Coming Soon

Breweries Coming Soon to Maine / New Hampshire

Decided to do a post on all the new breweries that are coming to Maine and New Hampshire in 2013 and beyond. Below are links to websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts More »

growlers

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 »

drink-vermont-beer

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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621. Tree House Brewing Julius

Tree House JuliusMy second beer from Tree House Brewing and this is one of their most popular. Julius is one of their IPAs using loads and loads of hops. This and Green seem to be the two most popular beers from Tree House.

Julius pours an unfiltered deep orange color with a thick white head. Aroma is one of the best from a single IPA with loads of tropical fruits. Taste is hops, hops and more hops with lots of tropical fruits to start and then some pine and floral. Finish is slightly resinous and not quite as crisp as I had hoped.

This is a truly excellent IPA from a brewery that is new to me but getting lots of rave reviews from beer reviewers that have made the trip to Monson. Keep an eye out for my full post on the brewery soon.
Pros:
Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 

Brewers Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewers Description: Bursting with 1.6 oz per gallon of American hops, Julius is loaded with notes of passionfruit, mango, and citrus.  At 6.5% alcohol, it is refreshing and freakishly drinkable.

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620. Tree House Brewing Eureka w Citra

Tree House EurekaWell I finally made the trip to Tree House Brewing in Monson, Mass. I will have a post dedicated to the trip and the brewery in the near future as I took tons of pictures and had a great time talking to Nate, Johnny and the others at the brewery. In the meantime here are a few beers I took home from my visit.

Eureka with Citra is described as a blonde ale but like many other beers today it pushes the limits of what a blonde ale can be. Appearance is a very hazy yellow with a single finger white head. Great retention and lacing on the glass show this is a well crafted beer. Aroma has plenty of citrus, very aromatic for a low ABV beer. Taste follows with plenty of fruity hops and only a very slight bitterness as you would expect from a blonde ale.

Eureka is an excellent session beer; very flavorful and refreshing. This one would be right up with their with Walden from Hill Farmstead.
Pros:
Flavorful and low ABV
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 

Brewers Website: Tree House Brewing
Brewers Description: A Blonde Ale brewed entirely with Nelson Sauvin hops, a New Zealand varietal that melds beautifully with a simple bill of pale malts.   This is a true “session beer” and one that does not make any compromises.  It has a delicate bouquet of passionfruit and a slight lemon flavor that will surely quench your thirst.

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619. Hill Farmstead Excursions #1

Hill Farmstead Excursions 1I love hops, all hops even experimental hops like Hop 01210 that happens to be used in this beer from Hill Farmstead. This one is a single IPA from Hill Farmstead with a very reasonable 6.25% ABV.

Appearance is a slightly hazy pale orange color with less of a head than I am used to from Hill’s beers. Aroma was truly excellent and possibly my favorite part of the beer with loads of fruit; grapefruit, lemon, orange, WOW. Tastes has all of these and adds a bit of pine as well. Finish is crisp and clean with only a very slight bitterness.

Really enjoyed this beer as I do all beers from Hill Farmstead and while others have received higher ratings a 4-star beer is still worth seeking out. 
Pros:
Fruity hops
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.25% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: The first in a new series of IPAs and pale ales exploring new hop varieties, flavor profiles and combinations.

This IPA features a experimental hop from the Pacific Northwest, Hop 01210, as well as Citra and Amarillo, for a citrusy, lemony and slightly resinous flavor.

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618. Bissell Brothers Brewing The Substance

Bissell BrothersThis review was a long time coming as the Bissell Brothers have been planning their brewery for over a year. I got to try some of the pilot batches along he way and really enjoyed them. When the brewery opened they did not have the canning machine as it was delayed at the manufacturer so The Substance was keg only for quite a while. Then word came down that cans were hitting select retailers and the craziness began. Bier Cellar in Portland and The Vault in Lewiston were included in the first round and I picked up my 4-pack at The Vault. Greg at Bier Cellar blew through many cases of this in the first day setting a new record for single day sales. Goes without saying a lot of people we waiting for this beer to hit the shelves so they could enjoy it at home.

