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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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750. Stoneface Brewing Hopulization

Stoneface HopulizationThis is my third beer from Stoneface and I expected it to be better than it was. Their Red Rye still takes the top spot but I have heard good things about Mozaccalypse. Honestly not sure where this one went wrong as it is a solid beer. It may have been bad timing as I have been drinking a lot of Epiphany, Swish and Hill Farmstead beers lately and this one just doesn’t measure up.

Appearance is a very clear orange with a nice white head that left ample lacing on the glass. Aroma is nice with plenty of citrus and a nice amount of sweetness but falls short of those IPAs mentioned above. Taste follows with the same muted citrus and some pine, alcohol is well hidden making it a very easy beer to drink.

Overall this is a very good beer but if you are going to make a double IPA it better be great as there are so many choices out there.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stoneface Brewing
Brewers Description: Hopulization is an irresponsible experiment of hop utilization. This Double IPA is built with 2-row pale, white wheat, and crystal malts – and then dry-hopped twice, using Galaxy, Calypso, and a touch of Simcoe hops. Twice. We did it two times.

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749. Trillium Brewing Vicinity

Trillium Brewing VicinityJust when I finally got through all the IPAs and DIPAs in my fridge I end up taking a trip to Vermont, trading for a bottle of Hopulization from Stoneface, Dave from SoMe Brewing gives me a bottle of Apostrophe IPA and Khris from Beer This Week gives me this bottle for muling some beer back from Vermont for him. This on top of a release weekend that included cans of Epiphany from Foundation Brewing and Swish from Bissell Brothers. With all these hoppy beers to drink those stouts and saisons will have to wait another couple weeks.

Trillium is making some great beer and one of these days I will make it down to the brewery, in the meantime I will drink whatever beers I can convince others to bring back to Maine for me. Vicinity pours a deep orange with a nice white head. Head lingers and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Aroma is full of juicy hops; mango, pineapple and a bit of pine. Taste is very similar with lots of tropical fruits and a slight dankness. Somehow this beer was still very refreshing even with the higher ABV.

Not as good as Heavy Mettle, Congress Street IPA or Fort Point Pale Ale but still an excellent beer. If you happen to be in the Boston area grab some Trillium for me.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Trillium Brewing
Brewers Description: Trillium teamed up with Row 34 to a special beer on Friday October 24th that takes advantage of our walk-the-kegs-across-the-alley proximity. Vicinity is a beer that is best when ultra fresh. Lets face it, Row 34 can absolutely rip through Trillium’s beer so we brewed a beautifully hazy blonde double IPA busting at the seams with citrus oil, dank pine resin and tropical fruit from the Citra, Columbus and Galaxy and crisp, dry, bitter finish.

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748. Hill Farmstead Galaxy Pale Ale

Hill Farmstead GalaxyI grabbed a 750 ml growler of this beer on my last trip to Hill Farmstead not realizing that I had never had it before. Most of the time I go to Hill Farmstead I have tried all of the beers available but Galaxy Pale Ale seems to be a relatively new addition to the single hop pale ale series.

No big surprise on the appearance as it looks much like the other Hill Farmstead pales and IPAs, unfiltered orange with a solid off white head, a beautiful beer. Aroma has a nice mix of tropical fruits and earthy hops. This beer is as aromatic as any beer in recent memory, feels like it could fill a room with that lovely hop smell. Taste leans more towards the earthy side of the aroma than the tropical fruits but they are all still there along with some pine. This beer is very well balanced but also has a fair amount of bitterness for a pale ale.

I prefer Double Galaxy to this one but both are excellent beers and really showcase how much the Galaxy hop can do. 
Pros:

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Galaxy hops.

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747. Garrison City Beerworks Anomalous

Garrison City AnomolousAs you have probably gathered I am a big fan of the guys at Garrison City Beerworks. The brewery has only been open for about two months and in that time they have produced a nice variety of mostly hop forward beers. Citra is probably my favorite but Galaxy and Bale Fire were also excellent.

There has been talk about lack of carbonation when drinking from the crowler but I have not found this to be a problem. I talked with Gabe and Mike last time I was in and the carbonation levels in the beer are on the lower side on purpose. Each of my crowlers has retained its carbonation, poured with a decent head and left with tiny bubbles as I drank the beer. A low amount of carbonation is different than a beer being flat and while there is always a chance of a growler/crowler not holding the carbonation I have not had this problem with Garrison City’s beers.

