210. Sebago Brewing Runabout Red Ale

If you have been following my blog for some time you know I have been searching for a truly exception red ale. This is a style of beer i really enjoy however almost all red/amber ales seem to taste almost identical. I know there is only so much you can do with the various malt characters that dominate the palate on red ales but there should be something that sets one apart.

I was hopeful when I found the Runabout Red from Sebago Brewing as they make very good beer. Color is nice red which thin head that disappeared quickly. Aroma has lots of caramel malts and the taste follows. Lots of caramel and toffee malts and very slight hop finish. Easy to drink and enjoyable but again very similar to other reds.
Pros: Lots of malt
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 4.75
Rating:★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Sebago Brewing
Brewers Description: Our Red Ale is Deep Amber in color and is very well balanced with a malty yet clean finish.

Runabout Red Ale is a classic! Our Red Ale has a malty sweet taste that comes from 3 different types of caramel malt. It is a clean, well-balanced beer that started as seasonal ale that we only brewed from March until July. It was so popular with our regulars that we started brewing it year round in 2002. Our red ale is made with only two hop additions to the kettle as opposed to three in most of our other brews and the malt character shows this. Please enjoy our staff favorite!

Pairing Suggestions: Shellfish, grilled
vegetables & salads

The name and logo for our Runabout Red Ale invokes the image of lake life in Maine. The antique wooden boat symbolizes quality craftsmanship, art, history and design as does our beer. The woman on the label is Elsie Whidden. Elsie has a passion for Maine lake life and antique wooden boats. In honor of Elsie, a lifelong Maine teacher living with Parkinson’s, we donate $1 to the Maine Parkinson Society for every case of Runabout Red Ale sold.

Learn more: Maine Parkinsons Society

209. Oxbow Funkhaus IPA

Oxbow FunkhausI picked up 3 growlers last time I visited Oxbow. One of them I sent out to Vermont in return for some Hill Farmstead, Heady Topper and a few others you will be reading about here soon. The other two I kept for my brother in laws birthday party. One was a Farmhouse Pale Ale which I previously reviewed here and the other was this growler of Funkhaus IPA.

The beer is a pale orange color with a slight head. Aroma has plenty of citrus and some earthy notes. Taste is excellent, hard to describe and not like most other IPAs as the hops are not as prevalent but they are certainly there. Funkhaus is an appropriate name for this one as it does have some “funk” to it. Drinks very easy for a 7.5% ABV beer and my brother in law and I both really enjoyed this one.
Pros: Easy to drink and different than most IPAs
Cons: Only available at the brewery or on tap
Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Oxbow Brewing
Brewers Description:
Mash:  Pilsner Malt, Wheat, Aromatic, Light Crystal
Hops:   American
Fermentation: Mixed Culture Primary Fermentation with Brettanomyces and Saison Yeast
Flavor Profile:  Citrus, Herbal, Pungent, Spicy, Funk

Maine Beer Series at Frontier with Oxbow Brewing.

As I mentioned in my prior post I attended the first Maine Beer Series presentation at Frontier in Brunswick on Thursday. This was a 2 hour session with Oxbow Brewing owner Geoff Masland and his wife Dash representing the brewery. Geoff did a great job with the presentation including photos, video and the complete story of how Oxbow came to be. He also went into some of the challenges they have overcome being located in a small town in rural Maine and a history of the saison style. The 2 hours of the presentation went by very quickly and there were 25-30 people in attendance. During the session they provided samples of Space Cowboy, Freestyle #3 Dark Saison and at the end we got to try the first bottled beer from Oxbow Brewing. This is a barrel aged version of their flagship beer Farmhouse Pale Ale. The beer has been aging at the brewery for months and it will not be on sale for a few more weeks. Tentative date of 4/14 for the release at the brewery.

Frontier did an excellent job as host of the event keeping sample glasses full, providing quality hors d’oeuvres and the space was a perfect setting for this kind of event. Ample parking and easy to find. They already have 2 more events scheduled – April 12th with Marshall Wharf Brewing and June 14th with Maine Beer Company. I expect to attend each and would recommend any fan of craft beer to do the same.

208. Marshall Wharf Illegal Ale-Ien

Thursday night I went to the first Maine Beer Series event at Frontier in Brunswick. I had never been to Frontier so had no idea what to expect. They have a great space in an old mill building right on the river. Small bar area, lots of seats and tables and then a separate theater area where they held the event, more on that in my next post. I got there a little early and decided to have a drink before the presentation. They had 6-8 Maine based beers on tap including 2 from Oxbow, Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom, Allagash White and this offering from Marshall Wharf. Since this was the only beer of the bunch I had not tried before I decided on it.

The beer pours a pale yellow with almost no head. Aroma of wheat/grass and taste was very smooth with minimal hop bitterness and only slightly sweet. Very easy to drink and I had no idea it was 8% ABV until I checked the brewers website today. Marshall Wharf has a long list of beer on their site so I will be sure to try more in the coming months.
Pros: Easy to drink
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Marshall Wharf
Brewers Description: A hybrid kolsch/wheat beer brewed with organic blue agave nectar. Light in color and finish.