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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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Rating System

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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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693. Aeronaut Brewing Berliner Weisse

Aeronaut BerlinerPicked up this growler in one of my recent trades with someone from Mass. This is my first beer from Aeronaut and I opted for their Berliner Weisse as it is only 2% ABV and a style that I have been enjoying this summer. This is now the lowest ABV beer that I have ever had with the previous low being 2.9% from Blue Lobster’s Piscataquaweisse.

Aeronaut’s Berliner Weisse is a straight up Berliner with no fruit added. It pours a pale yellow with a thin white head that disappears almost immediately. This is typical for the style and it does not take away from the beer. Aroma has a light tart funk but is very mild. Taste is a bit tangy with some lemon and slightly acidic.  Enjoyable beer and super easy to drink.

I have not had too many Berliner Weiss’ but it seems the ones I enjoy have some fruit added like Blue Lobster’s from above or Night Shift’s Ever Weisse which has strawberries, kiwis and hibiscus flowers.
Pros: Extremely drinkable
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 2.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Aeronaut Brewing
Brewers Description: Champagne of the north – delightfully tart with fantastic lightness.

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692. Sierra Nevada / Firestone Walker Torpedo Pilsner

Sierra Nevada Firestone Walker Torpedo PilsnerMy third beer from the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp twelve pack and its another sold beer but still nothing spectacular. This one is brewed with Firestone Walker another California brewery. From what I have heard their Pivo Pils is one of the best available but the Torpedo Pilsner doesn’t compare. 

It looks like a pilsner should with a nice gold color and a thin white head. Aroma is slightly spicy and earthy with a bit of yeast. Overall a nice start and the taste continues with a solid floral, lemon hop profile and a nice clean finish. I’m not sure what this one is missing but I would prefer Pepperell Pils to this one which is probably a good thing since I can get Banded Horn’s beer easily and this one may never be produced again. 

Three beers in and I have enjoyed each one but there has not been one that I would want to drink again.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV

Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 45
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
Brewers Description: Torpedo Pilsner ditches the traditional German “noble” hops and heads south of the equator for
inspiration. With a traditional golden malt body, this “kiwi” pils features intense fruity and floral New Zealand-grown Motueka and Southern Cross hops, making this an alternate and delicious take on the classic pilsner.

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691. Sierra Nevada / Russian River Yvan the Great

Sierra Nevada Russian River Yvan the GreatRussian River makes some great beer including some of the most sought after IPAs and sours; Pliny the Younger, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, Supplication, the list goes on and on. Because of this list I was a bit disappointed when I saw the beer included in the Sierra Nevada twelve pack was a Belgian Blonde. 

Pale gold with almost no head. Aroma has plenty of yeast, clove and a bit of lemon. Taste is the best part of this beer with a strong Belgian start and a slightly hoppy lemon finish. Well carbonated very clean finish make this one super easy to drink.

Similar to the last beer I was glad to have tried it but not sure I would want to drink it again. 
Pros:
 Drinkable

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 50
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
Brewers Description: This genre-bending beer has the bright, resinous hop profile of an American IPA blended with the dry and complex yeast character of a Belgian farmhouse ale. Yvan the Great is a perfect combination of the two brewing styles—hoppy, dry, spicy, and impressive.

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690. Sierra Nevada / Cigar City Yonder Bock

Cigar City Sierra Nevada Yonder BockI am a little late getting to the Beer Camp 12-pack from Sierra Nevada. I purchased it when it was released and stuck it in the fridge at work until last week when I finally had the time to open it. The 12-pack includes 12 different beers that were brewed at Sierra Nevada’s facility in Chico, The list of breweries involved is a who’s who of craft beer across America.

My first beer is the Yonder Bock from Sierra Nevada and Cigar City. The can describes this as a tropical maibock which sounded very interesting. An aggressive pour leaves a nice copper colored beer with a single finger off white head. Aroma is mostly malt with some hints of fruit. Nothing too crazy happening in either the appearance or aroma. 

