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Breweries Coming Soon to Maine / New Hampshire

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Growlers – the best way to drink beer at home

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Case of Allagash House Beer

322. Allagash House Beer

When Allagash announced they were releasing a “house” beer I was not sure what to expect. Then some details started to appear online (although not on the Allagash website) saying it would More »

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Vermont Beercation 7/4/2012

Last week I headed to Vermont for a 3-day trip with my wife, her sister and her husband. I spent a couple of days looking at reviews of places to visit and More »

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Tree House Brewing

A recap of my visit to Tree House Brewing in Monson, Mass. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet More »

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Hill Farmstead Brewery

Everything you wanted to know about one of the World’s best breweries. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet More »

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784. Frost Beer Works Another VT IPA

Frost beer Works Another VT IPAFirst beer from Frost Beer Works in Hinesburg, Vermont. Have not made it to the brewery yet but that will change the end of the month as I have a 3-day conference in the area and I should have time to stop by and check out the space. In the meantime I traded some Maine beers for some Vermont beers on a recent trip to Hill Farmstead. I like the simple label design and naming structure of Frost Beer Works line up.

Deep amber color with a thin white head. Carbonation seemed light and the head disappeared relatively quickly for an IPA. Aroma was mild but pleasant with a mix of tropical fruit and a nice sweetness. Taste is bitter up front followed by the tropical fruits and a sweet malt finish. Odd to have the bitterness on the front end but it worked.

Overall this is a very well balanced, refreshing IPA from Frost Beer Works. This was one of the first round of beers released so it may improve as they get things dialed in a bit more.
Pros: Well balanced
Cons: Light on carbonation, might be intentional 
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 70
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Frost Beer Works
Brewers Description: a balanced, aromatic IPA with six malts, a Mosaic/Citra dry hop, and the signature of VT’s ale yeast. Citrus and tropical fruit aromas from hops complement malt smoothness and nuanced yeast complexity to create a flavor that encourages having another sip.

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783. Smuttynose Brewing Shebang

Smuttynose ShebangI had this beer on draft at Marche in Lewiston and enjoyed it. A few weeks later I found some bottles at Joka’s in Waterville so I decided to grab one to enjoy at home. The bottle was nearly three months old so it may have lost something in that time but I find the really big 10%+ DIPAs don’t lose as much as some of the smaller beers.

Great looking beer with a deep orange color and thick white head. The aroma when cold was very light with some fruity hop aroma but the alcohol really took over as it warmed. Taste has lots of pine and a bit of grapefruit followed by a big bitterness that lingers. The bitterness and the big alcohol flavor made me happy this was a small bottle.

Overall a good beer but they may have gone a little too big.
Pros: 

Cons: Too bitter and too much alcohol
Alcohol Content: 10.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose Brewing
Brewers Description: Shebang (triple IPA, 10.5%) goes further than Big A; featuring a lupulin cornucopia! Bravo and Zeus were used in the boil additions, while dry hopping is a blend of Summit, Pacific Gem and Falconer’s Flight.  For perspective, Shebang uses about 6 pounds of hops per barrel, while Finestkind is brewed with just over 1 pound per barrel.

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782. Garrison City Beerworks Mosaic Pale Ale

Garrison City Beerworks MosaicAnother excellent beer from Garrison City Beerworks and another beer that focuses on Mosaic hops. This continues a trend that includes; Hill Farmstead’s Mosaic Pale Ale, Trillium’s Mosaic Dry Hopped Fort Point, SoMe’s Apostrophe IPA and Mozaccalypse from Stoneface. Lots of options for fans of Mosaic hops.

Garrison City’s Mosaic Pale Ale is another in a line of pale ales all coming in around 5% ABV and all very flavorful. Appearance is a deep orange almost red with an off white head.  Aroma is quite sweet with some nice tropical, lemon and citrus notes. Taste starts with those sweet malts but moves quickly to the fruity hops. Lightly carbonated, almost no bitterness and a very dry finish make this one super easy to drink.

