We’re more than halfway through the shortest month of the year — which somehow manages to always feel like the LONGEST month of the year after we’ve had to shovel our driveway for what seems like the umpteenth time.
However, there’s always one thing that gives us the motivation to pull on our Bean boots and get out there and that’s BEER. These new releases should give you the motivation you may need to deal with what Mother Nature (and the plow drivers) have left waiting for you.
Here’s this week’s guide to the latest beer releases, rundowns of what’s on tap, upcoming brewery events, and a roundup of Maine beer news.
Beer This Week is Sponsored by: Tigpro Stainless Fabrication
Tigpro specializes in the design, fabrication, and installation of high-quality, custom-built brewing systems, tanks, process piping, and supporting equipment to the brewing industry. With more than a decade of experience, the Tigpro team can design a brewing system to meet your brewery’s unique needs.
Upcoming Releases & Events
This week we bring you tales of a few new IPAs, a brand-new craft seltzer, a TREASURE HUNT, and a beer whose name gives us strong Clue vibes…along with several other intriguing new releases.
Thursday, February 18
15 Ocean St, South Portland
Bomb Diggity IPA, New England IPA (6.3%)
Bomb Diggity IPA is loaded with Mosaic and Motueka hops and brewed with Blue Ox Malthouse malts. Get it before it’s gone.
Friday, February 19
Atlantic Brewing Company
52 Cottage St., Bar Harbor
The Boss, American Wheat Ale (9.1%)
Brewed with equal parts malted barley and wheat berries, The Boss is a cross between an unfiltered Wheat Ale and a Barley-Wine Ale.
Definitive Brewing Company
35 Industrial Way, Portland and 318 US Route 1, Kittery
Cellar Echoes, Double IPA (8.2%)
Cellar Echoes is a DDH DIPA brewed with Mosaic, Simcoe, Mosaic Cryo, and Simcoe Cryo hop varieties. This saturated hop bill lends intense flavors of ripe melon and sticky mango — with a soft mouthfeel that brings everything into balance. Available on Friday in Portland and Saturday in Kittery.
Island Dog Brewing
125 John Roberts Rd., Unit 15, South Portland
Toasted Dawg Maple Cream, Imperial Stout (10.8%)
Island Dog Brewing’s latest creation is a twist on their classic Toasted Dawg Imperial Stout. This time they brewed it with Maine maple syrup and aromatic vanilla beans to make the incredibly delicious Toasted Dawg Maple Cream Imperial Stout. Who wants flapjacks? (Yes, that was a two-week-too-late “Groundhog Day” reference. Sorry/not sorry.)
Saturday, February 20
To help promote their Finder NEIPA Mountain Editions, Shipyard Brewing has teamed up with Sugarloaf and Sunday River to create a fun contest by hiding a can full of treasure at each mountain. First up, Sunday River on February 20 (and again on February 27), then Sugarloaf on February 21 (and again on February 28). One treasure can will be hidden on each day.
Each Finder Hidden Treasure can will contain a variety of loot and swag, including $200 worth of gift cards, Sunday River/Sugarloaf merchandise, Shipyard T-shirts, swag, and more.
The treasure hunt is open to anyone on the mountains. Some clues will be revealed on Shipyard’s social media feeds over each weekend, so keep your eyes peeled.
Lone Pine Brewing
219 Anderson St., Portland & 48 Sanford Dr., Gorham
OH-J Craft Seltzer (5%)
Brewed to capture the flavor set of Oh-J DIPA, OH-J Craft Seltzer is comprised of tangerine puree and an oh-so-subtle amount of Citra, Mosaic, and Vic Secret hops. OH-J Craft Seltzer was made to pack in the flavor, possessing wonderful aromas of light citrus, orange soda, and fresh lemon. Crisp flavors of fresh-squeezed tangerine, tangy tropical fruit, and a champagne-like dryness will leave you eager for that next sip.
Monday, February 22
Gneiss Brewing Company
94 Patterson Rd., Limerick
Nord, Pilsner (5%)
This Northern German Pilsner boasts notes of lightly toasted bread, honey, and a clean bitterness that leaves your palate dry and wanting more after every sip.