Taste improves on this a little with a well balanced mix of those sweet malts in the beginning with a subtle tropical fruit finish. A solid beer but honestly glad there was only one included as I doubt I would seek this beer out again. 
Pros:
 well balanced

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 45
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp
Brewers Description: Yonder Bock is a summery twist on the robust blonde bock. Its silky, semi-sweet malt body is bolstered by a blend of new and experimental hops that impart bright, fruity hop aromas of guava, mango and passion fruit.

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689. Siren Craft Brew Lemon Cello IPA

Siren Craft Lemon CelloPicked this bottle up at Hill Farmstead as they had a hand in brewing this one. Not sure the entire back story but apparently Mikkeller was also involved.

Lemon Cello pours a cloudy orange color with a nice white head. From there it is all lemon, aroma is lemon zest/juice. Taste is very much the same with a tart sour lemon that lingers long after you swallow. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall a decent beer that is worth trying but it pales by comparison with the IPAs being brewed at Hill Farmstead.
Pros: Unique
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Siren Craft Brew
Brewers Description: This is a truly different beer. The concept was to develop the flavour and mouthfeel of Limoncello and fuse with the carbonation and lemony hop hit of an IPA. Using pale and wheat malts, the base beer goes through a 24 hour sour process to add to the tartness of the beer. Tons of lemon zest and juice are added to the boil along with all the citrusy lemony hops available.

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688. Pabst Brewing Company Ballantine IPA

Ballantine IPACame home from work last week and had a mysterious package from FedEx that required a signature due to alcohol in the box. I was not expecting any trades or boxes and people usually do not tell the shippers that alcohol is included as the companies frown on individuals shipping alcohol. I opened the box and found another wooden box with a Ballantine IPA, bottle open and a nice letter explaining the beer was being sent to people to sample before it was released through distributors in September. 

I had never heard of Ballantine IPA so I had to do a little research and found a couple of articles in USA Today and this one on CNN explaining it is a brand owned by Pabst Brewing and the recipe was recreated based on historical information as no recipe was saved. This process took two years as it cannot be an easy process .

Appearance is very nice deep orange with a thick off white head. Aroma had all aspects of hops; citrus, pine, dank and floral. Taste is good but not great. Lots of complexity as you would expect from a beer with four different malts and eight different hop varieties but it leaned more towards a traditional IPA, floral and quite bitter. A bot of wood also came through from the wood chips used in the beer to mimic the barrels used in the original production.

Overall I was pleased with this beer mostly because it was fresh and different than a lot of the other IPAs on the market today. If you can find a fresh bottle (which they all should be right now) I would give it try. 
Pros:
 Unique and complex taste

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Pabst Brewing
Brewers Description: 

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687. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Super Session IPA #3

Lawson's Finest Super Session IPAThis is the third release of Lawson’s Super Session IPA each with a different hop variety. This is the only one I have tried and it uses Sorachi Ace hops. I wish I had a chance to try the first two varieties as Sorachi is not my favorite hop.

Being a session IPA I expect it to be a little watered down and the appearance certainly looks like it will be. A light gold color with a very thin white head. Aroma is light with a little lemon. Taste is where this one loses me with only a bit of the lemon coming through, the rest is dill like which for me does not well in a beer. 

Mouthfeel was slightly watery which is to be expected for a 3.8% ABV IPA. Highly drinkable and pleasant but not nearly as good as the other beers I have enjoyed from Lawson’s. 
Pros:
 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 3.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lawson’s Finest
Brewers Description: Super Session IPA is designed to be a light and refreshing beer with low alcohol, yet the full hop character of an American IPA. Go ahead, you can have more than one… Cheers!

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686. The Alchemist Rapture

The Alchemist RaptureI finally made it to an Alchemist Tent Sale in August and picked up the mixed case of beer including; Rapture, Focal Banger, Crusher and even scored the two 4-packs of Heady. You can read about my trip and see some pics here

Rapture was the only beer of the bunch that had not been released previously so it was the first beer I opened when I got home. This beer was brewed with the same recipe as Crusher however they used 35% more hops and dry hopped with Mosaic instead of Citra. 

