Monthly Archives: August 2011

24. Baxter Brewing Stowaway I.P.A.

If you have been following my blog you know that IPAs are not my favorite beer. This is better than some of the other IPAs tried but still not my favorite beer. The IBU rating on this one is 69 which I believe is the highest rating to date and you can certainly tell the difference. If you like IPAs I am sure you would enjoy this beer.
Pros: Great color
Cons:  Extended aftertaste – typical of an IPA
Alcohol Content: 6.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 69
Rating: ★★½☆☆
Brewers Website: Baxter Brewing
Brewers Description: Bold, complex flavors with a solid malt backbone and assertive hop profile, along with cold conditioning, give this beer its crisp, clean, hoppy finish.
Technical Specifications:
– A proprietary blend of North American 2-row malted barley, including barley grown in Northern Maine’s Aroostock County
– Domestic and imported “Character” malts provide complexity, color and body
– 5 different hops varieties grown in the Pacific Northwest
– Double dry-hopped during fermentation and conditioning
– Clean, well attenuating, top-fermenting American ale yeast
– Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine
Flavor Profile:Deep amber-to-orangish in color; pours with a nice, creamy head; huge hop aroma of citrus, pine and grapefruit rind notes with a big, complex, and intense hop flavor that lingers for a very long time. The malt flavor up-front turns dry and crisp; full bodied and a dry finish with a pleasant, long lasting, hop aftertaste and beautiful lace left in the glass. Stowaway leaves you wanting more.
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23. Baxter Brewing Pamola Xtra Pale Ale

You will notice the photo on this one is not my normal bottle beside a glass. Two reasons for this – first Baxter Brewing is one of the few craft brewers to choose cans over bottles (see their website for more details on this) and second I enjoyed this while camping in Baxter State Park last weekend. I was going to wait and enjoy this at Pamola Peak but thought it may not be a good idea to hike down a mile high pile of rocks after having a beer or two. The beer itself is a very easy to drink refreshing pale ale with a low IBU rating (which I like). Like some of the other beer I have reviewed this would be a good session beer.

I live and work very near the brewery and this one of the few breweries I have actually visited. They are doubling in size and have recently expanded their reach to Massachusetts. Hopefully this beer will continue to do well and they will introduce more variety soon. On my most recent visit to the brewery they had a sample red and light brown ale and both were excellent. I am looking forward to trying more from Baxter Brewing as they continue to grow.
Pros: Crisp flavor, easy to drink
Cons: Hard to get used to drinking from a can
Alcohol Content: 4.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 26
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Baxter Brewing
Brewers Description: Subtle, sophisticated flavors from choice barley and select hops, combined with cold conditioning, give this beer its exceptional drinkability.
Technical Specifications:

  • A proprietary blend of North American 2-row malted barley, including barley grown in Northern Maine’s Aroostock County
  • Domestic and imported “Character” malts provide complexity, color and body
  • 3 different hop varieties, all with European roots and grown in the Pacific Northwest
  • Fermented cold and then cold conditioned
  • Clean, well attenuating, top-fermenting American ale yeast
  • Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine

Flavor Profile:
Brilliant clarity, bright golden in color. Pours a nice creamy head. Subtle malt and hop aroma. Crisp, clean, effervescent start with a touch of malt character and a balanced bitterness. Hop flavors linger nicely. Finishes clean, crisp and dry with a light body. Beautiful lace left all the way down the glass. Extremely drinkable.

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Novare Res Bier Cafe

If you live in Maine or happen to be visiting the Portland area be sure to check out Novare Res. 30+ rotating taps and 500+ bottled beers from around the world.

Location: 4 Canal Plaza – Portland, ME – Map
Hours: Mon – Thur 4:00 to 1:00 AM / Fri 3:00 to 1:00 AM / Sat – Sun 12:00 to 1:00 AM
Phone: 207-761-2437
Facebook: Group
Twitter: @NovareResBierCf
Website: Novares Res Bier Cafe Website
Owner’s Description: Welcome to Novare Res Bier Café.  A bar inspired by many people, places and experiences. Novare Res means “to start a revolution” in Latin, and was chosen after repeated discussions with people of all walks of life who have felt the need for a revolution in some form or another. We all wanted a place where people could commune and conceive of a better future, with passion and determination. After spending time abroad tracking down great fermented beverages in places like Japan, U.K., Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Germany, and working in other highly regarded beer bars, we discovered an avenue in which to bring that hope and inspiration to life in a tangible way. Though we are not overthrowing any governments or wielding any pitchforks, we hope to bring a new perspective to at least one of your senses…

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22. Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier

Time for dessert!!! I enjoy wheat beer and one with the added flavor of blackberries is not something to be enjoyed with a meal but a nice after dinner snack – if beer can be a snack. Very nice light beer with a hint of blackberry flavor in the aftertaste. Not something that I would drink regularly but I have to say I enjoyed this one. Blackberries are out in abundance around my house this time of year and we have been enjoying them for weeks.
Pros: Great flavor – light and easy to drink
Cons:  Only good as an after meal drink
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: 176
IBU (Bitterness): 10?
Rating: ★★½☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: Our take on a classic witbier brewed with Oregon Marion blackberries to give the beer a subtle sweetness.

To create our version of the traditional witbier style, we wanted to complement the style’s natural wheat and traditional citrus flavors with the sweetness and tartness of blackberries.  We looked for the perfect variety of blackberries that could offer the balance in flavor without becoming overpowering.  The Oregon Marion blackberries were the perfect fit; selected from family farms located at the foot of the Oregon Trail and Cascade Mountains in Western Oregon, where they have been growing some of the best blackberries in the world for generations.  The blackberries are brought together with a hint of traditional orange and coriander to complement the malt character and give a smooth finish that’s both sweet and tart.

