Coming Soon

Breweries Coming Soon to Maine / New Hampshire

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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 »

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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

Details on how I rate the beer I drink. Be Sociable, Share! Tweet 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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666. Grassroots Brewing Wheat is the New Hops

Grassroots Brewing Wheat is the new HopsThis beer was brewed with Mikkeller in Denmark and released under the Mikkeller name and then brewed again in Vermont and released under the Grassroots Brewing label as it was originally intended. I had no idea what this beer was when I purchased it but before opening I did some investigating online and found it was an IPA fermented with brettanomyces.

Even after reading the description of the beer I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a very interesting beer.  Unfiltered yellow appearance with a fluffy white head. Aroma is strong with lots of wheat, citrus hops and very little funk.

Taste has lots of citrus and lemon and a little more funk than the nose but still very subtle. I have another bottle of this so it will be interesting to see how it changes over time, the hops will fade but will the brett continue to do its thing?
Pros: A nice change from your typical IPA
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: 

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665. Crop Bistro & Brewery Weizen

Crop Bistro WeizenLast summer I drank quite a few hefeweizens as it is a great warm weather beer. For my second beer from Crop Bistro and Brewery I opted for their Weizen which is a Bavarian Style Hefeweizen.

Appearance is typical of  a hefe with a cloudy orange color and single finger white head. Aroma is again typical of the style with some wheat, banana and clove.

Solid hefeweizen but I prefer Rising Tide’s Spinnaker or Gneiss Brewing’s Weiss over this option from Crop.
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Crop Bistro & Brewery
Brewers Description:
Bavarian Style Hefeweizen

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664. Night Shift Brewing JoJo

Night Shift JoJoAs you know the American IPA/DIPA is my favorite style of beer. My favorites tend to be the unfiltered, citrus leaning IPAs and I usually do not enjoy black or white IPAs. Night Shift decided to take an entirely new approach to an American IPA and create a “pink IPA” using Hibiscus flowers. Fortunately a friend took a trip to Mass and brought back a bottle of JoJo and a bottle of Ever Weisse (see review #668) for me.

From the picture you can tell why they are calling this a pink IPA as it has a very nice color with a thick white head. Aroma was a nice mix of citrus and floral, which I assume is from the Hibiscus.

I have never eaten a Hibiscus flower but again I assume that is where the floral taste in this beer is coming from and not from some variety of hops. In addition to the floral flavor you get a nice hit of grapefruit hops which actually works quite well together. JoJo is well carbonated and makes for an easy to drink beer. Not sure this would go well with a meal but worked on its own.

Night Shift is another brewery I have yet to visit but need to soon as they are doing some interesting stuff down there in Everett.
Pros:
Unique color and flavor
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Night Shift Brewing
Brewers Description:
 Maybe you’ve heard of black IPAs and white IPAs, but how about a pink IPA? Loaded with citrusy hops, dry-hopped with even more, and infused with hibiscus flowers, JoJo packs a tropical, refreshing punch. To those curious, its namesake is our former shared home & homebrewing origin on Josephine Ave in Somerville, or as we endearingly termed it, “JoJo.”

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663. Jack’s Abby Brewing Hopstitution

Jack's Abby HopstitutionI don’t make it down to Mass enough and have yet to visit Jack’s Abby but I expect that will change soon. Picked up this bottle in Vermont as Jacks Abby is distributed there and you can find bottles at various food and beverage stores.

Being an extra pale lager I expected the beer to be light in color and that is what I got, a nice pale yellow with a fluffy white head. Aroma was lighter than you get from an IPA but still very pleasant with a bit of citrus and grassy hops.

Taste again is on the lighter side but the hops are present and enjoyable. Slightly bitter finish makes this a very easy drinking beer. Bottom line is I need to drink more Jack’s Abby beer. 
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Jack’s Abby Brewing
Brewers Description: 
The hardest part about making new and exciting hoppy beers is sourcing the hops you need. Most hops are bought under contracts which are signed two or three years in advance. We occasionally get opportunities to acquire small quantities of specialty hops that are enough for one batch of beer, but no more. This beer allows us to feature hops that we would otherwise not be able to make use of.

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662. Crop Bistro & Brewery Idletyme IPA

Crop Bistro Idletyme IPACrop Bistro opened in 2012 but only recently started bottling their beer. On a recent trip to Vermont I grabbed a couple bottles at the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski.

Great looking bottle and great looking beer with a nice orange color and single finger white head. Some citrus and some grass in the nose. Taste has a decent amount of tropical hops.  A sweet finish with very little bitterness however the carbonation seemed off to me with loads of tiny bubbles.

Overall a nice beer but as a brewer in Vermont it must be tough to release your own IPA into a field of truly exceptional IPAs. 
Pros:
Appearance
Cons: Carbonation
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Crop Bistro & Brewery
Brewers Description:

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661. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery Capital Trail Pale Ale

Hardywood Craft Capital TrailMy second beer from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and another beer from my box from Virginia. Unlike so many breweries that are canning Hardywood seems to use a very simple design on their cans. Contrasting colors and easy to read but no flashy designs like we see from Baxter Brewing, Bissell Brothers, The Alchemist and many others.

