255. Rising Tide Daymark (Growler)

Rising Tide started selling growlers last weekend and since I was in the area I stopped by to get myself one. I decided on Daymark as the weather is getting warm and I am the only beer drinker in my household so I had to drink all 64 ounces – poor me 🙂

Rising Tide’s new brew location on Fox Street is about 5,000 square feet and when I visited the brew system was still being installed but they did have their tap lines installed and Heather was filling growlers. Their growlers not only have the great logo on the front but also have the varieties of Rising Tide beers on the bag with a box for them to check what the growler contains which is a nice touch.

Daymark is just as good from a growler as it is from the bottle. Pale ale at its finest and fresh from the brewery. Really enjoy Rising Tide beer and now that they sell growlers I am sure to be enjoying more in the coming weeks and months.
Pros: Well balanced
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.5 ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Rising Tide
Brewers Description: Chart a new course with Daymark as your guide. We start with a classic, clean and crisp American pale ale brewed with spicy Columbus and Centennial hops. Then we accent the grain bill with rye grown on small local family farms right here in Maine and malted to our specifications at Valley Malts, an artisanal malt house. Finally we dry hop the finished beer for a bright floral aroma.

daymark [dey-mahrk] (n)—a navigational aid distinctively marked for daytime visibility, normally attached to a permanent structure in the water

254. Freeport Brewing Blonde Ale

Had only seen a few random mentions of Freeport Brewing Company before reading Tom Atwell’s article in the Portland Press Herald (see link here). After reading the article I made sure to stop in Freeport my next time through to grab a growler at Royal River Natural Foods. They had both the blonde and brown ales and being late Spring I opted for the Blonde Ale. Price was very reasonable at just over $10 including the $2 deposit on the growler.

The beer is light in color as expected with minimal head and almost no lacing on the glass. Aroma is lightly hopped and a bit spicy. Taste is smooth, clean and very refreshing. Not sure what the ABV or IBU rating is but I assume it is low as this is an easy drinker. An excellent example of what a blonde ale should be and I am looking forward to the brown and whatever else Ken decides to put out. If you find yourself in the Freeport area be sure to stop and I also heard Bier Cellar in Portland will have a few growlers in the store soon.
Pros: Very drinkable and refreshing
Cons: Hard to find
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Brewers Website: No website
Brewers Description:

253. Black Bear Brewing IPA

On a bit of a growler kick lately, visiting lots of breweries and I just cannot seem leave empty handed. Left with three growlers last time I went to Black Bear Brewing in Orono including this classic growler with their old art work and even has the old address for the brewery.

Beer pours a nice orange with nice white head. Aromas are minimal but what there is smells great. Taste is very solid for an American IPA nothing over the top like many other IPAs try to do, just a very drinkable refreshing IPA. Finishes clean and makes you want another glass. Black Bear Brewing makes some excellent beer and I am looking forward to trying their Red, Stout and whatever else is available when I visit the brewery next.
Pros: Very Smooth
Cons: Only available at the brewery in a growler
Alcohol Content: 5.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Black Bear Brewery
Brewers Description: Not listed on the website

252. Kona Brewing Fire Rock Pale Ale

I will admit that I bought this one simply because it was from Hawaii and I had not had a beer from Hawaii yet. Color is a very nice orange with thin white head, an excellent looking pale ale. Smell is well balanced with some nice hop aromas and sweet caramel malts.

Taste is excellent for a pale ale with lots of hop in the beginning and ends with a balanced malt finish. Quite complex for a pale ale and something I would certainly buy again. I have to say this one surprised me as I was not expecting much.
Pros: Complex for a pale ale
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 35
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Kona Brewing
Brewers Description: Fire Rock Pale Ale is crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt.Hood hops added to each brew.

251. Anchor Summer Beer

I have heard a lot about Anchor Brewing – specifically their Steam Beer so when I found their Summer and Steam at Tully’s in Wells I decided to buy both. I am hopeful the Steam Beer is better than the Summer as this did not impress.

