Seek for El Dorado

Rob Haag brings you the scoop on our newest beer: Mountains of the Moon (IPA). The release date is Saturday, Sept. 23 in the taproom.

Featured in image left to right: Rob Haag, Scott Mcmillan, Scott Shuler

If you ask any commercial brewer, brewery/taproom manager, or cellarperson their background or start in craft beer, you’re likely to hear “homebrewer”. Some may still be active, or others like myself, may not have touched their homebrew system in ages. Since my start at 12 Gates Brewing Company back in 2015, I’ve been working with craft beer on a commercial level and my homebrewing days have dwindled. Even though my role in brewing has shifted, I still have strong ties with the homebrew community. Keeping that bond strength is important to me and follows the ethos of 12 Gates, which is why I advocated for us to sponsor the 1st annual homebrew competition at the Niagara County Fair in 2016.

Following the great success of Lava Flow (last year’s competition winner Brian Meyer’s recipe), we decided to do it again! 12 Gates Brewing Company was the proud sponsor of the IPA category of the 2nd annual Niagara County Fair Homebrew Competition in August 2017. The competitors impressed me, alongside a handful of fellow judges, with some very tasty IPAs, and some killer Belgian beers too! This year’s winning New England style American IPA was brewed by Scott Mcmillan. He shared his recipe with us and assisted on a 30 BBL batch brewed at the brewery at the end of August. Along with Columbus and Galaxy, the winning IPA this year has a mountain of El Dorado hops in it. Scott named the beer after a favorite Poe work titled “Eldorado”.

“Mountains of the Moon” is Scott’s tribute to this poem. This 6.1% ABV, New England style IPA is soft on the bitterness but is bold on the hop flavors and aromas of passion fruit, pear, melon, tropical citrus, and some piney evergreen. Scott is also a founding member of the local enthusiast beer group Buffalo Beer League. So “Ride, boldly ride” and find some Mountains of the Moon while you can, because it won’t last long.


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o’er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
“Shadow,” said he,
“Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?”

“Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,”
The shade replied-
“If you seek for Eldorado!”

-Edgar Allen Poe