Archive for September, 2015

The next brewery we went to was Austin Street. This brewery wasn’t nearly as crowded as the other two. As like the other ones, there was no indoor seating space. We got a few samples and made it the plastic chairs outside. They had giant Jenga, but it was on a very wobbly plastic table, so we didn’t partake. Their beers were fine, but nothing I would rush back to have. After that, we were on our way to the last brewery of the day…

radler

ABV: 4.1%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Boulevard Ginger-Lemon Radler is a zesty, refreshing take on a tradition of mixing beer with soda or lemonade to create a light, thirst-quenching beverage ideal for warm weather. Radler (literally, ‘cyclist,’) takes its name from active German sportsmen of a hundred years ago, but our version tastes just as good even if you do nothing more strenuous than lifting it to your lips.”

Random: This is beer review #2000!

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, lemon yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had pungent ginger with lemonade. The taste was no better than the nose. Ginger came through initially and then artificial lemonade. It was slightly tart at the end, but this beer was just downright unpleasant. The body was thin with light carbonation. The finish was quick with the same artificial lemon taste. The price on this was $1.50 per can ($.12 per ounce). This beer was just not to my taste, at all. I struggled to take a few sips of this, luckily I poured it for Val, so I didn’t have to finish it. I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

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The next brewery that we went to was a few storefronts down from Bissell Brothers. This was Foundation Brewery, which was also quite crowded. It had no indoor seating, so we got a sample and sat at a picnic bench outside. Their beer was pretty good, but in all fairness, I only tried one. It took about 15 minutes to get a sample because they were so crowded with people wanting growler fills. After about 15 minutes, we were on the way to the back of the office park for another brewery…

bomb

ABV: 14%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers. All the flavors meld to create a truly unique beer. The peppers add just the right amount of heat to compliment the intense coffee and chocolate flavors.”

Random: I have never visited so many breweries in such a short period of time.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head the dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass and a slight crown on top of the dark brown, almost black body. I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color. The nose had a lot of roasted malts, coffee, smoke and cocoa nibs. I didn’t pick up any of the vanilla or ancho peppers at this point. The taste had even more depth. At first, I picked up vanilla and cocoa nibs. Then, strong espresso coffee with smoke came through and lingered. I still didn’t pick up the ancho chiles, which I would have liked. The booze was insanely well-hidden on the beer. It had a thick body with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with coffee and smoke. The single cost $9 ($.75 per ounce), which is definitely on the expensive side. But, it was an absolutely outstanding beer that actually lived up to the hype. Go find this beer now!

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

After we went to Allagash, we started to go to all of the other breweries that were in the same office park. The next brewery was Bissell Brothers. It was absolutely packed. They had a small window to order beers where you could peer into the brewery. Since it was so crowded, I couldn’t see much. They had no indoor seating, so we took a table outside. They ran out of two beers that day, so I got two samples of the remaining ones and they were really good. I can see why this place gets so much hype. Due to the large crowd, we didn’t spend much time here before moving on to the next brewery, but I did get a glass from them.

3 stars

ABV: 9.6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aroma is coffee, roast, and chocolate malt with raspberries, light earthy hops and dates. Flavor is malt dominant, sweet dark chocolate, light roast malt, light hops, medium bitterness, light raspberries, peppery alcohol and a sweet finish.”

Random: I thought the label art on this was cute.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose presented with light roasted malts with lots of raspberry. The taste was dominated by raspberry juice. I picked up cocoa on the back-end with slight smoke. I didn’t pick up dates, but most likely because the flavor was so berry-forward. The alcohol was perceptible on the beer and created some warming at the back of the throat. The body was overly thin with light carbonation. It had a long and fruity finish. This was $11.99 for the bomber, which came to $.55 per ounce. I wanted to like this beer, but the fruit was just too much and hid all of the other flavors in the beer. I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Citizen Cider B-Cider

Posted: September 27, 2015 in Cider, Citizen Cider, Reviews

The next brewery we made our way to was Allagash. We had registered for the 3 PM tour, so we got there a few minutes early. Their tasting room was moderate sized and they had their merchandise all around. The first thing that I noticed was that there were not any rare beers for sale at the brewery. This was beyond disappointing. When we asked, they told us that they send them all to stores now, so the only rare beer they had was their house beer, which you could only purchase by the case (we didn’t). The tour was informative and we got to see their barrel aging room, which is where we had our tasting. We tasted 4 beers, but there wasn’t anything rare to taste either. Our tour guide was really nice, which was a plus. It was nice to visit, but it was a bit of a letdown.

b-cider

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “from the blossom, to the bee, to the pollinated tree, B-Cider is a delicate blend of cider with honey that gives you an opportunity to drink the full circle of life on the orchard. The apple trees need the bees for pollination, the bees need the apple trees for sustenance, and we need both to make this floral and aromatic cider.”

Random: Val picked out this cider at Half Time.

