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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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778. Medusa Brewing Company Laser Cat

Medusa Brewing Laser CatMade my first trip to Medusa Brewing a few weeks ago and it is a truly impressive facility. Very high tech brewing system, huge tap room and a long list of beers to sample or take home. The beer list included a wide variety of styles including; pale ales, cream ale, porter, stout, IPA, double IPA and even a Randall for infusing beers with fresh hops or other things.

Ended up taking home this small growler of Laser Cat and a large growler of Albatross!. Laser Cat is Medusa’s double IPA which was double dry hopped for added aroma and flavor. It pours a nice deep orange with a thick white head. It is not clear but also not as murky as some other double dry hopped beers like this one from Trillium or Austin Street’s Patina Pale Ale.

Lots of citrus and tropical fruits in the aroma. Taste follows with a sharp bitter finish that was the only part of the beer that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. Overall a very nice double IPA and one that I would drink again and again. If you find yourself in Mass take the trip to Hudson to check out Medusa Brewing.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Medusa Brewing
Brewers Description:Plenty of dense citrus, tropical fruit, and herbal notes to assault your hop-loving senses. Double dry-hopped with absurd amounts of Citra and Nugget.

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777. DC Brau / Oskar Blues Smells Like Freedom

DC Brau Smells Like FreedomThis is the best beer in the box so far but I do have a few saisons left to drink. Smells Like Freedom is a collaboration between DC Brau and Oskar Blues (see link here for more detail).

Smells Like Freedom pours a radiant orange with a thick white head. Lots and lots of dank piney hops with a bit of tangerine and pineapple in both the nose and the taste. Carbonation and mouthfeel were both excellent. Finish has a nice bitterness and leaves an oily residue that lingered long after the beer was finished.

DC Brau and Oskar Blues set out to create a dank IPA and they did just that. If you have a way of getting this beer you should give it a try. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: 
Brewers Website: DC Brau
Brewers Description: Smells Like Freedom is a big, juicy hop-bomb of an IPA with a nice medium body that is slightly dried out thanks to the addition of sugar the brewing kettle. The hop profile is huge. Notes include resiny, piney, earthy, sticky, cannabis and white pepper with aromas of cannabis, tangerine and sugar-coated ruby red grapefruit to entice the drinker. Smells Like Freedom drinks with a subtle punch of bitterness upfront that fades into a pleasant, palate-coating bitterness that attractively lingers and asks for another sip. This one is sure to please beer geeks and IPA fans with many layers of flavor upon flavor.

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776. Devils Backbone Brewing Company Eight Point IPA

Devils Backbone Eight Point IPASecond beer from Devils Backbone and this one is a classic American IPA. Nothing special here but it is a well balanced beer. Mixing floral, grassy hops with a malt sweetness and bit of a pepper spice.

Finish is bitter but not over done. Nice beer but there are 100’s others just like it. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 60
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Devils Backbone Brewing
Brewers Description: This is the first batch of beer we brewed after the conception of Devils Backbone Brewing Company in 2008. Our brewmaster Jason Oliver was thinking about how to design the IPA when he heard a rustle near his fence line (just touching the woods) where he saw two young proud eight point bucks walking along it. He decided to name the beer after those young bucks as it seemed to fit the spirit of the beer,which is proud, brash, youthful, yet approachable.

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775. Devils Backbone Brewing Company Double Gooch

Devils Backbone Double GoochThis one is a collaboration between Devils Backbone Brewing and Fat Heads Brewery both of which are new to me. I think this beer suffered a bit from age as it was brewed in February and consumed in May so a little over three months.

Appearance is a crystal clear orange with a very thin white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was muted piney dank hops and a bit of alcohol. Taste followed but there was also a fair amount of herbal, spicy and floral hops which took away from the dank, resiny hops. My favorite IPAs are citrus or tropical fruit followed by the dank, pine hops and then a distant third are the herbal, spicy, floral hops. I had high hopes for this one from the aroma but lost that in the taste.

This could be an entirely different beer fresh so this review may not be accurate if you can find a fresh batch give it a try as it is a solid beer. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 80
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Devils Backbone Brewing
Brewers Description: Double Gooch Imperial International Pale Ale uses distinctive Southern Hemisphere hops from Australia and New Zealand alongside some bright and juicy US hops. Fat Heads Brewery brewed a Gooch Pale Ale using Southern Hemisphere hops this summer and we decided to brew a bigger danker version.

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774. The Unknown Brewing Co. Over the Edge

The Unknown Brewing Co Over the Edge IPAAnother beer from a new brewery for me, this one comes from The Unknown Brewing Co. Really nice looking can, simple and appealing.

The beer was just OK with a nice copper color. Aroma was light and quite sweet, not getting a lot of hops so not all that good for an IPA. Taste has some grassy, pine and floral hops but nothing too impressive.

Can did not have a date on it so the beer may have suffered from being old but there is no way to tell.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: The Unknown Brewing Co
Brewers Description: If You’re Not Living On The Edge, You’re Taking Up Too Much Space

We’ve never been to India and neither has this beer. We believe the American Style has changed what an IPA is. More Hops, more grain, and more flavor. This is an American IPA.