Another excellent beer from Garrison City.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Garrison City Beerworks
Brewers Description: Mosiac Dry Hopped Pale Ale. A Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Mosaic hops. Flavor and aroma of pine, citrus, blueberry and pear. Medium body with a dry bread malt finish.

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781. Wormtown Brewery Be Hoppy

Wormtown Brewery Be HoppyWormtown is another brewery that I have not visited yet but I really enjoyed Hopulence so when I saw cans of Be Hoppy at Julios I grab a couple 4-packs. I have had a lot of mediocre IPAs lately and hoped that Be Hoppy would be an improvement.

Fortunately I enjoyed everything about this beer. Be Hoppy pours a super clean copper color with a thick white head. Citrus, grapefruit and a bit of sweetness in the nose. Taste has lots going on with the citrus, tropical fruits but also some pine and floral notes. Bitterness is there but far from overpowering. Refreshing, clean and very drinkable Be Hoppy is a well crafted single IPA that even non-hop heads would enjoy.

Really nice beer from Wormtown and one of the best single IPAs I have had in a while. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 69
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Wormtown Brewery
Brewers Description: Reddish-gold hazy unfiltered brew; Pungent aroma of citrus, floral spice, and grapefruit; Decidedly bitter palate with a medium light body; Flavors of hoppy grapefruit give way to a dry finish; Our Hop Back and Double Dry Hop process ensure aromatics that are in your face coupled with an obscene amount of kettle hops that should make all bitter beer fans and hop heads swoon.

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780. Night Shift Brewing Whirlpool

Night Shift WhirlpoolI stopped at Julio’s in Westborough looking for cans of Morph but ended up leaving with Whirlpool and Be Hoppy from Wormtown Brewery. I have yet to try Morph but I have to say that I was not disappointed with either beer and particularly impressed with Whirlpool.

A 4.5% ABV pale ale with loads and loads of flavor Whirlpool is a fantastic beer for any day or activity. Appearance is an unfiltered pale orange with a thick white head. Aroma is a bit on the light side but you would expect that from a low ABV pale ale, still plenty of fresh citrus fruits. Taste has all the same citrus fruits but also adds a very refreshing peach flavor which is uncommon. Almost no bitterness, great carbonation and the mouthfeel does not seem watered down which often happens with low ABV beers.

This beer really surprised me, I guess it should not have as almost everything I have tried from Night Shift has been excellent. Really need to make it down to the brewery and learn more about their operation soon.
Pros: Flavorful and low ABV
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Night Shift
Brewers Description: Soft, juicy pale ale bursting with notes of ripe peach & citrus. Available in cans, on draft, and in growlers at the Taproom; cans also sold at our retail partners!

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779. Medusa Brewing Company Albatross!

Medusa Brewing AlbatrossThis was the only IPA that was on when I visited Medusa Brewing but they have made at least 4 others. This one uses entirely southern hemisphere hops from Australia and New Zealand.

Appearance is a deep orange with a thin white head. Aroma was relatively light with some melon. Taste was also relatively light for an IPA with some type of melon; the brewery description says Honeydew. Only lightly bitter and really easy to drink.

A very good IPA even though the aroma and flavors are not huge.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Medusa Brewing
Brewers Description:This IPA is hopped entirely with southern hemisphere varieties: Summer and Pride of Ringwood from Australia, and Wakatu from New Zealand. Honeydew melon and tropical fruit character are in the forefront here.

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778. Medusa Brewing Company Laser Cat

Medusa Brewing Laser CatMade my first trip to Medusa Brewing a few weeks ago and it is a truly impressive facility. Very high tech brewing system, huge tap room and a long list of beers to sample or take home. The beer list included a wide variety of styles including; pale ales, cream ale, porter, stout, IPA, double IPA and even a Randall for infusing beers with fresh hops or other things.

