by Corin Hirsch
Alert: It's the waning hours for McAllister Irish Red Ale. If you're near Williston and are curious about very local beer, you might want to track down a pint.
Williston resident Marty Bonneau, a member of the Green Mountain Mashers home-brewing club, first brewed McAllister in his basement for one of the group's periodic contests, this one to turn out a red ale style.
Bonneau's malty, balanced brew won. As part of the reward, Fiddlehead Brewing's Matt Cohen offered to brew a batch to be tapped both at his own establishment and a local pub — fittingly, McGillicuddy's Irish Ale House in Williston.
On November 6, Bonneau, Cohen and the contest's second-place winner, Brian Eckert, brewed 10 barrels of McAllister at Fiddlehead, using "pale and caramel malts as well as a pinch of roasted barley to create a very malt-forward beer with little residual sweetness," according to Fiddlehead's website. The beer was tapped at the brewery on November 21, and was the guest star of a launch party at McGillicuddy's on Sunday night, when at least two kegs of the stuff went swiftly.
I dipped into McGillicuddy's last night to try it, and learned that only part of one keg remains. It's not surprising: The brew is full-bodied, chocolatey, and eminenty drinkable.
Fiddlehead is out of it already. So McGillicuddy's is the only place to grab a last taste — if there's any left — and have some fried pickle slices while you're at it.