Color is a pale yellow and very clear. Thin white head that leaves minimal lacing. Minimal aroma but a bit of cut grass. Taste was very simple, not bad but almost no lasting flavor and not something that you will remember. Finished this one fairly quickly with the low ABV but certainly not something I would go back for another.
Pros:
Cons:
 Very simple
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Anchor Brewing
Brewers Description: The crisp, clean flavors of Anchor Summer ® Beer are refreshingly light, a thirst-quenching American-style filtered wheat beer.

Released each year in advance of the summer season, Anchor Summer ® Beer is an all-malt beer, with over 50% of its malt derived from malted wheat. It is fermented with a traditional top-fermenting “ale” yeast, yielding a clean, balanced flavor that highlights the refreshingly light flavor of malted wheat. The head is unusually abundant due to the natural protein deposits of wheat, with a thick consistency similar to meringue.

First brewed in the summer of 1984, Anchor Summer ® Beer is the first American wheat beer in modern times. Anchor Summer ® Beer is intended to be a lighter beer for those who don’t want to sacrifice tradition or character.

250. Penobscot Bay Brewery Winnah 2011

I visited Penobscot Bay Brewery last week and while I was there picked up the 3 beers they brew that I had not tried yet including the Winnah 2011 which is the beer that won the 2011 Home Brew Contest in Bangor, ME. The winner was Nate Engelbrecht and he was invited to the brewery to make a batch of his Rye IPA to bottle and sell. Penobscot Bay brewed another batch of this beer in recent weeks and is bottling one last time before the next home brew contest. I believe the beer will remain in their lineup under a different name and I hope it does.

Color is a deep orange almost brown with a thick off white head. Aroma has some citrus hops and plenty of sweet malts. Taste starts with plenty of malts and has a solid hop finish with some grapefruit and pine flavors. This is the first rye beer that I truly enjoyed and is very well balanced. Really enjoyed this one and will grab a couple more bottles the next time I am in Winterport. If you are interested in a bottle let me know and I will grab you one too as this will be gone soon.
Pros: Very well balanced
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Penobscot Bay Brewery
Brewers Description: Not currently listed on their website.

249. Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA

Found this bottle of Stone’s 14th Anniversary IPA in my local IGA of all places. They have a decent selection of Stone, Rogue, Allagash and a few other bombers but apparently do not sell many of them. This beer was released in June of 2010 and since then Stone has released their 15th anniversary and must be prepping the 16th anniversary versions. I was a bit skeptical with a nearly two year old IPA but figured I would give it a shot.
The color is beautiful cloudy yellow with a very solid white head. Lots of different aromas with nothing really standing out over the rest; certainly some citrus and pine hops, something sweet and earthy in there as well. So far it appears the beer has held up well.
I did not try this beer fresh so I have nothing to compare it to but I think the hop taste has probably faded a bit over the years. There is still a fair amount of hop bite here but there is also a sweetness that may not have been there when it was brewed. Ends with some grapefruit flavors that linger. Overall this was better than I had hoped and I may just grab another bottle to age for a couple more years to see how it holds up.

Pros: Appearance
Cons: Not as hoppy as I had hoped
Alcohol Content: 8.9% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 100
Rating:  ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Stone
Brewers Description: We went to England this past spring as self-styled “IPA Hunters” on a mission to learn more about the confusing and often contradictory history of India Pale Ale – to look for some certainty where those before us have found mostly mystery and mercantilism. While our success in this pursuit is open to debate, there can be no question that we returned home inspired by the ghosts of Burton and by the experience of poring over 150-year old brewer’s logs handwritten in (India?) ink. Stone Brewing Co., after all, traces its lineage back to the British Empire’s brewing history: we make ales, and all of our original offerings used traditional British styles as a jumping-off point. If this seems a roundabout way of letting you know that, yes, we are in fact brewing another IPA to mark our Anniversary, well, so be it.

