Halloween is only a few days away. Are you ready? And by ready, we mean have you sufficiently stocked up on candy and beer? Or candy-flavored beer? If not, don’t fret, we’ve got plenty of options we’re about to drop knowledge on, including a beer inspired by Snickers, and one of our perennial favorite Halloween beers, Gritty’s Monster Mash. It’s a perfect choice no matter if you’re expecting the Wolf Man, Dracula, or the seventh person to show up at your Halloween party dressed as one of the contestants from “Squid Game.” Although, given the state of our pandemic physique, a costume that consists of a baggy tracksuit DOES hold a strong appeal…
Here’s this week’s guide to upcoming brewery events, the latest beer releases, and a roundup of Maine beer news.
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Upcoming Releases & Events
Allagash is showing us more Love, Barreled Souls is ready to satisfy your Sweet Tooth, and Mast Landing is doubling down on their popular stout Gunner’s Daughter—with two different varieties hitting their tasting room this weekend.
Thursday, October 28
Allagash Brewing Co.
50 Industrial Way, Portland
From Maine, With Love #10 (7.5%) & Coolship Charente (6.5%)
Originating on the farms of French Flanders, From Maine, With Love #10’s Biere de Garde style–translated as “beer for keeping”–was meant to be brewed in the winter and then “kept” for enjoyment during the warm summer months. This malty golden ale keeps with that tradition, delivering balanced notes of honey and pear.
Coolship Charente is a spontaneously fermented beer, aged for two years in Cognac barrels. This golden Coolship beer develops notes of caramelized sugar, pear, and plum while in the oak barrels. All of which pair nicely with the tart and complex notes of apricot, oak, and a hint of funkiness—from the wild yeast—that Allagash’s Coolship beers are known for.
295 Main St., Wilton
NEIPA Blood Orange, IPA
This hazy New England-style IPA is brewed with Centennial, Citra, and Hort 9909 hops, as well as blood orange to give it a juicy citrus flavor and floral aroma. Plus, y’a know, spooky Halloween vibes because of the BLOOD orange.
Blaze Brewing Company
28 Pearl St., Biddeford
Percolate, Coffee Milk Stout (8%) & Southbound, Double IPA (8%)
Percolate is a maple, pecan, and coffee milk stout. Brewed with a plethora of dark malts and conditioned excessively on an opulent bed of coffee, pecan, and maple syrup, Percolate pours a brilliant jet black with a latte-like head. Percolate smells and tastes like praline, chocolate chip pancakes smothered in maple syrup.
Loaded with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Mosaic Hops, Southbound is a juicy citrus-filled treat perfect for when you’re back home and ready to reminisce about your adventures. Southbound smells and tastes like yuzu cocktails, ripe papaya, and lime.
Fogtown Brewing Company
25 Pine St., Ellsworth and 33 Cottage St., Bar Harbor
Head Tide, Rye Ale (6%)
A rich, amber red rye ale, Head Tide was brewed with organic rye from Maine Grains in Skowhegan.
15 Ocean St., South Portland
Dark and Foamy (6.8%) is an amber ale brewed with ginger.
Grawlix (6.4%) is a West Coast IPA brewed exclusively with Maine-grown hops.
Local Beer (5.2%) is an American Blonde Ale brewed with all-local hops and malts.
Friday, October 29
Definitive Brewing Company
35 Industrial Way, Portland and 318 US Route 1, Kittery
Wordless Ideas, IPA (7.5%) & Distant Gardens, Double IPA (8%)
Wordless Ideas is a collaboration with Brix City Brewing from New Jersey. This 7.5% IPA was brewed with lactose and then conditioned with blackberry and watermelon. The resulting ethereal fruited beer tastes and smells like freshly foraged wild blackberries, 100 feet of watermelon Fruit by The Foot, and floating on cloud 9.
Distant Gardens won’t be quite so distant from our grasps come this weekend! This double dry-hopped double IPA is hopped exclusively with Southern Hemisphere hop varieties Kohatu, Motu, and Topaz. This beer tastes and smells like purple globe grapes, orange juice with extra pulp, and melted melon sorbet. Both beers are available Friday in Portland, Saturday in Kittery.
Island Dog Brewing
125 John Roberts Rd., Unit 15, South Portland
3 Buoy Brown Ale (5.2%)
Buoy Brown Ale is a classic brown ale. It has a light malt aroma with toffee, nutty, and caramel notes.
Saturday, October 30
Barreled Souls Brewing Company
743 Portland Rd., Saco
Sweet Tooth, Sour
Sweet Tooth is a sour ale made with watermelon Sour Patch Kids and watermelon. Basically, it’s liquid candy brewed just in time for Halloween.
Mast Landing Brewing Company
920 Main St., Westbrook and 200 Lower Main St., Freeport
As part of Saturday’s Halloween celebrations, Mast Landing will have TWO special, one-time, draft-only editions of Gunner’s Daughter available. First up, Snickers Gunner’s Daughter. Inspired by the classic candy that always satisfies, this indulgent take on the base beer will add a little sweet decadence in the spirit of Snickers.