This cider poured with no head on top of a clear, green-tinged body with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had notes of only green apples. The taste was quite tart with the same green apple note. It was very crisp, but I couldn’t pick up any sweetness from the honey that I expected based on the description on the bottle, and that was a total letdown. I also didn’t get any floral notes either. It had a thin body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick, yet tart with green apple skins. This was a completely one-dimensional cider and one that I won’t be having again and at $15.99 a bomber ($.72 per ounce), it’s not cheap either.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The next brewery that we went to that day was Maine Beer Co. The brewery opened at 11 AM and we got there around 12. I noticed that there were only 3 bottles of Lunch left. We got a sampler and I decided to buy 2 of the 3 bottles. We tried a few of their other beers and they were all incredibly hoppy, well-crafted and very, very tasty. My only complaint (and it is a very small one), was how heavy their sampler paddle was. I was lucky not to spill it on the way to the table. Their tasting room is a modest size with other tables outside. The place was packed and as we were leaving to visit the L.L. Bean store, the Brew Bus pulled up.

ommegang

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer begins as a malty brown ale, comprised of Belgian aroma, caramel malts, and oats. A bit of lactose adds body and some sweetness, and a heaping helping of cocoa nibs in the whirlpool provides further richness, and a deep chocolaty aroma. Hop aroma is nonexistent, and bitterness is there just to keep the sweetness in check.”

Random: I have never seen bottles leave a brewery so quickly. People came in and bought a case and would leave. We saw at least 7 states worth of license plates in the parking lot as well.

This beer poured with a one finger, off white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy mahogany color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had weak coffee and some yeast as well. The taste was not surprisingly, coffee-dominant with light chocolate and vanilla notes as well. It had a touch of lactose as well. Yeast came through at the end. It had significant caramel sweetness as well, but it wasn’t cloying. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation. The finish was long with instant coffee. This was $16.99 for the bomber, which broke down to $.77 per ounce, which is a bit on the pricey side. Despite that, I enjoyed the coffee flavor and it paired well with the yeast. I would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

At a certain point in our trip, we were just trying to hit as many breweries as possible to be able to get a tee-shirt from the Maine Beer trail. As a result, we found a spot in front of Shipyard Brewery that only let us park for 15 minutes. We walked into the gift shop and were carded and then directed to a back room where we could try some of their beers. I tried a couple of them, their bourbon barrel scotch ale being most impressive. We went back into the gift shop, picked up a beer and some glasses and were off to the next brewery.

charmcity

ABV: 12%

Style: Mead

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Grab a taste of the Farmer’s Market year-round with this delightful nectar of the gods. Infused with ginger and fresh strawberries, this modern honey wine is crisp and bright, with subtle spice and red berry sweetness.”

Random: Val picked this up in DC as well.

This mead poured a clear, bright orange color with nothing visible in the body. The nose had no strawberry, but instead was dominated by ginger and graham cracker crust. The taste was very dry. It had some strawberry and a lot of ginger, much like the nose. The graham cracker note came at the end of the sip. It had a medium thick body and not much alcohol warming, despite the high ABV. The finish was lengthy, but also filled with ginger. This was $8.99 for the bottle, which broke down to $.53 per ounce. My biggest complaint about this mead was that it needed a lot more strawberry to compete with the ginger notes. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The next place we ended up was a brewery/restaurant in Portland called Liquid Riot. They are owned by the same people who own the famous beer bar Novare Res. The brewery is behind the bar and you can watch them brew as you enjoy your beer. The staff was attentive and very friendly. I tried a few samples which were impressive and ended up taking a few bottles home as well. We had to get to dinner, so we didn’t spend a lot of time there, but I would go back if I was in Portland.

rootbeer

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Silky, smooth and satisfying finish is unmatched in flavor. It appeals to craft beer aficionados as well as those who don’t typically drink beer but crave something unique. Because of the overwhelming response to Not Your Fathers Root Beer, we have had thousands of requests from all over the country for this product in a package format. We’ve worked relentlessly with experts for almost two years to figure out how to increase production to meet demand while keeping the cost to consumers reasonable.”

Random: Parking in Portland was pretty cheap for a city.

This beer poured without any head on top of a dark brown body. Due to the color of the body, there was no visible carbonation. The nose smelled…well, like root beer. It had a lot of vanilla, licorice and sarsaparilla. The taste was also, exactly like root beer. It had some caramel sweetness, licorice, vanilla and the same sarsaparilla. There was no booze to this either. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a long finish with vanilla and licorice. This was $2.17 a bottle ($.18 per ounce). I can see why this is so popular. It’s not a bad choice for those who don’t like beer and basically tastes like a soda. I couldn’t have more than one of these, but it was enjoyable. I also ranked this quite high because I feel that it executed what it set out to do, so although a lot of people don’t like this, I thought it was well-done. At a minimum, it is definitely polarizing.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0