Forgive us for getting a little mushy, but we wanted to say how grateful we at Maine Beer This Week are for all the amazing brewers we have in this state. We truly would not exist if it were not for all the hard work these folks are doing in day in and day out. We hope that everyone in the brewing industry gets to enjoy some well-deserved time off with family and friends this Thanksgiving. And, of course, we’re also grateful for you, our readers, who stick with us week after week, even when we go a little of the rails with our observations and some would say, unhealthy obsession with the news team at a certain local television station. We won’t say which one, but it’s lead anchor’s name may or may not rhyme with Schmallaghan.
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
Wow, a lot of breweries that begin with a “B” are releasing new brews today. Did we get a sponsorship with Sesame Street and the letter B or something? Be on the lookout for beers from Banded, Bigelow, Bissell, and Blaze. Hey, Barreled Souls, wanna move up your release of Bombs Over Barley?
Upcoming Releases & Events
As far as we can tell, all of the breweries we normally track are closed on Thanksgiving Day, but here’s a preview of what you can buy and imbibe starting on Black Friday, including Straight to Blackout, or as we like to call it “Beer to Help You Cope with Family Political Discussions for the Next Three Days.”
Friday, November 26
Liquid Riot Bottling Company
250 Commercial St., Portland
Straight To Blackout, Imperial Stout
Dreading a long weekend with the family? You may want to pick up a few bottles of Straight To Blackout, a rich imperial stout aged in Liquid Riot’s own Dow’s Demise dark rum barrels.
You Devil You, Winter Warmer (10.3%)
You Devil You (AKA barrel-aged Slick Nick) is a version of Sebago’s wicked winter ale that’s bigger, bolder, and more devilish than ever. Last November, Sebago’s brewers filled bourbon and rye whiskey barrels from New England Distilling with Slick Nick to age for this special release. The extended barrel aging makes this version of Slick Nick especially potent (10.3% ABV) and rich with flavors of dark cherries, oak, and eggnog spice. You Devil You will be on draft at the Sebago Brewing Co. Tasting Room and the Kennebunk brewpub.
SoMe Brewing Company
1 York St., #3, York
Gingerbread Whoopie, Milk Stout (6.5%)
A seasonal twist on SoMe’s classic Maine Milk Stout, Gingerbread Whoopie uses gingerbread cookies in the mash and molasses, lactose, and spices in the boil. This sweet stout is perfect for those that want to drink their dessert!
York Beach Beer Co.
33 Railroad Ave., York
The Widest Bright Ideas, Dark Czech Lager
The Widest Bright Ideas is a brand-new beer from York Beach Beer. This dark Czech lager features label art from their friend and local photographer, Corey Cain.
Tuesday, November 30
Maine Beer Company
525 US Route 1, Freeport
Wolfe’s Neck IPA (6.5%)
Throughout its history, the Freeport, Maine, area known as Wolfe’s Neck has been a diverse ecosystem including organic farmland, white pine and hemlock forests, and a salt marsh estuary. A gift to the people of Maine and its visitors from the Smith family, Wolfe’s Neck reminds us of the importance of protecting land for future generations to experience and enjoy.
Wolfe’s Neck IPA is named after this area and in honor of the Smiths’ legacy and Maine Beer Company’s continued partnership with Wolfe’s Neck Center. It’s brewed with Mosaic, El Dorado, and Sabro hops, and features Maine Malt House malts.
Coming in December
Beer & Backcountry Open House Series at Allspeed
127 Marginal Way, Portland
Come by Allspeed’s Portland location on the first three Thursdays of December for their Beer & Backcountry Open House Series, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Stop by to check out the latest gear, talk with area backcountry experts, and enjoy complimentary beverages from local breweries, courtesy of Allspeed. Featured breweries will include Goodfire Brewing, Orono Brewing, and Saco River Brewing.
This week you can pick up everything from a light pilsner to milkshake double IPAS to hearty strong ales perfect for the onset of winter.
Bangor Beer Co.
330 Bangor Mall Blvd., Bangor
Nomad, Czech Pilsner (5.2%)
After doing another span of wandering, Nomad is back. This Czech pilsner is bright and brimming with Saaz hops, the perfect crisp accompaniment to all that leftover turkey.
Bissell Brothers Brewing
38 Resurgam Place, Portland & 157 Elm St., Milo
Industry Vs. Inferiority, IPA (6.2%)
Industry Vs. Inferiority is a balanced, mid-strength IPA that showcases the Idaho 7 hop varietal, with support provided by the venerable Amarillo and Mosaic. It’s a great choice for the holiday table with notes of pine needle, stone fruit, and Anadama bread.
Definitive Brewing Company
35 Industrial Way, Portland and 318 US Route 1, Kittery
Euphoric Nights, Double Fruited Sour Ale (6.7%) & Vanilla Dome Blueberry, Milkshake Double IPA (8%)
Euphoric Nights is making its triumphant return in a biiiig way. For the first time ever, Definitive is packaging this crowd-pleaser in 16 oz. cans and we’re pretty stoked!