Anomalous is their second Double IPA with the first being Tropic Rage which was more malt forward than this one. This beer pours a very nice unfiltered orange with a bright white head that left a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is juicy mango and other tropical fruits. Taste follows with the tropical fruits taking center stage and a nice bit of sweetness. Bitterness is minimal and the alcohol is well hidden making this one a bit dangerous as the 32 ounce crowler goes down pretty quickly. 
Pros:
Fresh juicy hops
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Garrison City BeerWorks
Brewers Description: An American Double IPA with yellow sunshine color and intense passion fruit aroma

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746. Austin Street Brewery Brett Loves Hops

Austin Street Brett Loves HopsThis is the second batch of Brett Loves Hops using only Nelson Sauvin hops. I missed out on the first batch as it sold out the same day it was released but I was able to grab two bottles of this batch, one for now and one for later even though the brewer says not to age it.

Brett Loves Hops looks like your typical IPA with a nice orange color and bright white head that is probably a little thicker than most. Aroma is a nice mix white grapes and a slight funk from the brett. Taste follows with the brett taking a back seat to the fruity hops. I enjoyed this beer but I think I will like it even more when the brett has taken control. Will update this review when I try it again in 6-8 months.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Austin Street Brewery
Brewers Description: Brett Loves Hops is an IPA fermented with brettanomyces. This will be a rotating series of beers with the hops changing from batch to batch.  The beer is named for the way brettanomyces and hops interplay and compliment each other so well.  When used as 100% of the primary yeast brett lends big tropical, overripe fruit flavors and aromas to the final beer.  We will work hard to choose the best hops to compliment those flavors.  Despite containing brettanomyces this is still an IPA and is meant to be enjoyed fresh.  We do not recommend aging this beer, but if you must have the signature barnyard funk that comes from aging, you will do so at the cost of hop flavor and aroma.

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745. Hill Farmstead Flora

Hill Farmstead FloraFlora has been on my list of wants for a long time. I have tried it at some of the Hill Farmstead events but never been able to score a bottle. Flora was one of the bottle being released on the 9/26/13 bottle release that I wrote about here. Fortunately they released it again this year with a three bottle limit, I opened one to do this review and have the other two in my cellar for later.

I love the deep yellow glow and thick white head on this beer. It took several partial pours to get this photo as initially the head was much bigger. The aroma has so much going on; some wine, some wheat, oak and a slight funk. Flavor has the same level of complexity and may be even better than the aroma. You get the wine and oak from the barrel, a slight funk from the “microflora” and a little tart. This is truly one of the most complex and flavorful beers I have ever tried and expect the two bottles aging to be even more so.

Flora is one of my favorite beers and I still have the Satsuma and Blueberry varieties to drink and review. I expect those will be as good or better than the original. Truly exceptional, unique and a beer that I could drink every week and not tire of.
Pros:
Complex and wonderful
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Wine barrel aged Wheat Saison fermented with resident microflora.

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744. Garrison City Beerworks Crowbar

Garrison City CrowbarI bought this crowler of Crowbar the day before Garrison City Beerworks opened to the public in mid-December. Since then it has been tucked away in the back of my fridge as an experiment to see how well the crowler held the carbonation and flavor of the beer. Since then I have been back to tasting room on multiple occasions and sampled Crowbar each time. Finally after about 45 days in the back of the fridge I decided to open my crowler and test the contents. What I found was the same beer that went into it, no noticeable change in carbonation or flavor so the crowler did its job well to keep the beer as the brewer intended it.

Crowbar pours a deep brown with a thick tan head. Aroma is filled with roasted malts and a small amount of coffee/chocolate. Taste follows with more chocolate than coffee which is what I prefer as I do not enjoy coffee. Finish is dry making this a very pleasant porter. Not my favorite style of beer but this one works well and a real testament to the crowler.
Pros:
Mild flavor profile makes it easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.4% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Garrison City Beerworks
Brewers Description: Robust Porter, Malt and roast up front, chocolate through the middle with a dry finish.

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743. Dogfish Head Positive Contact

Dogfish Head Positive ContactMy third Dogfish Head beer in a row and another one that I was not all that impressed with. Positive Contact is a combination of beer and cider with apples and cayenne peppers, sounded interesting before I opened the bottle but what I got was not that enjoyable.

Appearance is a bright orange with a thick white head. I do not mind things floating in my beer but this one had as much as any beer I have ever tried with big chunks floating and sinking to the bottom of the glass. Aroma was almost entirely cider with a few other spices coming through, ot terrible but also not that enticing. Taste was very sweet and similar to Beer Thousand had lots of competing flavors with some spice, apples and a bit of a peppery kick at the end.