This one however, promises to be different! From the imported white malt to the “Burtonised” water to the rare yeast strain to the most pungent hops Kent has to offer, we used all British ingredients to brew our “Emperial” IPA.* While we may have brewed Stone 14th Anniversary Emperial IPA with our own distinctively modern, San Diego-style touch, what good is history if you can’t rewrite it to suit your tastes?

In this case, our tastes called for highly intemperate quantities of Target, East Kent Goldings, and Boadicea hops, bestowing upon this dry-bodied ale a powerfully spicy, earthy aroma. On the palate, peppery hops assert themselves early and often, with malt sweetness making a brief appearance before being beaten back by a long, complex, and decisively bitter finish. What better way to contemplate the fate of empires past, present, and future?

*Um, except for our filtered Colorado River water, of course

248. Marshall Wharf Weisse Grip Hefeweizen

Had back to back growlers of Hefeweizen from Black Bear and this one from Marshall Wharf. Same style of beer but significantly different tastes.

This one is a bit darker than most and had a nice head. Aroma has plenty of cloves and some wheat. Taste was good but; lots of clove, very little banana smooth and easy to drink. Very enjoyable and different than other Hefeweizens I have tried. Really enjoying the beers from Marshall Wharf and looking forward to their 16 oz cans coming this Summer.
Pros: Unique
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:★★★☆
Brewers Website: Marshall Wharf
Brewers Description: We use a great Munich style Hefeweizen yeast for this beer. Bananas, clove and of course the yeast. Brewed in late Spring and Summer only.

247. Black Bear Brewery Liquid Sunshine

Met with Tim at Black Bear Brewing last week and got a chance to check out the new 8 tap keg cooler for the tap room he is opening at the brewery. The taproom will have some of your favorites from Black Bear as well as some one off options that will only be available at the brewery. Looking forward to seeing the finished area from this experienced Maine brewer.

While there I picked up 2 growlers of Liquid Sunshine which is Black Bear’s Hefeweizen. I dropped one off to my brother-in-law and took the other home for the week. Beer pours a nice pale yellow with solid white head. Aroma has plenty of clove and banana which draws you into the beer. Taste follows with lots of crisp fruity taste. Very easy to drink and refreshing on a warm summer day. One of the better hefes I have reviewed and something most any beer drinker would enjoy. If you find yourself in the Bangor, Maine area take the extra time to visit Black Bear Brewery in Orono, chat with Tim, try some beer and buy a growler.
Pros: Light and refreshing
Cons: Only available at the brewery in a growler
Alcohol Content: 5.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 11
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: Black Bear Brewery
Brewers Description: Liquid Sunshine is a Bavarian style Hefewiezen. This beer has the traditional clove aroma with a touch of lemon peel, but there are no spices added. The unique flavor comes from a traditional yeast selection which has been used in Germany for centuries.

246. Long Trail Pale Ale

Found this single in my beer fridge the other day and do not even remember buying it. I am sure I did somewhere along the line as I tend to pick up a few singles each week when I visit random variety stores while traveling for work.
I enjoy pale ales as they are typically easy to drink, lightly hopped and flavorful. This option from Long Trail does not disappoint but also does not stand out from the many other pale ales I have reviewed. The color is typical of the style with minimal head that disappears quickly. Aroma is minimal but has some orange and floral. Taste is fairly well balance with hops at first balanced out by some sweet malts and then just a bit too much bitterness at the end. Overall an enjoyable pale ale from Long Trail.
Pros: Well balanced
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 35
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Long Trail
Brewers Description: Long Trail Pale Ale beer is brewed with the finest all natural ingredients and award winning Vermont water. This classic American style pale ale features a modest malt body and a well balanced citrus, pine hop aroma. Our Pale Ale is lightly filtered to provide a delightfully robust flavor experience. ENJOY!