The Substance has one of the coolest can designs I have seen and comes in 4-packs of 16 ounce cans. The appearance is a crisp clean yellow with a solid white head. Aroma is a very nice mix of citrus and pine, not as big as some other beers but still a very inviting appearance and aroma. Taste is certainly hop forward but still very well balanced. I get a fair amount of citrus and slightly less pine. Also seems to have a slight oniony taste which seems strange but it works. Faint bitterness in the finish and was very refreshing. I actually enjoyed this more out of the can than I did on draft which is surprising. Not sure if it was just a different batch and Noah continues to gain experience on their new system or if it was the fact I was drinking it in the comfort of my own home.

This beer will be a great summer beer in Maine, take it to the beach, golfing, hiking or anywhere you want a quality tasty beverage.
Pros:
Hoppy and refreshing
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewing
Brewers Description: Our bread and butter; the beer that has made waves in Portland, greater Maine, and even NYC.

Flavor that goes and goes, without being overly bitter. Soft in the mouth with a juicy finish, the Substance begs to be crushed.

The Substance can be found on draught and in 16 ounce cans.

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617. Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #6

S&S 6This is my fifth beer from the Society and Solitude series of double IPAs. Looks like the only ones I have yet to try are #1 and #7. There are similarities to between the various double IPAs from Hill Farmstead, each has the signature hazy orange color and bright white head but they also have distinct flavor profiles due to the different hops used. Society and Solitude #6 uses mostly Mosaic hops.

As noted above this beer has the typical hazy orange color of Hill Farmstead’s beers with a single finger white head. Aroma has a lot of citrus fruits mixed with a nice amount of pine. Taste follows with the same mix of citrus and pine which sounds like two flavors that may compete with one another but they actually work quite well together. There is almost no bitterness in the finish which is surprising for a double IPA but this is just part of what makes Hill Farmstead beer so great.

I know I have said it many times but if you have not been to Hill Farmstead yet you are missing out. I am there about once a month, keep an eye on my Facebook Page as I usually say when I am headed out to Hill, if you see a post and have the time shoot me a message as it would be great to have company on some of these trips. 
Pros:
Huge hops with very little bitterness
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 

Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Imperial Pale Ale brewed almost exclusively with Mosaic hops from the Pacific Northwest.

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616. Foundation Brewing Eddy

FoundationFoundation recently launched their brewery in Portland with two beers; Eddy a saison and Blaze a heavily hopped saison. Both are excellent beers but I opted for a growler of Eddy partly because I was on a trip to 7 different breweries the stopped in and I knew I would be coming home with several growlers of beer. Eddy being the less hoppy beer should hold up better than Blaze.

Being a saison it has a small amount of funk from the yeast and almost no bitterness. It also has a crisp dry finish that works very well with food. Appearance is a nice light orange with a single finger white head. Aroma is earthy and very crisp. Taste follows with a slightly spicy, earthy flavor that finishes clean.Eddy is a beer that works well on its own or with a meal and I can see why so many restaurants and bars have added it to their draft list.

If you have not been to Foundation yet I recommend you make the trip. The brew system is truly impressive and Joel and John are both great guys. At the brewery you can taste both beers and possibly even some varieties of these beers and take home a growler of your favorite.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Foundation Brewing
Brewers Description: Eddy is a farmhouse style ale, also known as a Saison.  Bright and lively, this beer is dry, light in body and color, but not in taste.  We add hops that bring herbal and floral notes that meld with the spice and fruit flavors of our house yeast.  These characteristics make for a beer that is delicious on its own or in the company of food.

While it is a perfect beer to enjoy with classic summertime fare such as lobster and seafood, Eddy’s refreshing bitterness cuts through the richness of more casual fare, such as burgers and pizza, making it an excellent accompaniment year round.

