Have you emotionally recovered from the slap heard round the world? Wow, that Oscars was really…something. Of course we here at Beer This Week never condone violence. We think most of our disagreements can be worked out by taking a time out and bonding over some Maine beer. After a round (or three), it sure gets a lot easier to laugh off someone’s stupid jokes. And it also makes it easier to sit through an award show that ran (checks notes) a butt-numbing three hours and 40 minutes! OK, now THAT might make us consider slapping someone. Not that we would. But we might give a stern, disapproving look, sigh, and foot tap.
Here’s this week’s guide to upcoming brewery events, the latest beer releases, and a roundup of Maine beer news.
Sponsored by: Tigpro Stainless Fabrication
Upcoming Releases & Events
Those cats at Allagash are playing it Cool, everything is Wicked good over at Banded, while the folks at Definitive are being a bit Distant. That’s OK though, because Barreled Souls is preparing for the Rise of Fruitwalker, which wins our sporadically awarded, unofficial honor of “Beer Name of the Week.”
Thursday, March 31
Allagash Brewing Company
50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME
Coolship Red, Lambic (6.6%)
This blend of spontaneously fermented beer is aged on local raspberries. The Allagash team began by brewing Coolship Red with Pilsner malt, 40% raw wheat, and aged whole-leaf hops. The unfermented wort was then transferred to a large shallow pan called a coolship, which allows the hot wort to mingle with wild yeast and souring microbiota in the Maine air. After fermenting and aging in French oak wine barrels for over two years, they add raspberries and let it rest for an additional four to five months. The finished beer is bright red in color with an aroma of raspberry and oak. Its raspberry-forward flavor is balanced by notes of light funk, apricot, and a tart, dry finish.
Banded Brewing Co.
32 Main St., Ste. 102, Biddeford and 82 Hanover St., Ste. 6, Portland
Wicked Bueno, Mexican-Style Lager (4.3%)
Folks in Maine like to say we only have two seasons and some years it seems true. Brewed for a time of year when we don’t know what the weather will bring, this lighthearted Mexican-style lager will transport you to the “wicked good” days of summer. Wicked Bueno is light, crisp, and crushable enough to radiate like sunshine. Pair it with the great outdoors, your favorite tacos, and day drinking (followed by a siesta)!
Maine Beer Company
525 US Route 1, Freeport
Black Barn Program No. 31, India Pale Lager
From the team that brought you the pilsner Prince Percy comes another lager: Black Barn Program No. 31.
Friday, April 1
Definitive Brewing Company
35 Industrial Way, Portland; 318 US Rte. 1, Kittery; and 8 Timberline Dr., Newry (Sunday River)
Distant Gardens, Double Dry Hopped Double IPA (8%) & Cellar Echoes, Double Dry Hopped Double IPA (8.2%)
Hopped exclusively with Southern Hemisphere hop varieties Kohatu, Motu, and Topaz, Distant Gardens returns this weekend. This beer tastes and smells like purple globe grapes, orange juice with extra pulp, and melted melon sorbet.
Cellar Echoes is brewed with Mosaic, Simcoe, Mosaic Cryo, and Simcoe Cryo hops. This saturated hop bill lends intense flavors of ripe melon and sticky mango—with a soft mouthfeel that brings everything into balance.
Both beers will be available Friday in Portland, and Saturday at Kittery and Sunday River.
Flight Deck Brewing
11 Atlantic Ave., Brunswick
Wings, New England IPA (6.5%)
Flight Deck’s first crack at a juicy and flavor-packed IPA, Wings contains a generous amount of Mosaic, El Dorado, and Ekuanot hops. This gives it an explosion of tropical flavors with moderate bitterness, making it crushable any hour of the day.
Foundation Brewing Company
1 Industrial Way #5, Portland
Mirrorball Magic, IPA (7%)
Foundation Brewing gathered with their friends from Maine Beer Company, Allagash Brewing, The Thirsty Pig, and Pink Boots Society Maine to brew this special IPA as part of the 2022 Collaboration Brew Day. Sales of Mirrorball Magic will help support the Pink Boots Society’s scholarships for women in the brewing industry.
This year’s special Pink Boots hop blend included Yakima Chief Hops (Idaho Gem, HBC 630, Talus, Triumph, and Loral), and also brought Amarillo, Idaho 7, and Simcoe into the mix for a well-balanced 7% IPA that brings together fruity, citrusy, and dank notes.
SoMe Brewing Company
1 York St., #3, York
Apostrolox, New England IPA (7%) & Tailwhip, IPA (7.5%)
Apostrolox makes its long-awaited return, with a new look! A mashup between Apostrophe and Goldilox, Apostrolox is a New England IPA brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops. Ripe orange explodes out of the glass in this one.
Tailwhip is a Citra-Galaxy dry hopped American IPA. It gives you a nice kick of citrus with bready malt undertones and a lingering bitterness that keeps it very balanced.
Saturday, April 2
Barreled Souls Brewing
743 Portland Rd., Saco
Rise of Fruitwalker, Imperial Gose (8.5%)
This imperial gose is made with tons of raspberry and peach and may or may not give you the ability to defy the laws of physics. If nothing else, it may make it easier for you to convince your relatives to let you go pick up some power converters.