Over the Edge takes a great balance of 5 grains and then ramps it up with West Coast hops that were born in the shadows of the cascades. We use these Hops in 7 different additions to create an adventure from the beginning of the sip all the way to the burp.

This beer has a blood orange color and thick white head. The beer starts with great hop aroma and malty sweetness followed by citrus orange full bodied flavor, finishing with clean piney end and cascade aroma’s. This beer will not only show you what an American IPA is, it will take you Over the Edge!

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773. Asheville Brewing Company Shiva IPA

Asheville Brewing ShivaFirst beer from Asheville Brewing Company in North Carolina.

Huge flufffy head with very large bubbles. Took me multiple pours to fill the glass. Aroma was very weak with light floral hops but not much else. Starts with sweet malts, followed by some floral grassy hops. Finish is slightly bitter and very dry.

Average beer at best.
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 69
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Asheville Brewing
Brewers Description: A crisp, citrusy India Pale Ale with a light color, Shiva will destroy all your preconceptions of an I.P.A. A transcendentally simple malt bill accents a generous helping of Columbus hops, lending an intense floral aroma with hints of grapefruit and a pleasant bittering quality. Your palette will be lifted to higher planes of consciousness with a bittersweet finish.

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772. Modern Times Beer Booming Rollers

Modern Time Booming RollersThese next few posts are going to be relatively short as they are all beers that I received in a box from someone that I exchange beer with occasionally so I do not know a lot about the breweries. There were some very good beers included in the box so I wanted to put something up.

Modern Times is based in San Diego California and Blooming Rollers is their single IPA which comes in at 6.8% ABV. The beer is relatively light in color with a solid white head and a lot of lacing. Aroma was relatively mild with some citrus and tropical notes but overall underwhelming. Taste was excellent and really what saved this beer. Loads of citrus, tropical and lesser amounts of pine, floral and grassy hops. A lot of different hop flavors coming out of this one.

Overall a very good beer and I am betting it would be even better if you had straight from the brewery. 
Pros:
Lots of flavor
Cons: Mild aroma
Alcohol Content: 6.8% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 75
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Modern Times
Brewers Description: Booming Rollers is a showcase for the juicy awesomeness of Citra hops. These new wave American hops impart a remarkable aroma and flavor, which we’ve amplified with the dark stone fruit character of New Zealand-grown Motueka hops. Some Centennial is thrown in to balance the tropical fruit party, and the malt body is just assertive enough to support Booming Rollers’ snappy bitterness. It’s a party in your mouth and all the beautiful people are invited.

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771. Fiddlehead Brewing Second Fiddle

Second FiddleFiddlehead makes some great beer and I need to make it to the brewery more often. This is my fourth beer from them and all have been excellent. My favorite so far has been Mastermind but the Hodad Porter and their single IPA were also excellent.

I will compare Mastermind and Second Fiddle as they are both DIPAs from Fiddlehead but they are entirely different beers. Appearance is much darker than Mastermind with a deep orange and small off white head. Aroma and flavor are more herbal, dank, pine versus Mastermind which was more of a tropical/citrus.

Mouthfeel, carbonation, etc were all perfect making this a very nice beer. Only reason I prefer Mastermind to Second Fiddle is the juicy fruits instead of the pine and herbs I get from this one. Both beers are excellent and it really depends on what you life from your hops.  
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.2% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 80
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Fiddlehead Brewery
Brewers Description: Big, juicy, Double IPA.

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770. Hill Farmstead Excursions #3

Hill Farmstead Excursions #3Another new beer from Hill Farmstead. This one comes from their experimental hop series which they call Excursions. This particular hop is HB-366 which is also known as Equinox.

Appearance is a deep orange with a solid white head. Aroma was mild compared to other Hill beers with a mix of earthy and garden vegetables, interesting but not what I have come to love from Hill Farmstead’s pales and IPAs. Taste continued down the same path with those onion flavors and a fair amount of sweet malts. It is also a little more bitter than other beers from Hill Farmstead.

Overall a quality well made beer but just not what I like from hops.
Pros:
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Next in the series of experimental hop IPAs, this one features HB-366, known as Equinox.

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769. Hill Farmstead Conduct of Life #1

Hill Farmstead Conduct of Life #1Conduct of Life #1 is a new pale ale from Hill Farmstead. This is another amazing beer and right up there with Edward as one of my favorite pale ales ever made.

It looks a lot like all of Hill Farmstead’s beers with an unfiltered orange, solid white head and plenty of lacing. Aroma is very nice for a pale ale, Hill Farmstead’s bigger beers are certainly more pungent, but there is plenty of citrus and tropical hop aroma here. Conduct is very well balanced and while the hops are there they are dialed back a bit from Edward. This beer is super clean and refreshing even more so than other offerings from Hill.

Exceptional beer that I could drink every day without getting tired of it. If you happen to make it to Greensboro and are trying to decide between a 750 ml or a 2 L trust me get the 2 liter you will want more than the 750. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: An American Pale Ale series featuring new, interesting blends of hops. #1 highlights Citra and Amarillo.

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