Appearance is darker than Crusher and Heady but still a nice color for a DIPA. It does have some floaties which you can see in the photo. Some people may not like this in a beer but I don’t mind it. Nice white head that left a lot of lacing on the glass. Aroma is not as big as  the other Alchemist beers and certainly has more malt coming through. Some citrus, pine and also a bit of alcohol. Taste follows with a nice mix of tropical fruits that quickly give way to those sweet malts. As it warmed the malt became more prominent and the alcohol also started to hit a little harder. 

Overall this was a very good beer but when I read the description of Crusher with 35% more hops I was really hoping for a bigger badder hop character instead of a larger malt bill to attempt to balance things out. If you can find a can of this give it a try as it is an excellent beer but I will take Crusher or Banger over this one. 
Pros:
 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: The Alchemist
Brewers Description: Rapture was brewed with 35% more hops, and was dry-hopped exclusively with Mosaic, as opposed to The Crusher , which was dry-hopped with Citra.

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685. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine

Lawson's Finest Sip of SunshineLawson’s has been one of the hardest beers to find in Vermont for years. If you are lucky enough to be at the Warren Store on Thursday or Beverage Warehouse / Hunger Mountain Coop on Fridays you may have been able to score a bottle or two. A few months ago Sean started brewing Sip of Sunshine at Two Roads in Stratford Connecticut. This has made the beer more accessible as the deliveries of Sip of Sunshine are huge compared to the very small batches Sean brews at his home in Warren.  

The bottles lack the foil wrap that most Lawson’s bottles have and have a yellow label instead of the normal white label. Fortunately the quality of the beer didn’t change. Sip of Sunshine pours a deep orange with a nice white head that leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is big and bright, tropical fruit and very dank.

Taste is excellent and only a fraction below the famed Double Sunshine. Lots of tropical, citrus fruits to start and the finish is all herbal and very dank. This beer is incredibly complex for a double IPA. So much going on it hard to describe. Alcohol is well hidden and it does have a fair amount of bitterness which is to be expected. Great beer and it should be “easier” to find than most other Lawson’s offerings. 
Pros:
 Huge aroma and complex flavors

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lawson’s Finest
Brewers Description: This lupulin-ladin India Pale Ale is packed with juicy tropical fruit character, bright floral aromas and delectable layers of hop flavor. Pour mindfully, inhale deeply and enjoy a tropical vacation in a glass. Always store cold, enjoy fresh and stay cool!
Sip of Sunshine IPA is brewed by Lawson’s Finest Liquids at Two Roads Brewing Co. in Stratford CT.

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684. Sierra Nevada Brewing West Coast DIPA

Sierra Nevada Beer CampSierra Nevada came up with a great idea for the summer of 2014, a 7 stop brewfest which included a visit to Portland, Maine. To kick things off they sent a bottle of this beer to every brewery in the country inviting them to attend the brewfest. Shortly after this they released the bomber through normal distribution along with a 12-pack of collaboration beers which I will get to later. 

Since this was a double IPA I figured I better drink it fresh so it was the first of the beers I opened. The appearance might be the best part of this beer with a nice orange color and thick white head. Aroma has some floral and spicy hops, not nearly as big as I had hoped for a double IPA. Taste follows with a nice earthy, spicy, floral hop flavor that I associate almost exclusively with Sierra Nevada beers. 

The beer has a fair amount of booze but is still pretty drinkable. Overall not a bad beer but I was really hoping for more, still worth the $5 price tag. 
Pros:
 Appearance

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada
Brewers Description: Beer Camp Across America West Coast Double IPA clocks in at 8.5% ABV and features five hop varieties, two of which went into Sierra Nevada’s “Hop Torpedo” dry-hopping device and impart hints of grapefruit and a floral note that recalls orange blossom. A light malt body and dry finish complement the bold hop profile.

Brewed as an invite for the 2014 Beer Camp Across America tour. http://beercamp.sierranevada.com 

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