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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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700. Bissell Brothers Brewing Baby Genius

Bissell Brothers Baby GeniusThis is a great beer! I have been drinking it every chance I get this summer, mostly at Salvage BBQ in Portland and Marche in Lewiston. Unfortunately Bissell Brothers only did a single canning run before changing over to their fall seasonal so I only had the chance to purchase a couple 4-packs. I ended up sharing a couple cans with others and all that got the chance to try it raved about the robust flavor with low ABV.

Baby Genius pours an extremely murky pale orange with a thick white head. This is exactly what I want my beer to look like. Aroma is mild when compared to many of the big double IPAs I enjoy but when you consider this is a “blonde” and has a very low 4% ABV the aroma is huge. I put “blonde” in quotation marks as this is certainly not what you think of when you hear blonde ale. Lots of citrus and tropical fruits with just a hint of sweet malts in the aroma. Flavor follows with grapefruit, citrus and a bitterness that leaves you wanting more. How they pack so much flavor into such a low ABV beer I don’t know. Baby Genius is almost certainly not brewed to style as the hop profile is much bigger than a blonde should be and also has more bitterness but you will not hear me complaining.

This is one of the most flavorful low ABV beers that I have reviewed. This combined with the cloudy appearance and excellent aroma make this a beer you must try. I really hope they can this all summer long in 2015 as I will enjoy many cans of this and Rising Tide’s MITA while golfing. 
Pros:
 Loads of flavor and low ABV
Cons: Not available year round :(
Alcohol Content: 4.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers
Brewers Description:

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699. Hill Farmstead Earl

Hill Farmstead EarlI do not like coffee. Never have and I can assume at this point that I never will. I should know better than to try coffee beers as I just cannot get beyond the coffee flavor but in my effort to try some beers from Hill Farmstead that I have not tried before I decided to grab a 750 of Earl their coffee oatmeal stout.

Appearance is a very nice dark brown with a thin tan head. Aroma has a lot of coffee and some roasted malts and chocolate, pleasant as I actual like the smell of coffee just not the taste. Taste is where this one loses me as the coffee takes over. Not only do I get the coffee flavor but also the coffee bitterness. Finishes with a bit of chocolate which is nice.

If you like coffee give it a shot as everything about the beer; appearance, aroma, mouthfeel, etc was good just the most important part; taste didn’t work for me. 
Pros:

Cons: Coffee
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 

Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Earl (1911-1985) was our grandfather’s brother; Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings. In his honor, this Stout is crafted from American malted barley, Flaked Oats, English roasted malts, American hops, Organic Guatemalan Coffee, our ale yeast, and water from our well. It is unfiltered and naturally carbonated. A silhouette of coffee and malt – an embodiment of complexity and drinkability, this is the ale that I dream to have shared with Earl.

Pale, Caramel, and Chocolate Malt, Roasted Barley, Columbus hops; Ale Yeast, and our Well Water.

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698. Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #7

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #7This is the seventh installment of Hill Farmstead’s Society & Solitude series. All are Imperial IPAs (#2 was a black IPA) with different hop profiles. I have tried all but #1 and not sure if they will bring it back in the future or not. #7 uses a mix of Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Everything about this beer is typical Hill Farmstead. Appearance is the bright unfiltered orange with a nice white head. Aroma has huge juicy citrus fruits; mango, grapefruit and a hint of pine. Taste is a very bright orange, grapefruit, melon and a slight sweetness. Slightly bitter finish and the alcohol is non-existent while cold. As the beer warms the alcohol starts to come through but it is not overpowering.

Another truly excellent beer.
Pros: Very juicy
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 

Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Imperial Pale Ale brewed exclusively with Simcoe and Amarillo hops from the Pacific Northwest.

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697. Tributary Brewing Gose

Tributary Brewing GoseI will be the first to admit that I am far from a style expert. Ultimately I like what I like and if it is not to style that does not bother me. Gose is one of those styles that not many breweries are making so my experience is limited. My favorite is Westbrook’s which is probably an extreme example of the style as it is very tart and salty.

This one from Tributary is on the other side of the scale and drinks more like a hefeweizen than what I think of when someone says gose. Appearance is a nice cloudy orange color with a decent white head. The little growler retained the carbonation better than the large one did.