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615. Zero Gravity Conehead

Zero Gravity ConeheadPicked up this growler at Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, Vermont. Unlike Maine, Vermont allows retails stores to fill growlers with beer and Craft Beer Cellar has a 6 tap growler bar which had all Vermont beers on when I was there. This is a great idea and I hope Maine follows suit in the coming years as it is a great way for retailers to increase their sales and for small breweries that do not offer bottles or cans to expand their distribution.

Conehead is a wheat ipa and everything about it follows what you would expect from a wheat IPA. The color is a deep orange with a thin white head. Aroma is oranges and wheat which actually work quite well together. Taste is very similar with a solid hop start and a sweet malt finish. Almost no bitterness which is what I prefer. Conehead was extremely easy to drink and worked well on its own or with a meal.

Really enjoyed this beer and hope that Maine starts allowing retailers to fill growlers in the near future. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 49
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Zero Gravity
Brewers Description: Our single-hopped Wheat IPA. This beer was launched as part of our I.P.April– a month long celebration of hoppy brews–and we decided to brew it with a different hop each year. Until we brewed it with Citra and then, well, we never turned back. Completely satisfyingly awesome in its crispiness and over-all well-rounded hopaliciousness. This beer might just be your Rushmore.

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614. Backlash Beer Riot

Backlash RiotThis is my forth beer from Backlash and I have enjoyed every one. They have one of the best logos in craft beer nd their early beers all had wax dipped bottles which was a very cool addition to an already appealing package. Riot is part of their double IPA series which started out as a 3 beer series but they have now added a forth beer.

Riot pours a beautiful orange color with a single finger white head. Aroma is a little subdued compared to other DIPAs but still very nice. Plenty of citrus, pineapple and a bit if pine. Not a lo of bitterness but it is there. Overall this is a well balanced DIPA that preserves the hops but is still pretty well balanced. Looking forward to more from Backlash. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Backlash Beer
Brewers Description: 

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613. AleSmith Brewing IPA

AleSmith IPARateBeer recently released its list of top breweries in the World and AleSmith was this years number one. I have no idea what goes into producing the list but there is no doubt AleSmith makes some excellent beer. It just happens that I picked up a bottle of their IPA on a recent trip to Mass so I decided to open it.

This beer pours a great orange color with a thick off white head. Lots of fresh hops in the aroma with a bit of everything; citrus, pine, pineapple, grapefruit. Very appealing beer. AleSmith’s IPA tastes similar to the smell with a solid amount of hops but all of this is extremely well balanced. This is not a huge in your face IPA with massive amount of hops but it is what a single IPA should be; crisp, clean, balanced and extremely drinkable. Would love to visit the brewery and try some truly fresh beer but in the meantime I will enjoy the bottles I come across on my visits to Mass or Vermont. 
Pros:
Extremely well balanced
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.25% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: AleSmith
Brewers Description: Deep golden to light amber color, and a nice off-white head, with good retention when properly served. Starts off with pleasantly strong hop flavors, balanced by a firm malt backdrop, then fades to a dry finish with a lingering hoppiness.

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612. Strong Brewing Bloody Valentine

Strong Brewing Bloody ValentineThis was the second beer I brought home from my visit to Strong Brewing. Bloody Valentine is their hefeweizen brewed with blood oranges. Fortunately the brewery is small enough that AleSmith probably won’t bother them regarding the name as they have an amber ale named My Bloody Valentine. AleSsmith is brewed in California but in today’s beer market with cease and desist letters and lawsuits being filed on a regular basis it is similar enough that I would not be surprised if they received a letter from them in the future.

Bloody Valentine pours a very clean light orange color with almost no head. Aroma is typical of a hefe with some spice and maybe a bit of banana, didn’t really get any blood orange in the nose or taste. I was hoping for more from this beer as I really like hefeweizens and the thought of adding blood oranges for a more pronounced citrus flavor sounded like a great combination. Unfortunately it missed the mark for me, again not a bad beer and I did finish the entire 64 ounce growler it just left me wanting more. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Strong Brewing
Brewers Description: February Limited Specialty – a HefeWiezen made with blood orange.

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