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Royal Tar imperial stout released into the wild

There was once a steamer ship called the Royal Tar that traveled from St. John, Eastport to Portland, Maine. During a voyage in 1836, the ship’s passengers included a menagerie of animals. Sadly, the ship caught fire and sank in the Penobscot Bay, along with still undiscovered treasures.

In honor of the ship that has captured so many imaginations, we created an imperial stout called Royal Tar. First created back in 2014 and packaged it in 22-ounce glass bottles, we’ve brewed it several times through the years, the last time in 2019.

But our brewers can’t quit Royal Tar. It’s back and with a fresh look: SIX different cans all containing the same robust, complex liquid that’s so much fun to make.

Peter Dahlen, Directory of Brewery Operations tells the tale: “It’s exciting because we don’t make dark beers very often. When we get to make one, it brings a different smell in the brewery from the mash. Whenever we have a high gravity beer, we use a lot of grain, sometimes more than twice what we usually use! It’s fun to get everyone together and test the limits of our equipment. We all hover over the mash tun, appreciating that caramel smell. And when we put different kinds of Maine-grown malts in, it feels like we’re opening up Christmas presents.”

While the style of an imperial stout is dark and bold, about 15% of Royal Tar was barrel aged for about 10 months. That bit of extended barrel-aged beer is a wood characteristic that adds rounded, smooth notes to the unique blend.

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy an imperial stout. Its strong flavors and warming qualities makes it an experience to savor.

As Head Brewer Rusty Packer puts it, “it’s a beer best paired with a cigar and friends.”

Royal Tar is available in unique 4-packs of 12-ounce cans at all Sebago Brewing locations. Supplies are limited and cans will go quickly, so get yours while you can!



Sebago Brewing Company