Capital Trail pours a cloudy copper color with a nice white head. Aroma is resiny pine and quite dank for a pale ale. Taste was more sweet than I expected with the hops taking a back seat.

A pleasant beer but nothing that stands out among a crowded field of quality pale ales. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 50
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Brewers Description: 
Citrus peel, fresh cut grass and a hint of pine needles greet your senses as you approach this refreshingly balanced, dry-hopped American-style pale ale. This beer is dedicated to the hard work of the volunteers and supporters of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. Joining the historic and current capitals of Jamestown and Richmond, the Virginia Capital Trail will provide 50+ miles of cycling, running and walking paths through stunning cities, parks and wilderness in the heart of the Old Dominion. Your purchase of this beer supports the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.

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660. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Spring Fever Session IPA

Lawson's Spring Fever Session IPASeems everyone is brewing a “session IPA” these days and some are far better than others. The style as a whole suffers from a watered down mouth feel and a lack of complexity. There are a few session ales that I enjoyed but for the most part they miss the mark.

Spring Fever from Lawson’s ends up some where in the middle. With a very low 3.8% ABV I was expecting a watery mouthfeel which I got but was not expecting such a great hop aroma. This been pours a super clear light orange with a very slight white head. Aroma was very nice with plenty of tropical fruit and a bit of grass.

Taste was OK with a decent hop profile but the beer felt like an IPA split with water. Enjoyable but I would rather drink a bottle of Double Sunshine than drink multiple bottles of Spring Session.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 3.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Brewers Description:
Spring Fever delivers the flavor impact of an American IPA, with the session-ability and lower alcohol of a light beer. Catch the fever before its gone!

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659. DuClaw Brewing Neon Gypsy

DuClaw Brewing Neon GypsyMy second beer from DuClaw. The first was their Anti Venom Citra which may have been infected based on how hard it was to pour. Neon Gypsy is DuClaw’s new IPA and it joins an impressive list of at least 50 different beers listed on their website.

Neon Gypsy pours a crystal clear orange with a thin white head. Not a lot happening with the aroma, mild citrus, pleasant but very light. Taste was better than the aroma with little pine and spice but I was hoping for more.

Not a bad beer but everything about it was mediocre. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 75
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: DuClaw Brewing
Brewers Description:It is medium-bodied and clear with a thin white head and crisp mouthfeel. A vagabond blend of 7 different hops dominates with grapefruit and citrus flavors and aromas, accented by notes of pine, that continue to roam your palate long after its clean, hoppy finish. Disconnect, and you will find your way.

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658. Indeed Brewing Let It Ride

Indeed Brewing Let it RideAnother beer from my Virginia box and this one comes from Indeed Brewing in Minnesota. Let it Ride is their spring seasonal so I am not sure how old this beer was when I drank it, there may have been a date on the can but I do not recall.

Appearance again is a bit darker than I expected but has a nice unfiltered look with a solid white hear. No lacing on the glass, but the aroma may have been the best part of this beer. Lots of pear and tropical fruits. The brewery description says blueberry as well bit I didn’t get any of this. Taste did not match the aroma at all with a dank resin pine flavor with a fair amount of bitterness.

An interesting beer but not what I had hoped for after the nice aroma. 
Pros:
Aroma
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 90
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Indeed Brewing
Brewers Description: Riding a bicycle is all about freedom and discovery. You never know what you’ll experience or where your two wheels might take you. We like to think the same could be said about our Let it Ride IPA. Brewed with Calypso, Mosaic and El Dorado hops, American Crystal Malt and German Dark Munich Malt, this is an IPA with adventurous tendencies. Enjoy the aromas of pear, tropical fruit, and blueberry and ponder where your next ride might take you.

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657. NoDa Brewing Hop, Drop ‘n Roll

NoDa Brewing Hop Drop n RollHop Drop ‘n Roll is another beer that was on my list of beers to try. Thankfully a contact in Virginia pulled together a box including this beer and a few others from the area. First thing I like about this beer is it comes in 16 oz cans. For me 16 oz of beer with dinner is just about right especially when the beer is in the 7-9% ABV range.

This beer is very clear and a bit darker than a lot of the IPAs I have reviewed. Solid off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma was a nice mix of citrus, pine resin and sweet malts.

Taste was extremely well balanced and had the same mix of citrus, pine and sweet malt with a lingering bitter finish. Overall this is an extremely well done IPA. If you enjoy balance in your IPAs this is the one for you.
Pros:
Balance, balance, balance
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 81
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: NoDa Brewing
Brewers Description:
 2014 World Beer Cup® Gold Award Winner, American-Style IPA. Hops in your face. Crisp, mouthwatering, American citrus hops dominate for an ideal IPA character. It’s hopped before, during and after the boil with late boil additions of Citra and Amarillo for a complex flavor profile. The rich golden color comes from a blend of English and American base malts accented with substantial amounts of Vienna and Wheat malt. This is the beer that started it all for NoDa Brewing.

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