Shiver Me Timbers, It’s Mooncusser Ale!


My family recently returned from a mini vacation on Cape Cod. In the past I’d transported beer down there with me, but there really is no longer a need to do that. Many liquor stores around the Chatham area maintain a fine craft beer selection. I look forward to drinking the fresh Cape Cod Beer on tap at many of the local establishments and taking a growler back to the cottage now and then (their Amber Ale is my favorite. I like it better than their IPA!).

On this past trip I happened to notice this big bottle of Mooncusser Ale by Cisco Brewers. According to the label:

Mooncusssers were Chatham’s “pirates” of previous centuries. They would lure ships in on stormy nights with their lanterns, only to have its sailors surprised when they crashed into the rocks along the shore. Then the Mooncussers would loot the cargo. Only it didn’t work when the moon shone on the ocean, because the sailors could see the rocks ahead… so the “pirates” cussed the moon!

Cussing pirates from previous centuries? Hmmm. That’s tough for me to imagine, but I’m guessing it looked something like this:


In any event- this beer was an interesting drink. The label is long on quaint New England pirate stories but short on beer vitals. I found a description online that said it’s “a hoppy East Coast IPA”, and I think that’s fair. Lots of grapefruit on the nose and tongue, and sort of a dry-hopped finish. Very bitter but not necessarily in a bad way. I predict most hop heads would drink it once and enjoy it, but not necessarily seek it out in the future. It’s one of those “oh yeah, I’ve had that” beers which certainly has a place in the craft beer world. This suits its limited release status anyway.

Vital Stats: 22oz bottle served right out of the fridge. I know some beers tend to improve in taste and texture as they warm, but this strikes me as one you want to enjoy chilled. Guessing it’s fairly high on IBU’s and ABV somewhere in the 7.0% range.

Taste: B. I like the citrus but the finish is too dry to justify anything higher.

Drinkability: B-. I think it’s making me more thirsty as I drink it. Does that make it more or less drinkable? I’m confused.

Packaging: I’m fairly certain I’ve seen this particular mooncusser on an episode of “Scooby Doo”. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids…


One comment on “Shiver Me Timbers, It’s Mooncusser Ale!

  1. After being initially enthused by Cisco’s offerings, I’ve gone back to them a 2nd time and found them lacking. I like your description… "they’re one of those "oh yeah, I’ve had that" beers." There are so many "yeah, that was awesome" craft beers out there, that even though I want to support the local guys, I’ll seek them out. Great review Chad!

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