Monthly Archives: March 2013

435. Bell’s Brewery Two Hearted Ale

Bell's Two Hearted AleI ended up with two bottles of this beer through trades and I am glad I got them both. I enjoyed one a couple of weeks ago and I had this one yesterday. Nice looking beer with a bright yellow and thin white head. The head disappears quickly leaving only a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma has lots of floral and citrus hops and the taste follows but with a very nice balance. Two Hearted is refreshing and very easy to drink. Having a six pack of this in the fridge could be dangerous.

This is only my second beer from Bell’s, the first being Hopslam, and so far I am impressed. Hoping to get my hands on more from Bell’s for future reviews. 
Pros:
Very well balanced
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Bell’s Brewery
Brewers Description: Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is defined by its intense hop aroma and malt balance. Hopped exclusively with the Centennial hop varietal from the Pacific Northwest, massive additions in the kettle and again in the fermenter lend their characteristic grapefruit and pine resin aromas. A significant malt body balances this hop presence; together with the signature fruity aromas of Bell’s house yeast, this leads to a remarkably drinkable American-style India Pale

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434. Black Bear Brewery Tough End IPA

Black Bear Tough End IPAI stopped by to see Tim last week and grabbed a growler of Tough End IPA to bring home. Tim recently changed to clear growlers in an effort to keep the cost of his beer down. By going with clear growlers he is able to sell the beer and the growler for an even $10. Refills are only $8 so this is one of the best deals in Maine.

The Tough End IPA pours a nice orange color with an inch thick off white head. The aroma and taste on this one are both very bitter. Much more so than other beers I have had from Black Bear and not really what I like in an IPA. I finished the growler in my typical 2 nights but will probably opt for one of Tim’s other beers next time I am in Orono.
Pros: 
Cons:  Overly bitter for my taste
Alcohol Content: 5.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Black Bear Brewery
Brewers Description: Orono locals know the Tough End as the area below railroad tracks, just down the hill from the brewery. We wanted to keep that name alive and lift a pint to a piece of Orono history with our own in-house-only American West Coast Style IPA.

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433. Kennebec River Brewery Penobscot Porter

Kennebec River Penobscot PorterOne of my coworkers brought this back for me from The Forks as I have not made it up there recently. I work with a number of rafting companies in The Forks and if you have never been to that part of Maine schedule a rafting trip now for this Summer. You will have a great time as the guides up there know how to put together a weekend of fun.

Kennebec River Brewery is part of Northern Outdoors one of the largest resorts and guide service in The Forks. They bottle three of their beers and you can find the rest at the resort and you can bring a nice growler home with you. The Penobscot Porter is very dark with a thin tan head, looks like a porter should. Aroma is very sweet and with plenty of chocolate and maybe a bit of coffee.

Taste is where this one really excels, very smooth and creamy with lots of chocolate. This is certainly one of the better porters I have had and I am very glad my coworker chose this. She drinks mostly Miller Lite so getting an excellent and dark beer like this was a great surprise. 
Pros:
Very flavorful and great mouthfeel
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Kennebec River Brewery
Brewers Description:

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432. Founders Brewing All Day IPA

Founders All Day IPAI really enjoy session beers and I think this is an often overlooked segment of the market for craft beer makers. There are some brewers doing only session; Notch being the first that comes to mind but I know there are others.

This one from Founders is 4.7% ABV, I would like to see 4.5% or less for true session beer but I guess this is close enough. This beer is a pale orange with a single finger white head. A nice citrus aroma which is surprisingly strong for such a low ABV beer. All Day IPA is  very flavorful with plenty of citrus and floral hop flavor and only a slightly bitter finish.

Really enjoyed this beer and Founders announced this week they will be selling cans of it for the Summer. This may be my new golfing beer.
Pros:
Flavorful for a low ABV beer
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 42
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Founders Brewing
Brewers Description: The beer you’ve been waiting for. Keeps your taste satisfied while keeping your senses sharp. An all-day IPA naturally brewed with a complex array of malts, grains and hops. Balanced for optimal aromatics and a clean finish. The perfect reward for an honest day’s work and the ultimate companion to celebrate life’s simple pleasures.

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431. 603 Brewery Winni Ale

603 Brewery Winni AleI picked up this beer at the brewery on my way back from Vermont earlier this month. The guys at 603 Brewery were nice enough to stick around as I made the long trip back from Burlington on snowy roads but I made it and had a “sample” with the guys before heading for home.

Amber/Red Ales are usually a style of beer that doesn’t excite me too much. They all seem to be pretty similar with only a few that stand out. Fortunately for me Winni Ale from 603 Brewery is one that stands out. Appearance and aroma are typical of the style with a nice deep red color and off white head, smells of sweet malts and just hint of hops.

