Recently in Maine Beer Company Category

Maine Another One IPA

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When Main Brewing Co. expanded their brewery, the stress was getting to them. The label on this beer says that when they ran out of creative juice, they just decided to have Another One. It's an IPA with a very clean malt bill and hopped generously with Warrior, Cascade, Citra, and Simcoe. Creative juices flowing, they went ahead and made another beer with the same hop schedule, but a much darker malt bill. The result of that was a beer I had a couple weeks ago, Weez. It was fine, but I lamented the fact that I'd never had this pale counterpart so that I could compare notes. As luck would have it, I ran into a bottle last week, and now here we are. It might seem paradoxical to start my night with a beer called Another One, but that's what I did on Friday:

Maine Another One IPA

Maine Another One IPA - Pours a light golden yellow color with a couple fingers of dense head that leaves lots of lacing as I drink. The nose has a huge Citra hop component that comes through strongly, a big whiff of tropical fruit and with some herbal, floral, grassy notes pitching in too. Cascade and Simcoe come out a little more in the taste, with the fruity flavors leaning more towards grapefruit, and an increase in the herbal, floral, and grassy character too. Some hop bitterness emerges towards the finish and lingers a bit. Hops are doing all the heavy lifting here, with almost no malt backbone to speak of. Mouthfeel is light with a very tight, smooth carbonation. It's not watery, but it's very lightly bodied and the finish is dry enough that it doesn't feel thin. So it comes off as quaffable, is what I'm saying, and that's good. Overall, this is a rock solid IPA, better than its darker counterpart, Weez. borderline A- stuff, but I'll stick with my initial gut feeling of B+. But it's a high B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7% ABV bottled (500 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 2/14/14. Bottled 1/21/14 (05).

So there you have it, the lighter counterpart works better than the darker. Go figure. One of these days I'll need to try my hand at a dark, hoppy beer. In the meantime, I'm told I really need to try Maine's King Titus, a beer that seems pretty easy to find around these parts. But that may be a while...

Maine Weez

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Maine Brewing (out of, well, let's just leave it at Maine) has never really blown me away, but I'm always intrigued to try a new brew from them. I haven't seen many lately, but on a recent excursion, I jumped at this sucker. It's a counterpart to Maine's Another One IPA; both beers use the same hop schedule (Warrior, Cascade, Citra, Simcoe), but while Another One has a very clean malt bill, the Weez here incorporates various dark and roasty malts (making this one of them American Black Ale thingies, or India Black Ales, or whatever you want to call them). An interesting idea, though I really wish I had the counterpart IPA to compare notes!

Maine Weez

Maine Weez - Pours. Very dark, almost black, with a few fingers of light brown head and lots of lacing as I drink. Smell hits first with fruity citrus and pine hops, and then those dark malts kick in, bringing some toasty aromas to play. Taste has a muted feel, roast and those citrus and pine hops, followed by a dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, but tight, with a lighter body than you might expect, and a fair amount of dryness too. Overall, this is decent stuff. B

Beer Nerd Details: 7.2% ABV bottled (500 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 2/1/14. Bottled 12/31/13 (there's also a "04" on the label, presumably a batch number?)

So there you have it. I will be on the lookout for Another One, amongst, well, other ones from Maine.

Maine MO (Madeline & Oliver) Pale Ale

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Eco-hippies versus pale ale! This is named after the recently hatched twins of co-owner Daniel Kleban, Madeline & Oliver, shortened to just MO, because syllables suck. It looks like this will be an addition to their regular lineup, a nice complement to their other pale ale, Peeper:

Maine MO

Maine Brewing Co. MO (Madeline & Oliver) Pale Ale - Pours a clear, dark golden color with a finger of white had and lots of lacing as I drink. Holy pine resin aromas, Batman! As I sit here just continually sniffing the glass, the piney smells seem to be rounded out a bit with some citrus. The taste is lightly sweet with a big piney flavor and a very light bitterness in the dry finish. Mouthfeel isn't as light bodied as I'd expect out of something like this, but it goes down pretty easy. Overall, a fantastic pale ale. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 6% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a tulip glass on 7/21/12. Bottle sez: 062612 (presumably the bottling date). Hops: Warrior, Falconer's Flight, Simcoe.

Maine continues to be a solid, interesting choice. I'll probably pick up anything new that I see from them... I don't have one right now, but up next will most likely be Lunch, their IPA.

Mean Old Tom

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I've already mentioned my Pavlovian response to fancy packaging (boxed bottles, fancy labels, wax dipped caps, etc...), but I also have to admit that there's something to the minimalism of Maine Beer Company's label designs. Simple fonts, straightforward description of the beer, maybe a little representative pictogram, but their labels are clearly dominated by whitespace. Sometimes straightforward trumps fancy, and you have to admit, Maine's simple bottles do stand out on a shelf.

