodes of red ale malt--whatever malt that is. Gee you know I've brewed reds before you think I'd remember this stuff. The hop presence is minimal but it's still there and it balances the malt out decently.

Tastes like it smells, only a bit more balanced and with fewer hints of off nodes. Rich malt, started sweet and getting nice and crisp and red aleish. Good, peaty aftertaste with a lightly dry hop.

Solidly drinkable, decent session. I don't about you guys but when I hear that there's a beer out there called "Lobster Ale" I feel a little upset until I get to try it.

 772 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale and crystal malt scent along with some Ringwood yeast esters. It's dry with a light hop nose. The taste is decent. It has a very smooth pale and crystal malt flavor. It has a balanced taste and a dry/clean finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's nothing outstanding, but a solid offering nonetheless.

 510 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish body, light red/amber tints you could say, with a decent head. Minor hop and malts hit the nose. The taste is primarily malty, with the malts being subdued and leaving a little bit of dryness and thinness (plus some carbonation) on the tongue. Little simplistic and not too much in the malt department. I did like this beer, I'm just not sure if I'd bother with it again.

 387 characters

Photo of Jayli
2.43/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a clear reddish-brown Red Ale with a large, creamy head. Minimal lacing throughout. There is a sweetness to the smell along with hops. It has a mild malty taste in the middle, and a very bitter finish with an unappealing aftertaste. The body is firm in my mouth. Overall, a bit bland and is a rather forgettable beer.

 334 characters

Photo of bjoyce12
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Try to drink local and sampled this on a recent trip through Maine. Seems to be very popular, but I think it's due to the lobster on the label. It was present at every commercial clambake event.

Nothing notable to the beer itself. No memorable aroma nor taste. Far more worthwhile local ales to try if you're in Maine; Allagash, Sebago, and Kennebc River, in that order.

 372 characters

Photo of albern
3.29/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Claudio's in Greenport, NY. I never heard of the beer nor of the brewery. I guess the latter is really a marketing company which contracts out through Shipyard. As for the beer, it was a very respectable and solid red ale. It poured a pretty frothy and creamy headed reddish amber. Not loads of carbonation, but that is typical of the style.

The taste was very traditionally characteristic of the style. You have that dryish, peaty, slightly charred and/or roasted red maltishness, not much hopping going on, and bit more drying and charred flavors in the finish. This isn't an overly complex beer, but it was a good one. The one down side was that the beer didn't have much of an aroma one way or another. The aftertaste lingered a bit longer than I would have liked. If you can find the beer, it's worth a try.

Re-review July 2009: Alas, another one from Claudio's. This time the beer striked me as having some diacetyl, and there is a more traditional English maltiness, toffiness to the beer that made it less interesting than the first time around. The beer didn't really have the peaty qualities that I remembered. I'm knocking it down a peg.

 1,171 characters

Lobster Ale from Belfast Bay Brewing Co.
3.51 out of 5 based on 304 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!