The taste starts like most Amber Ales with the sweet malts hitting the palate but hops quickly make an appearance with a nice light bitter finish. This is a really nice first effort for 603 Brewery and I look forward to more beer from them in the coming months and years. 
Pros:
Very tasty amber ale
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: 603 Brewery
Brewers Description: A clean amber ale with a subtle but noticeable hop character.

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430. Sheepscot Valley Brewing Pale Ale

Sheepscot Valley Pale AleThis is one of the few breweries in Maine I have been to yet but while in RSVP (yes I went to RSVP for beer) I grabbed a growler of this beer. No idea how long it had been there and honestly I bought it more for the growler than for the beer but I was pleasantly surprised with the beer.

The cap said simply pale ale and the beer certainly drank like a pale. A nice orange color with a small white head. Nice mild aroma with only a bit of hop coming through. Taste was fairly sweet and almost like a red/amber ale but a slight bitterness. Overall this was an easy drinking pale ale and it make me want to visit the brewery for some fresh beer. 
Pros: 

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

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429. Marshall Wharf Brewing Big Twitch IPA

Marshall Wharf Big TwitchMany more people have tried Marshall Wharf beer since they started canning Can’t Dog but some people may not realize Marshall Wharf has at least 40 different beers in their line up. Many are seasonal or only available occasionally throughout the year but there are many great options here. They also have a knack for brewing high ABV beer that pack a big punch.

Big Twitch is their slightly lower ABV IPA clocking in at only 9% ABV verses Can’t Dog’s 10%. While they are both big IPAs this is an entirely different beer. Pours a deep hazy orange with a perfect white head. Aroma is a nice mix of sweet malts and pine / fruity hops.

Taste has plenty of malt character, a fair amount of bitterness from the hops and plenty of alcohol taste. The alcohol softens a bit as it warms but is still present. Another very nice IPA from Marshall Wharf, if all you have tried it Can’t Dog take a trip to Belfast and grab a growler of something. I am certain you will enjoy. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Marshall Wharf Brewing
Brewers Description: Our 2nd place IPA. Only the Cant Dog is stonger, although arguments abound as to who is hoppier. A session IPA? NO! But you can try if you want. One of our personal favorites around the bar.

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428. Run of the Mill Rye

Run of the Mill RyeI visited Run of the Mill earlier in the month and will be doing a blog post about them soon. Before leaving I picked up one of their very unique growlers full of a Rye Ale. The growler looks very old with a large wooden handle and some very nice designs on the glass.

The rye is a nice beer and I am sure they had a real name for it as they do with all their beer but I could not remember it and couldn’t find on their website either. Color is a deep orange with a almost no head. Nice sweet and slightly spicy aroma with a taste that follows suit. This was a very easy drinking beer and something I would recommend you try on your next visit to Run of the Mill in Saco. 
Pros: 

Cons:  
Alcohol Content: ??% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: The Run of the Mill
Brewers Description:

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427. Stone Brewing Enjoy By

Stone Enjoy ByThe Stone Enjoy By series is an example of great marketing and excellent beer. Stone usually labels labels their beer with an enjoy by date or will let you know the beer is OK to cellar. Many retailers and consumers probably ignore these dates but that is almost impossible to do with their Enjoy By series. The Enjoy By 4.01.13 is the fifth batch of this beer and the first one that made it to Maine.

Appearance if a crystal clear with a thin white head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is all piney resin hops and there is a lot of aroma with this beer. Taste again has lots of pine but also some nice citrus and you can tell these hops are fresh, which is the whole point of Stone Enjoy By. Alcohol is well hidden considering it is 9.4% ABV. This is a really nice beer and I hope we get future batches of Enjoy By. 
Pros:
Big fresh hops flavor
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 9.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 88
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers – especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs – we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the label, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and consumers. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

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426. 14th Star Brewing Pale Ale

14th Star Brewing Pale AleLast month when I was in Burlington I took a trip to St Albans to visit 14th Star Brewing Co. The brewery is located about 30 minutes north of Burlington and was worth the trip. I arrived around 6:00 and there was decent crowd of people tasting and getting growlers filled. I tried all 3 beers they had on tap and ended up taking home a growler of the Pale Ale.

Unfortunately after the long and very bumpy ride back to Maine the growler was flat. I believe this was due to the ride and not any fault of the brewery. I am basing my rating on the beer I tasted in the brewery and not the beer I ended up with at home. For a pale ale this one has a fair amount of citrus hops in the aroma and taste. This was a very enjoyable pale ale and I will certainly be back on my next trip to Burlington.
Pros:
Flavorful for a pale ale
Cons:  
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: 14th Star Brewing
Brewers Description:

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