I suppose it also helps that those crazy neo-hippies from Maine have brewed some pretty fantastic beer. In this case, we've got a "stout aged on natural vanilla beans" which sounds rather good, but it didn't quite work out as well as I'd hoped:

Maine Mean Old Tom

Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a finger of tan head. Smells of deep, dark malts, maybe a little roast coffee. The taste also features that deep, dark malt character with less roast and maybe some notes of chocolate making an appearance. Not really getting any vanilla in the nose or taste. Mouthfeel starts off medium but sorta thins out as I reach the finish. It's certainly not light bodied, but it's on the lighter side of medium. Overall, it's fine, and I'm enjoying it, but it's not something that's really pushing my buttons... It reminds me a bit of my homebrewed stout, though this is certainly better than that... B-

Beer Nerd Details: 6.5% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a tulip glass on 6/15/12. Bottle sez 050312 (presumably bottling date) and 6 (batch number?).

Despite being a little disappointed by this one, I'm still looking forward to trying... pretty much anything else that Maine has available. I've got a bottle of MO in the fridge as I write, and it probably won't last the weekend. At the rate I'm getting through reviews, you'll probably read about it in a month...

A Happy, Hoppy, Zoe

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Hippies! Hippies everywhere! Oh God, save us from the hippies!

So I've already mentioned that these crazy eco-hippies from Maine were getting a lot of attention in the beer dorkosphere (despite their tiny, nano-sized operation) and was quite pleased with their Peeper Ale (a well crafted take on the typical Pale Ale style)... but the beer that really seems to be making waves is this "Happy, Hoppy Amber Ale" called Zoe:

Maine Beer Co. Zoe

Maine Beer Co. Zoe - Pours a very deep, dark amber color, almost brown color with a finger of tan head. Smell is sugary sweet with citrus and lots of pine. Tastes very sweet, plenty of citrus and pine hops, with an interesting malt character too - maybe some biscuit malt, a small amount of dark crystal, chocolate, or even roasted/black malts. The finish has a fair amount of bitterness, but it's well matched and goes well with that dark malt character. Mouthfeel is... medium. Medium bodied, medium carbonated, medium smoothness, a medium amount of dryness in the finish. Overall, a very well crafted beer, something I'd love to try again sometime... B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7.2% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a tulip on 3/24/12. Bottle sez 020912 (presumably bottling date) and 14 (batch number?) (date is actually very hard to read)

Definitely interested in trying more of their stuff. With beers like this, I think they'll be able to grow quickly, to the point where maybe they could be described as a "micro" brewery or maybe even (someday) a regular ol' craft brewery...

Peeper Ale

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It seems that everywhere I turn, people I respect are drinking and writing about these crazy hippies from Maine. This is odd, given that Maine Beer Company is tiny - a "nano-brewery", which is, like, a few orders of magnitude smaller than a "micro" brewery. So when I hear that this hit Jay's radar and piqued his beer dork instincts enough to orchestrate a trade with some east-coast folks to get his hands on some of their beer, well, it made me want to get some of this stuff too. On a recent trip to the bottle shop, I noticed two varieties of Maine's beer, which I greedily snapped up.

Now, I'm not normally a fan of hippies, but this is my kind of activism. Make a delicious product, sell it to me based on that, then donate a small but fun portion of the proceeds to various charities. Good on these Maine folks. I'm glad I bought a few bottles of this stuff because it's damn good and as an added bonus, it goes towards a good cause.

Anyways, first up is Peeper Ale, an American pale ale whose name offers unlimited opportunities for double entendres that I will refrain from, because I have dignity. Or something like that. Anyway, let's take a voyeuristic look at this stuff:

Maine Peeper Ale

Main Beer Co. Peeper Ale - Pours a straw yellow goldish color with a finger of bright white head. It's a nice enough appearance, but not something that's gorgeous to peep at, if you know what I mean. Smells of citrusy, grassy, floral hops along with a little sugary sweet character too. The taste starts sweet, but then you get that floral and grassy character from the hops in the middle (maybe, MAYBE, a little lemony zest here, though it's not at all tart) and a surprisingly strong, but still pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated but light to medium bodied. As it warms, the carbonation tones down a bit, making the beer a little more quaffable, but it's still got a bite to it. Overall, a very nice pale ale that focuses on grassy, floral hops. A nice change of pace and a very well crafted beer. B

Beer Nerd Details: 5.5% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a tulip glass on 3/23/12. Bottle sez 120611 (presumably bottling date) and 25 (batch number?)

I've already had me some Zoe (a hoppy red ale) as well, which I do think is the superior beer, but which will have to wait for next week. But even with this Peeper stuff, which didn't really connect wholly with my palate, it's apparent that these Maine Beer Company folks know exactly what their doing. It's an expertly crafted beer, and judging from the ratings on BA and RB, it hits other folks square in the face. I'm glad I got my hands on some and will be looking out for other varieties as well.

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

You might also want to check out my generalist blog, where I blather on about lots of things, but mostly movies, books, and technology.

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