Mast Landing Brewing Company
920 Main St., Westbrook and 200 Lower Main St., Freeport
Crush Juice, Triple Dry Hopped Double IPA (8.5%)
Crush Juice is Mast Landing’s second collaboration with Simon Lizotte and Thought Space Athletics. It’s a triple dry hopped double IPA brewed with Citra, Azacca, Nelson Sauvin, and Sabro hops that celebrates Simon’s kick off on the 2022 disc golf pro tour. He’ll be joining the Mast Landing team at the Freeport tasting room when they open on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
It’s a good thing Foundation is coming out with Mirrorball Magic tomorrow, because Bangor Beer has a Disco Sasquatch that we bet is looking to party. Meanwhile Belleflower is Manifesting, Rising Tide is leaning into Change, and Bissell Brothers is living on Borrowed Time. Sorry, kinda took a dark turn there at the end. We’re sure everyone at Bissell is, and will continue to be, just fine.
Austin Street Brewery
115 Fox St., Portland & 1 Industrial Way, #8, Portland
Original Maine Ale, Pale Ale (5%)
The OG! Officially going by Original Maine Ale, it’s a classic pale ale and brewed with all Maine ingredients. It’s bready with slightly sweet caramel malts and hints of pear and lemon. Maine’s birthday was March 15th, so come on down and raise a glass of Original Maine Ale in a belated cheers to our beautiful state.
Bangor Beer Co.
330 Bangor Mall Blvd., Bangor
Disco Sasquatch, New England Double IPA (8.1%)
Loaded with El Dorado, Cashmere, Topaz, and Mosaic hops, this beer tastes and smells like over-ripe mango, passion fruit, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, and an ocean sunset.
66 Cove St., Portland
Barrel Aged Secret Clubhouse: Banana and Marshmallow, Imperial Stout (12.8%) & Manifesting, Double Fruited Sour (5.5%)
This variant of Secret Clubhouse spent eight months in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, as well as ex-bourbon rum barrels, before aging atop ripe bananas and toasted marshmallows. All of this extra attention helped make this one of Belleflower’s most characterful, intriguing beers to date.
The aroma is reminiscent of freshly baked chocolate chip banana bread, raisins, high-proof bourbon, and baking spices, as well as a touch of charred oak. The flavor brings waves of dark sugars and caramel malts, ending with a heavy, sumptuous body that’s highlighted by a mild carbonation.
Manifesting is a double fruited sour that pours sunshine gold with profound haze, and brings with it aromas of overripe peach, candied mango, and Hi-C juice boxes. Each sip is an assortment of tropical and stone fruit flavors, along with a bright, yet restrained, acidity.
Bissell Brothers Brewing
38 Resurgam Place, Portland & 157 Elm St., Milo
Borrowed Time, Saison (5.8%)
Borrowed Time is a blended saison aged in oak for the better part of a year, then re-fermented on a heap of Maine-grown Montmorency cherries and just a kiss of Milo-grown blueberries. A bright, lively expression of the deceiving complexity of “true” cherry.
17 Westfield St., Unit D, Portland
Maine Brewer’s Guild Collaboration, IPA (6%)
Bunker’s version of this year’s Maine Brewer’s Guild Collaboration is a light, zesty 6% IPA brewed with Maine barley and flaked wheat, hopped in the kettle with Belma and then dry hopped with Loral Cryo and Idaho 7 Cryo.
Fogtown Brewing Company
25 Pine St., Ellsworth and 33 Cottage St., Bar Harbor
‘47, Smoked Wheat Beer (7.1%) & Cordwood, Brown Ale (5.6%)
Named after the great fire of 1947, ‘47 is brewed with local and organic Maine grains from Blue Ox Malthouse. Featuring a blend of maple wood-smoked grain, flaked wheat, and wheat malt, ‘47 is a celebration of Maine agriculture and grain. This subtly smoky kveik fermented ale is quickly becoming a Fogtown favorite. Proceeds from sales will go to support the Bar Harbor Firefighters Association.
Brewed with Maine grains, European brown and biscuit malts, Cordwood is light-bodied while still being a complexly malty quintessential brown ale. This iteration features even more Maine-grown grains.
Nonesuch River Brewing Company
201 Gorham Rd., Scarborough
RetroWave, IPA (6.8%)
The perfect blend of “C” hops—Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial—brings pine and citrus aroma to center stage. Crisp and bright, it’s easy to see how this style made its fortune.
Rising Tide Brewing Company
103 Fox St., Portland
Outpost, IPA (6.7%) & Sea Change, Chili Lime Ale (5.7%)
This beer was brewed to showcase two new hops, Zamba and Citiva. There are lots of big fruit notes of apricot, peach, orange, pomelo, papaya, pineapple, and pear, followed by a mild herbal note.
The women of Rising Tide have been working on Sea Change since January. This margarita-inspired beer has big notes of tart lime, a hint of sweet guava, and a little heat from the Thai hot peppers. Perfectly balanced and ready for summer, enjoy Sea Change with a salted rim or by itself.
Trinken Brewing Co.
144 State Rd., West Bath
Stache Strong, Golden Lager (5.4%)
This collaboration brings together breweries and communities in support of brain cancer research. Just like every ‘stache tells a story, every beer tells a story. Ringing in at 5.4% ABV, Stache Strong delivers aromas of fresh bread, a touch of herb, and a hint of honey. It goes down with a full mouthfeel that is rich, savory, and smooth, with a toasty finish balanced with a touch of sweetness.
Maine Beer in the News
There is more good news for Maine breweries as we continue to emerge from the pandemic, and there is a brewery in Cape Neddick that is serving a grilled cheese sandwich on a DONUT and our inner Homer Simpson is already drooling. Mmmmm, forbidden grilled cheese donut, augglllgglglglgllg.
Maine’s craft brewers are on the road to recovery following early pandemic restrictions, including taproom closures, curbside-only service and a switch to take-out canned beer.
Featuring playfully innovative dishes from sister operation Food For Thought in Ogunquit, Odd By Nature Brewing in Cape Neddick serves brewery food to brag about.
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 or call us to learn more at [email protected] (207) 209-2094