Overall I was disappointed in this beer as I had hoped for good things as I have started to really enjoy hard cider over the past several months and a mix of cider and beer sounded like a decent idea. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 26
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: A positive combination of Fuji cider, slow-roasted farro, a bit of cayenne and fresh cilantro.

This beer part of our Music Series of beers… this one is an amalgamation of hip-hop, beer, cider and a DIY culinary experience! Sam and Dan the Automator of Deltron 3030 teamed up to create Positive Contact, based on Dan’s favorite ingredients and Dogfish Head’s innovative brewing practices.

Named after a key track on the first album, Positive Contact is a 9% ABV hybrid of beer and cider brewed with Fuji apples, roasted farro, a handful of cayenne peppers and a late dose of fresh cilantro. This sweet-and-sour Belgian-ish brew is a light straw color with fruity, cider-like notes. The cayenne and alcohol give it a warming finish.

For the inaugural release (2012), the beer was packaged in a dynamic box set of six 750-ml champagne bottles, with a 10-inch vinyl EP of four new Deltron 3030 remixes created exclusively for this project, and a list of Deltron 3030-inspired recipes from a small group of renowned chefs. Subsequent releases did not include the vinyl or recipes.

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742. Dogfish Head Beer Thousand

Dogfish Head Beer ThousandI bought this beer because I was approaching my 1,000th check-in on Untappd (link to profile here) and it seemed appropriate to save my 1000th check-in for this beer. Unfortunately the beer did not warrant being chosen for such a big occasion.

Beer Thousand uses 10 different grains in the malt bill along with 10 different hop varieties and has an ABV of 10%. This sounds like it should create an incredibly complex and tasty brew however the result is a little bit of everything with lots of combating flavors. Instead of working together to create something flavorful and unique the flavors seem to cancel each other out. Aroma may be the best part with lots of malt, some sweet honey and green apple. Taste is where it falls apart with many competing flavors and a fair amount of alcohol burn. Finish is a bit harsh and while I did finish the beer I was not all that impressed and glad I only bought a single 12 oz bottle. 
Pros:

Cons: Flavors compete instead of complementing each other
Alcohol Content: 10.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 31
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: Through two decades of epic live performances, ups and downs, breakups and reunions, self-financed basement sessions and major-label releases, there’s been one constant for indie legends Guided by Voices: lots and lots of American lager.

To celebrate the band’s independent spirit and the 20th anniversary of the classic album Bee Thousand, Dogfish Head has brewed the bracing but highly quaffable BEER Thousand. This imperial lager includes 10 grains and 10 hop varieties and clocks in at 10% ABV.

10x10x10 = BEER Thousand.

No sipper, BEER Thousand looks like a light lager and has much of the light lager recipe DNA but it is amplified like a barleywine. Fleeting fruit notes in the aroma give way to a sweet and malty flavor and a clean, warm finish. It goes down perfectly between barrages of low-fi 90-second jams.

“I can’t believe it’s been 20 years,” says GBV frontman Robert Pollard. “But I’ll drink to that.”

BY THE NUMBERS

10 grains: 2-row pale malt, 6-row pale malt, Corn, Rice, Wheat, Dark Munich malt, Carapils malt, Light caramel malt, Dark caramel malt, Flaked barley

10 hops: Warrior, CTZ, Simcoe. Cluster, Galena, Galaxy, Centennial, Willamette, Cascade, Vanguard

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741. Dogfish Head Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew

Dogfish Head Bitches BrewFor Christmas I finally got a Dogfish Head glass so I decided it was a good time to open some bottles that have been in the fridge for a while. This bottle is probably two years old. I have had it on tap a couple of times and while I enjoyed the beer it was not something I needed to open and review immediately.

Bitches Brew is an incredibly complex beer, brewers description includes the following “a fusion of three threads of imperial stout one thread of honey beer with gesho root.” Appearance is dark brown with a relatively thin tan head, what I would expect from an Imperial Stout. Aroma is sweet chocolate, coffee and something else I cannot identify. Taste has the same chocolate, only a very light hint of coffee (which is good as I do not enjoy coffee), dark fruits and a slight bitterness which seemed a bit odd. This beer changed quite a bit as it warmed so I would recommend opening and sipping it for at least an hour to get the full depth of aroma and flavor.

A very good beer that is worth picking up if you see it your local bottle shop.  
Pros:
Complex aroma and flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 38
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis’ 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we’ve created our own Bitches Brew — a dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. It’s a gustatory analog to Miles’ masterpiece.

Featuring the album’s iconic artwork, created by the late Mati Klarwein, on its label, Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew was unveiled at SAVOR, An American Craft Beer & Food Experience, on June 5, 2010, at the National Building Museum, Washington DC.

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