Aroma and taste again are similar to your standard hefeweizen with a nice light fruit character and some coriander. Finish is clean and very refreshing. Tributary’s Gose might be a good introduction to the style for those that are not familiar with a gose with its very low salt and almost no sourness. I would prefer a more tart and salty brew.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Tributary Brewing
Brewers Description:

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696. Tributary Brewing Pale Ale

Tributary Brewing Pale AleWe had to wait a long time for Tod and Galen Mott’s Tributary Brewing to open. That finally happened earlier in September and I made my first trip shortly after they opened. They have a great tasting room area setup with a bar and some picnic tables that give plenty of places to sit.

When I visited they had their Pale Ale, Gose and the London Session Brown, I tried all three and left with a growler of Pale and a small growler of the Gose (see next review). The brown was nice but not a style that I drink a lot of.

The pale ale comes in at a very reasonable 4.7% ABV. Color is a great unfiltered orange with minimal head from the growler. The growler lost most of its carbonation which is unfortunate as I only let it sit a day before opening. Hoping they change to the black caps on the growlers soon as they seem to hold the carbonation better than the white caps.

Aroma and taste are great with a solid citrus hop profile. Finish is clean making this a great beer to drink on its own, with a meal or really anytime. Great start and really looking forward to trying more beer from Tributary. 
Pros:
 Drinkable!
Cons: Lack of carbonation (growler cap issue?)
Alcohol Content: 4.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Tributary Brewing
Brewers Description:

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695. Barreled Souls Brewing Half Nelson IPA

Barreled Souls Half NelsonBarreled Souls Brewing opened in July and quickly made a splash at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp. Many of the people I talked to at and after the event noted Space Gose as one of their favorite beers of the night. Almost all of their beer is being sold out of the brewery located on Route 1 in Saco so if you want it you have to make the trip. They typically have 8-10 beers on tap and sell samples in a variety of sizes. Select beers are also now available in 32 ounce growlers.

My first growler was filled with their Half Nelson IPA. Appearance is a nice gold color with a thick white head. Aroma is slightly fruity almost wine like with a bit of grass. Taste is very light with a very subtle hop profile, some tropical fruit citrus and almost no bitterness. Overall a nice low ABV beer with a decent amount of flavor.

I have enjoyed every beer I have tried from Barreled Souls and look forward to trying many more.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Barreled Souls
Brewers Description:  A sessionable-ish IPA made with 100% Nelson Sauvin hops imported from New Zealand. This beer is 100% whirlpool hopped meaning no hops were added during the boil. Strong flavors and aromatics of Sauvignon Blanc wine and fresh mangos.

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694. Trillium Brewing Heavy Mettle

Trillium Heavy MettleMy favorite IPAs and DIPAs are big citrus hop bombs. If they are unfiltered and cloudy even better. I appreciate balanced IPAs but there not quite in my sweet spot. There are several breweries that are making these beers and Trillium is right there with the best of them.

Heavy Mettle is their biggest DIPA and was brewed for a couple of events they were part of in August. The extra went into bottles that were sold at the brewery and fortunately for me one of my beer trading friends in Boston grabbed me a bottle.

This beer pours a radiant orange with a single finger white head that left great lacing. Aroma was big and full of tropical fruits and piney resin. Taste follows with a wonderfully juicy citrus and tropical fruit hop bomb. There is a bit of pine and just the right amount of bitterness. The alcohol was basically non-existent which is impressive for a 9.3% ABV beer.

Overall an excellent beer and would love to try Mettle to see how that one compares. 
Pros:
 Big, citrus, alcohol well hidden
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 9.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): Lots
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Trillium Brewing
Brewers Description: When we were invited to the Hop Jam (!!!) our instincts drove us to take the most intensely hoppy beer we’ve brewed to date, our 1st Anniversary Double IPA, Mettle and crank it up even more to make Heavy Mettle! We’ve set aside some kegs for both the Hop Jam and The Armsby Abbey dinner later this month. But not everyone is going to these killer events, so the rest has made its way to 750ml bottles (no growler fills).

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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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