Release Date TBD
Marsh Island Brewing
2 Main St., Orono
Pond Classic, Pilsner
CR8IV Co. (Marsh Island’s friend and label designer) recently introduced the folks at Marsh Island to Beauty Unis and Evolution Hockey so they decided to bring a little hockey into their brew schedule by making a Pilsner. Why not, right? It’s called Pond Classic and will be available this week at the brewery.
Mason’s Brewing Company
15 Hardy St. Brewer
The Professor, Plum Kettle Sour (5%) & Memoirs of a Hipster, IPA
The Professor is based on Mason’s standard kettle sour recipe used in Cranthrax and Crypster. This time they introduced plums, giving it a slight plum sweetness and finishing very dry (and we think The Professor may have also used a candlestick in the conservatory). Memoirs of a Hipster is a collaboration whiskey with Portland’s HardShore Distilling, distilled from Mason’s Brewing’s Hipster Apocalypse IPA.
SoMe Brewing Company
1 York St., #3, York
Quotation Mark, Double IPA (8%)
Quotation Mark or “Quotation Mahhhk” if you really want to lean into the “correct” pronunciation, this double version of SoMe’s flagship ale Apostrophe brings the pine and tropical pineapple flavors from Mosaic hops to the next level. Balanced by a modern yeast strain that keeps the dankness in check, this smooth-bodied New England IPA is sticky enough to remind you that it’s a double.
There is lots of hoppy goodness to look forward to when you venture out to local breweries this week. Several have dropped new IPAs and Double IPAs, including one brewed with pineapple to give you a tropical escape, even if it’s only in your mind (well, on your taste buds).
If you want even more warm, exotic vibes, Banded Brewing has dropped their latest version of Charms & Hexes, this time with blood orange and hibiscus.
Banded Brewing Co.
32 Main St, Bldg. 13-W, Ste 102, Biddeford & 82 Hanover St, Suite 6, Portland
Charms & Hexes with Blood Oranges & Hibiscus, Sour Ale (5.2%)
This fruited sour has a nice balance of sweet and tart with a ton of fruit character and never contains lactose. Always super refreshing and fruity!
Battery Steele Brewing
1 Industrial Way Units 12 & 14, Portland
In the Clouds, Double IPA (8%)
This hazy DIPA is hopped with Sabro, Ekuanot Cryo, and HBC 472. After just one sip, you’ll be overcome with flavors of ripe pineapple, coconut cream, mango, and papaya. If you enjoy tiki drinks, you’re in for one hell of a treat.
Bissell Brothers Brewing
38 Resurgam Place, Portland
Book Learning, Double IPA (8%)
Book Learning is a Double IPA brewed in (distanced) collaboration with Sapwood Cellars Brewery. It’s hopped with Riwaka, Callista, and Vic Secret. But the real star of this show is an experimental yeast called Sundew by Omega Yeast. Sapwood has been trialing new strains with their IPAs, something they don’t do a whole lot at Bissell Brothers, and suggested Bissell try it here. The result is Book Learning, named for both of their breweries’ mutually simple but perpetually inquisitive approach to designing and improving their beers.
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company
396 Fore St., Portland; 187 Lower Main St., Freeport; & 68 Main St., Auburn
Lover’s Lager, Red Ale (4.7%) & Pineapple Express, IPA (6.8%)
Lover’s Lager is a Red Ale that combines a complex grain bill with a traditional, but generous hop profile. This special Valentine’s brew is a delightfully crisp beer with notes of dark biscuits and Spanish marmalade.
All aboard! The Pineapple Express is a deliciously tropical IPA with hops from the USA and the South Pacific. Over 88 POUNDS of pineapple purée has been added to this brew to bring those fruity flavors to the forefront. Malted barley notes in this beer are from Blue Ox Malthouse.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company
250 Commercial St., Portland
Persuasion, Sour Brown Ale (7%)
Persuasion is a port barrel-aged Sour Brown Ale made with local Montmorency cherries and a blend of wild yeasts and microbes. A 2020 Good Food Awards finalist.
Mason’s Brewing Company
15 Hardy St. Brewer
I Was Winning, Imperial Banana Cream Hefeweizen (7.9%) & Killer Bunny, New England IPA (7%)
I Was Winning has a traditional German Hefeweizen grain bill except Mason’s added banana cream pies to the mash. The result is an overwhelming amount of banana (in a good way) in terms of both smell and taste, tailing off with a slightly bready finish.