Ended up taking home this small growler of Laser Cat and a large growler of Albatross!. Laser Cat is Medusa’s double IPA which was double dry hopped for added aroma and flavor. It pours a nice deep orange with a thick white head. It is not clear but also not as murky as some other double dry hopped beers like this one from Trillium or Austin Street’s Patina Pale Ale.

Lots of citrus and tropical fruits in the aroma. Taste follows with a sharp bitter finish that was the only part of the beer that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. Overall a very nice double IPA and one that I would drink again and again. If you find yourself in Mass take the trip to Hudson to check out Medusa Brewing.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Medusa Brewing
Brewers Description:Plenty of dense citrus, tropical fruit, and herbal notes to assault your hop-loving senses. Double dry-hopped with absurd amounts of Citra and Nugget.

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777. DC Brau / Oskar Blues Smells Like Freedom

DC Brau Smells Like FreedomThis is the best beer in the box so far but I do have a few saisons left to drink. Smells Like Freedom is a collaboration between DC Brau and Oskar Blues (see link here for more detail).

Smells Like Freedom pours a radiant orange with a thick white head. Lots and lots of dank piney hops with a bit of tangerine and pineapple in both the nose and the taste. Carbonation and mouthfeel were both excellent. Finish has a nice bitterness and leaves an oily residue that lingered long after the beer was finished.

DC Brau and Oskar Blues set out to create a dank IPA and they did just that. If you have a way of getting this beer you should give it a try. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: 
Brewers Website: DC Brau
Brewers Description: Smells Like Freedom is a big, juicy hop-bomb of an IPA with a nice medium body that is slightly dried out thanks to the addition of sugar the brewing kettle. The hop profile is huge. Notes include resiny, piney, earthy, sticky, cannabis and white pepper with aromas of cannabis, tangerine and sugar-coated ruby red grapefruit to entice the drinker. Smells Like Freedom drinks with a subtle punch of bitterness upfront that fades into a pleasant, palate-coating bitterness that attractively lingers and asks for another sip. This one is sure to please beer geeks and IPA fans with many layers of flavor upon flavor.

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776. Devils Backbone Brewing Company Eight Point IPA

Devils Backbone Eight Point IPASecond beer from Devils Backbone and this one is a classic American IPA. Nothing special here but it is a well balanced beer. Mixing floral, grassy hops with a malt sweetness and bit of a pepper spice.

Finish is bitter but not over done. Nice beer but there are 100’s others just like it. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 60
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Devils Backbone Brewing
Brewers Description: This is the first batch of beer we brewed after the conception of Devils Backbone Brewing Company in 2008. Our brewmaster Jason Oliver was thinking about how to design the IPA when he heard a rustle near his fence line (just touching the woods) where he saw two young proud eight point bucks walking along it. He decided to name the beer after those young bucks as it seemed to fit the spirit of the beer,which is proud, brash, youthful, yet approachable.

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775. Devils Backbone Brewing Company Double Gooch

Devils Backbone Double GoochThis one is a collaboration between Devils Backbone Brewing and Fat Heads Brewery both of which are new to me. I think this beer suffered a bit from age as it was brewed in February and consumed in May so a little over three months.

Appearance is a crystal clear orange with a very thin white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was muted piney dank hops and a bit of alcohol. Taste followed but there was also a fair amount of herbal, spicy and floral hops which took away from the dank, resiny hops. My favorite IPAs are citrus or tropical fruit followed by the dank, pine hops and then a distant third are the herbal, spicy, floral hops. I had high hopes for this one from the aroma but lost that in the taste.

This could be an entirely different beer fresh so this review may not be accurate if you can find a fresh batch give it a try as it is a solid beer. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 80
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Devils Backbone Brewing
Brewers Description: Double Gooch Imperial International Pale Ale uses distinctive Southern Hemisphere hops from Australia and New Zealand alongside some bright and juicy US hops. Fat Heads Brewery brewed a Gooch Pale Ale using Southern Hemisphere hops this summer and we decided to brew a bigger danker version.

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