447. Henniker Brewing Amber Apparition

Henniker Brewing Amber ApparitionAmber ales are tough for me. There are very few that stand out from the pack and unfortunately this one does not. Pours an almost brown color with single finger tan head. Aroma is almost entirely sweet malts  and taste is the same. Overall this is a good representation of the style but there are so many other amber/red ales out there that do the same thing I am not sure why you would choose this over another.

If you see Henniker bottles in the store or visit the brewery try the Hop Slinger IPA as it is better than the amber.
Good representation of the style
Cons: Boring  
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 32
Brewers Website: 
Brewers Description: An American Amber Ale – rich and enjoyable with its carmel and toffee sweetness that is balanced by a subtle aroma and a complimentary flavor of hops.  Amber Apparition pairs well with delicate seafoods, poultry dishes and salads.

446. Brewery Ommegang Iron Throne

Ommegang Iron ThronesThis beer got a lot of press when it was announced as Ommegang partnered with HBO to offer a beer based on the hit series Game of Thrones. I am big fan of the series and have listed to all 5 audio books so a beer that taps into that marketing seems like a great idea.

The beer is a Belgian blonde ale which is not terribly exciting but I saw someone post that being a “gimmick” beer you might get some cross over from not craft beer drinkers and it makes sense to do a blonde and not something bigger. That way you don’t turn off those that are not used to craft beer. I thought this was a good explanation of why Ommegang chose a blonde ale and I wish I could remember who said it so I could give them credit.

Overall this beer is what you would expect from a Belgian blonde, nice light color with thick white head. Belgian yeast and spice dominate the aroma. Taste was average nothing spectacular but certainly worth trying with some lemon, floral and peppery spice. Overall a solid beer with some smart marketing.  

Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Ommegang
Brewers Description: Brewery Ommegang and HBO are partnering on a series of beers in support of the critically-acclaimed drama Game of Thrones. Launching in tandem with the season three debut, Iron Throne is the inaugural beer in the series.

Iron Throne is a blonde ale at 6.5% ABV and brewed with a robust amount of pils, honey malt, aroma malts and red wheat. Gentle hopping includes Styrian Golding and Hallertau Spalter Select, appropriately noble hops. Spiced with grains of paradise and lemon peel. Hue is a slightly hazy golden amber. Head is full and fluffy. Finish is crisp, backed by a touch of spice and hops. Aroma is a bit grassy with a hint of lemon fruitiness from the lemon peel. Taste is lightly malty, rounded out by honey malt sweetness.

445. Penobscot Bay Brewery Winnah 2012

Winnah 2012For the past two years there has been a homebrew competition in Bangor and the winner gets to brew their beer at Penobscot Bay Brewery and have it distributed to local bars and bottle shops. Quite a treat for a homebrewer. In 2012 the winner was Zafra Whitcomb with this Sorachi Ace Pilsner.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know I don’t drink pilsners very often so I was quite surprised when I opened and really enjoyed this one. The beer pours a very pale yellow – looks like a Bud or Miller with a huge white head. It took a few minutes to get the glass full enough for this photo.

Not a lot happening in the aroma but it does smell crisp (if that is possible). Taste follows with nothing too outrageous but very clean and easy to drink with quite a lot of lemon flavor. This would be a great beer to have a growler of for a summer picnic or family gathering. Certianly one of the best pilsners I have had. If you come across a bottle in a local shop you should pick it up. 
Light, refreshing
Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV
Calories: 162
IBU (Bitterness): 42
Brewers Website: Penobscot Bay Brewery
Brewers Description: 

444. Rising Tide Brewing Spinnaker

Rising Tide SpinnakerOne of the first “craft” beers I had that was memorable was Widmer’s Hefeweizen. The pale yellow cloudy appearance was something I had never had in a beer. Since then the style has always been one of my favorites for Summer and I try to drink as many as I can find each year. When Rising Tide released a hefeweizen I knew it would be good.

Appearance is a cloudy pale orange color with a thick off white head. Exactly what a hefeweizen should look like. Aroma has some bread, banana and clove spicyness. Overall a very pleasing beer.

Taste is very refreshing and crisp with plenty of banana in the finish. There is a lot going on in this beer but it is all very pleasant. With a low ABV of 4.5% this is the perfect warm weather beer. If you like hefeweizens or if you have never tried one get out and by some bottles of this beer, you will not be disappointed. 
Very flavorful and refreshing
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Rising Tide Brewing
Brewers Description: Spinnaker is the perfect companion to a lazy summer day. Witha nod to the traditional hazy wheat beers of Germany, our hefeweizen balances sweet yeast esters and spicy phenolics with a refreshing bready body. Prost!

spinnaker (n)—a large billowing sail set forward of the mainsail and used for running down wind

Event Calendar

What a busy Summer of beer events it is going to be. As much for my own benefit as for my followers I have put together a list of events below. If you know of more please comment and I will update ASAP.

5/11/2013 – Oxbow Brewing Sasuga Bottle Release – More Info

5/11/2013 – Prince Tuesday release party at Mama’s Crowbar – More Info

5/14/2013 – Rising Tide beer release with Portland Green Drinks – More Info

5/18/2013 – Allagash Brewing Bottle release including several Coolship beers – More Info

5/25/2013 – Hill Farmstead 3rd Anniversary Event (sold out) – More Info

6/16/2013 – Throwback Brewery – Spicy Bohemian 2013 Release – More Info

6/21 & 6/22/2013 – The Festival US – More Info

7/13/2013 – Maine Brewer’s Guild Brewfest – More Info

7/19 & 7/20/2013 – Vermont Brewers Festival – More Info

7/26 & 7/27/2013 – Southern New Hampshire Brewers Festival – More Info

8/10/2013 – Hill Farmstead Festival of Farmhouse Ales – More Info

8/10/2013 – Kahbang / Bangor Brew Fest – More Info

Seems like I need a clone to make it to all these events and maybe another liver. Please let me know what I have missed as I am sure there are more things happening.