Killer Rabbit is a hazy, juicy New England-style IPA dry-hopped with Galaxy Amarillo and Simcoe hops, giving it dank, citrus tasting notes, finishing with an ever-so-slight bitterness.
Mast Landing Brewing Company
920 Main St., Westbrook
Fresh Powder, IPA (6.9%)
Fresh Powder is a Double Dry Hopped IPA featuring Pacific Sunrise, HBC 630, and Simcoe hops. It celebrates the joy of the fluffy white landscape we are lucky enough to enjoy here in Maine. When we aren’t complaining about shoveling it, that is.
Odd Alewives Farm Brewery
99 Old Rte. One, Waldoboro
Odd Wonder, Farmhouse Ale (6%)
Odd Wonder is a Farmhouse Ale that uses Early Wonder beets grown on their farm and Maine-grown grains from Blue Ox Malthouse. The earthy flavors of the beets were complimented by dry-hopping the beer with Loril hops resulting in fresh-from-the-garden flavors and aromas with a wonderful hue.
100% of the proceeds from the bottle sales are being donated to Twin Villages Foodbank Farm. In 2020, Twin Villages Foodbank Farm grew and delivered 50,000 pounds of food to seven pantries and five youth programs. This limited small batch Farmhouse Ale is available by the glass in the tasting room or bottled to-go.
Tributary Brewing Company
10 Shapleigh Rd., Kittery
IPA (7.1%) & Altbier (5.4%)
A new year brings a new IPA for Tributary. With generous hop additions of Centennial, Amarillo, and Simcoe at both peak and post-fermentation, this brew is bursting with aromas of tangerine, strawberry, and grapefruit. It’s enhanced by a refreshingly dry finish, salient bitterness and is brilliantly clear.
Altbier is brewed in the Düsseldorf tradition of a cool fermented ale. It boasts a clean roundness with a hint of cherry on the back of the palate. The use of German pilsner, Vienna, and Munich malts invoke flavors of hearty bread crust and toasted walnuts, while it is balanced by continental European hops that present themselves as floral, herbaceous, and peppery.
Help support local breweries while sampling these flagship beers and rising stars. Here’s a taste of what you’ll be able to enjoy at select breweries this week.
Foundation Brewing Company
1 Industrial Way #5, Portland
Ready, Set, Bake! Raspberry Ganache, Imperial Milk Stout (11%)
Jam-Packed Super Bumble, Imperial Tart Fruit Ale (8%)
Let’s Do Brunch!, Milk Stout (6.3%)
Pie Anyone? Key Lime Pie, Key Lime Pie Beer (6.5%)
Pretty Prisms, Double IPA (8%)
Spiffy, Triple IPA (8%)
Nonesuch River Brewing
201 Gorham Road, Scarborough
Dark Storm Imperial Stout (7%)
Pivot IPA #2 (6.2%)
Red, Irish Style Ale (4.4%)
Sap Hound Maple Cream Ale (5.2%)
Pomegranate Blonde (4.8%)
Ikawa Coffee Porter (5.7%)
Sebago Brewing Co.
616 Main St., Gorham
Haze FWD, New England IPA (6.7%)
Saddleback Ale, Light Ale (4%)
Slick Nick, Long Wicked Winter Ale (7.2%)
Racking My Brain, Fruited Barrel-Aged Brett Ale (5.7%)
NED, West Coast Rye IPA+ (7%)
Bog So Hard, Barrel Aged Cranberry Sour Saison (7.5%)
Maine Beer in the News
It’s a light news week for Maine beer, but that means you’ll have plenty of time to settle in and peruse this look at what beers Maine brewers are digging from their own brewery, as well as what other Maine brewers’ beers are their top picks. Fore River Brewing is also celebrating its fifth anniversary, albeit in a different way than in years past. You can learn more here.
The people running some of Maine’s biggest breweries offer their recommendations.
Stand-up comedy is back at Craft Brew Underground with Maine Event Comedy’s weekly physically-distanced, socially-awkward COVID Comedy Series.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of Maine Beer This Week! If you own a brewery or other beer business and would like to be featured in upcoming issues, please email us to learn more.
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