The first variant, Berries and Cream, has been conditioned on heaps and heaps of fresh raspberry, blackberry, blueberry and vanilla cream. This beer tastes like mixed berry puff pastries, Tahitian vanilla milkshakes, and Creme Saver hard candies.
The second variant of this Euphoric Nights drop is packed with tons of strawberry, pink guava, and vanilla. This brew tastes like strawberry shortcake croissants, Hawaiian guava cake, and sub-tropical jams.
Vanilla Dome Blueberry mimics the creamy mouthfeel of a classic milkshake. This tasty Double IPA was brewed with vanilla beans and lactose, then conditioned on mountains of blueberries. It tastes like blueberry muffins, sweet cream ice cream, and having dessert for dinner.
15 Ocean St., South Portland
Liquid Leftovers, Barrel-aged Brown Ale (7%)
Liquid Leftovers is barrel-aged brown ale aged on cranberries for almost a year. Tart, sweet, and with big oak character, it pairs well with Thanksgiving dinner or your leftover turkey sandwich. 2021 Liquid Leftovers is on draft and Foulmouthed also has a little bit of 2020 Liquid Leftovers available in bottles.
Geary Brewing Co.
38 Evergreen Dr., Portland
Hampshire Special Ale, Strong Ale (7%)
Cozy season is officially here, and that means it’s time to stock up on Hampshire Special Ale! The arrival of this cold weather classic gives us one more thing to celebrate as the temperature drops.
Lone Pine Brewing Company
219 Anderson St., Portland and 48 Sanford Dr., Gorham
Lightside Session IPA & Softside New England IPA
Lightside Session IPA and Softside New England IPA are spinoffs, adapted from Lone Pine’s East meets West fan favorite, Brightside IPA. Crossing categories, while staying true to their roots, Brightside, Lightside, and Softside have plenty in common, but are playfully unique.
Lightside Session IPA comes with all the character and charisma that you’ve come to love from Brightside. Clocking in at 4.5% ABV, Lightside is a year-round, drinkable session ale, with a familiar structure and hop presentation. At the forefront of this thirst quencher are citrusy notes, with a gentle touch of stonefruit, pine, and hop bitterness.
Softside New England IPA adapts Brightside to land squarely in the “juicy” category. Playing on the balance of Brightside, and moving further into the territory of soft and candy-like, Softside carries gentle pine and citrus aroma with a clean finish. The low bitterness and pillowy malt body led to this beer’s name. At 6.5%, Softside is ever-so-slightly easier to conquer than its predecessor.
Maine Beer Company
525 US Route 1, Freeport
Woods & Waters IPA (6.2%)
First brewed in 2016 in honor of the designation of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, Woods & Waters IPA celebrates Maine Beer Company’s passion for enjoying and preserving the outdoors. Woods & Waters utilizes local pale, wheat, and Vienna malts from Blue Ox Malthouse.
Maine Mead Works
51 Washington Ave., Portland
HoneyMaker Spiced, Mead (15.5%)
HoneyMaker Spiced is a special seasonal, single-batch semi-sweet mead full of warming flavor and aromas from wildflower honey, cinnamon, clove, allspice, and orange. This mead pairs perfectly with your Thanksgiving meal, or any other winter holiday.
Mast Landing Brewing Company
920 Main St., Westbrook and 200 Lower Main St., Freeport
Save Your Forks, Pastry Stout (7%)
No meal is complete without dessert, and Save Your Forks is absolutely packed with the satisfying decadence that we crave this time of year. Cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla all come together in the recipe to create a liquid treat ready to grace any table.
Nonesuch River Brewing Company
201 Gorham Road, Scarborough
Santa’s Reinbeer, Brown Ale (6.8%)
This spiced brown ale will bring warmth and cheer to your holiday season. It really does taste like Christmas!
Norway Brewing Company
237 Main St., Norway
Stoneheart Saison, Farmhouse Ale
Stoneheart Saison is a farmhouse ale brewed with four different kinds of grain: barley, rye, oats, and wheat, all Maine-grown. It was fermented with Norway Brewing’s house culture in oak before aging in wine barrels for two years. It was then blended with fresh saison and steeped with fresh sage and thyme right before bottling. Its citrusy, earthy, and herbal aromas pair perfectly with roast poultry, pork, or lamb with holiday trimmings.
Rising Tide Brewing Company
103 Fox St., Portland
Nature’s Gold, Golden Ale (6%)
Nature’s Gold, Rising Tide’s maple golden ale, is back. Brewed with Balsam Ridge Farm maple syrup, it’s perfect for pairing with holiday pies. Tasting room only, draft and cans to-go.
Maine Beer in the News
One brewery prepares to close, as another prepares to open. Read those stories, plus a look at what it’s actually like to work in a brewery tasting room, and some suggested beer/pie pairings from Allagash.
Jokers & Rogues Brewing owner John Callinan said part of being in business is knowing that someday you are going to exit that business and being prepared for that.
Two brothers hope to have Trudy Bird Brewing Co., named after their grandmother, up and running by early summer in North Yarmouth.
Sisyphus at the Taps: Pay and opportunity gaps in the craft beer industry
Allagash has some suggestions on beer pairings for the big day.
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