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21. Samuel Adams Irish Red

I usually like red beer and as usual Sam Adams does not disappoint. This is a very flavorful beer with a very nice dark red coloring. The coloring is not a lot different than the Octoberfest but the flavor is. The description from the Samuel Adams website below sums this one up pretty well.
Pros: Great color, easy to drink, goes well with a meal
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.8% ABV
Calories: 191
IBU (Bitterness): 15?
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: The gentle rain and fertile soil of Ireland helped inspire this style of ale, known for being remarkably balanced.  Pale and caramel malts give Samuel Adams® Irish Red its rich, deep red color and distinctive caramel flavor.  The sweetness of the malt is pleasantly balanced by an earthy character from the East Kent Goldings hops.  Samuel Adams Irish Red finishes smooth and leaves you wanting to take another sip.

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20. Samuel Adams Octoberfest

I love this time of year – not only for the cooler days and nights but also for the beer. Many of my favorite seasonals find their way to the coolers in the fall and I will be reviewing them all in the coming weeks. Sam Adams Octoberfest certainly qualifies as one of the best fall seasonals. I happened to find it today tucked in behind a 6-pack of Summer Ale. I bought both 🙂 my last 6-pack of Summer Ale and first Octoberfest of the year. Looking forward to the Gritty’s Halloween, Shipyard Pumpkinhead and Smashed Pumpkin and all the others. Could be a busy fall.
Pros: Great red color, many different flavors
Cons:  Seasonal – wish I could get it year round
Alcohol Content: 5.3%
Calories: 183
IBU (Bitterness): 25
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: Brewed with five varieties of malted barley for a big, rich flavor.The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® Octoberfest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.
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19. Honey Brown Lager

Honey Brown was my beer of choice through college and looking back it is too bad I didn’t get into craft beer back then as that was 4 years of drinking low quality beer. This beer is only slightly better than the Budweiser, Michelob and other mega brewers. The only reason this one made it to my blog is my wife picked up a six pack last week and there were still a couple in the fridge. I did not realize until writing this post that the same company owns Magic Hat and Honey Brown. With all of the beer choices out there this should not make it to the top of your list.
Pros:
Cons: Little to no flavor
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Calories: 150
IBU (Bitterness): 10
Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Honey Brown
Brewers Description: Man first brewed with honey more than 2,000 years ago. Back then, fermented honey was proclaimed the drink of kings. We first brewed Original Honey Brown Lager nearly 20 years ago. And we like to think every batch is still fit for a king. In the years since, Honey Brown has been brewed with the same premium barley, hops and pure Manitoba White Clover Honey to produce a great-tasting, medium-bodied lager.
This isn’t your watered-down light beer from college. Nor is it a heavy craft beer. Honey Brown pours right smack dab in the middle. A delicious golden amber color, it’s a beer you can drink throughout the night while staying true to yourself and your evolving palate. Enjoy it with friends. Enjoy it with strangers. It doesn’t matter to us—just enjoy it.
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18. Magic Hat Single Chair

Single Chair is the last of the 4 flavors including the Magic Hat Summer Variety Pack. All 4 are solid beers with this being the simplest of the bunch. There is nothing complex about this beer; easy to drink and mid-level alcohol content would make this a good session beer. Under the cap sayings on the first 2 are; “Find the way through play” and “Don’t be a bore, play outdoors” which are appropriate since I am on vacation this week and will be headed to Baxter State Park later in the week.
Pros: Smooth flavor and easy to drink
Cons: Simple
Alcohol Content: 5.0%
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 17
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Magic Hat

Brewers Description: Single Chair celebrates the uniqueness of the Mad River Glen Cooperative Ski Area in Vermont. Medium bodied and ideally balanced for all tastes, Single Chair’s tempting light golden color, heady aroma and smooth liquid go down effortlessly and often!
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17. Magic Hat Blind Faith

Blind Faith is one of several IPAs brewed by Magic Hat. Each season they change the IPA offering and this one was not my favorite. Very little flavor compared to the Gritty’s and even the Kennebec River IPA previously reviewed. Not a bad beer and I will certainly finish off the 3 that came with my Summer variety pack but I had hoped for better. Another very well designed label from Magic Hat and the comments under the caps were; “Turn to your mate and seal you fate” and “Seize the cheese”.
Pros: Minimal aftertaste, high alcohol content
Cons:  Very little flavor
Alcohol Content: 6.2%
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 38
Rating: ★★½☆☆

Brewers Website: Magic Hat

Brewers Description: An ale of enlightenment created to aid in deciphering the puzzles along life’s road, and to interpret signs in the voyages of the spirit. Blind Faith is an extremely well-balanced India Pale Ale with a crisp, refreshing hop bitterness and a deep malt body to match

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16. Magic Hat Wacko

The label on this one describes it as “a beer with beet juice color” which is just about right. Even with the deep red color this is a lighter beer that will quench your thirst. Not your typical summer style beer but Magic Hat tends to go against the grain. The saying on this cap was “If you’re in jail, your friends pay bail”, “You owe you a beer” and the last was “Suck the tow of Edgar Allan Poe”. Great art work on the label and as usual a quality beer from Magic Hat.
Pros: Great color and aroma, smooth
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 15
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Magic Hat
Brewers Description: Wacko is the liquid song of summer: Crisp like the morning, cool like the evening and quenching all day long. Pop the top and set your summer loose. Wacko is a delicious summer beer with a big malty aroma, a subdued hop bite and a clean, slightly sweet finish.
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