And second, Pumpkin Spice Gunner’s Daughter. While never ones to follow a craze, the proliferance of pumpkin spice-flavored beverage this time of year inspired the brewers at Mast landing to ask themselves if they could actually make a really good version of this flavor profile. We’re looking forward to imbibing the results of this experiment.
We’re digging the variety in this week’s lineup. You can find everything from pilsners to pumpkin beer, and sours to stouts. But we’re especially excited to pay a visit to Moderation Brewing Company, just so we can throw open the door and exclaim, “Large Marge sent me!”
Bangor Beer Co.
330 Bangor Mall Blvd., Bangor
Between the Lines, Brown Ale (6.4%)
Between the Lines is an American brown ale. Its strong caramel and chocolate malt flavor are balanced by Pacific Northwest hops to create a tasty fall beer.
Bath Brewing Company
141 Front St, Bath, ME 04530
Hive Mind, Braggot Style American Brown Ale (8.5%)
Bath Brewing is busy bees, always working together just like honey bees. And with that thought, their next beer would reflect the collaborative efforts they try to include in their everyday operations! On tap now, Hive Mind — a Braggot style American Brown Ale with copious amounts of clover honey to give a fusion of beer and mead characteristics. This ale is 8.5% ABV and the perfect winter warmer! Come see them at the hive (pub) soon!
Battery Steele Brewing
1 Industrial Way, Units 12 & 14, Portland
Vagabond Dreamer, Double IPA (7.2%)
Vagabond Dreamer is a perfect blend of American 2 row barley, oats and wheat combined with generous amounts of Citra and Vic Secret. A pillowy soft, saturated mouthfeel carries notes of melon, stone fruit, and berries, and gives way to a resinous, deep citrus finish.
Black Pug Brewery
30 Bath Rd., Brunswick
Awoo: Hibiscus Tangerine, Hard Seltzer (5%)
Hibiscus lends fruit punch and tart berry flavors and colors to this latest iteration of Black Pug’s hard seltzer, while citrusy tangerine adds brightness to the deep red, beautiful color.
Corner Point Brewing Company
1 Sullivan St., Berwick
Pepo’s Fate, Pumpkin Beer (5.4%)
Pepo’s Fate is made with Berwick-made maple syrup and fresh roasted pumpkins from New Mexico. This year’s 5bbl batch was brewed with 189 lbs. of roasted pumpkin. The brewers then added a touch of spice through the addition of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.
Foundation Brewing Company
1 Industrial Way #5, Portland
Fruit Punch Jam, Sour (5%)
Fruit Punch Jam is a kettle-soured ale, brewed with milk sugar and fermented with cherry, currant, guava, and pineapple. Pouring a bright, ruby red, Fruit Punch Jam packs all the deliciousness of our favorite childhood fruit drinks into every sip.
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company
396 Fore St., Portland; 187 Lower Main St., Freeport; and 68 Main St., Auburn
Harbor Steam, Steam Beer (5.6%) & Monster Mash, Extra Special/Strong Bitter (8.5%)
Harbor Steam is brewed with lager yeast and fermented at a warm temperature, which gives it an effervescent quality. Crisp like a lager and full-bodied like an ale, this beer is toasty and malty with fairly aggressive hops.
Monster Mash is an ESB, similar to Gritty’s Halloween Ale. It’s wicked strong at 8.5%, but wicked sweet like a piece of your favorite Halloween candy.
Moderation Brewing Company
103 Maine St., Brunswick
Large Marge, Coffee Stout (7%)
Large Marge, Moderation’s collab with Dog Bar Jim (and named for one of our favorite characters in a Tim Burton movie), is back on draft. This coffee stout is bursting with espresso, and layered with vanilla beans, orange zest, cacao nibs, and cinnamon.
Orono Brewing Company
61 Margin St., Orono and 26 State St., Bangor
Mexican Blackbird, Imperial Stout (10%)
Inspired by the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, the folks at Orono Brewing team up with Nocturnem Draft Haus for this collab every fall, and this year’s batch is just as tasty as ever.
Back in the Day, Double IPA (7.7%)
Back in the Day is a flavor bomb of pineapple and orange that starts with its phenomenal aroma and doesn’t quit until the citrusy sweet finish. The beer features Citrus and Mosaic hops, and it’s double-dry hopped with no bittering hops added, giving it an approachable sweetness without any bitterness. And for a beer with an ABV of almost 8%, there’s barely a taste of alcohol.
Back in the Day is available on tap and in growlers at all Sebago Brewing locations.
SoMe Brewing Company
1 York St. #3, York
Lost in Germany, Pilsner (5.3%)
Raw and unfiltered, Lost in Germany is a Keller Pils lager with notes of white wine grapes from the Hallertau Blanc dry-hop.
Maine Beer in the News
We’ve got more do-gooding from a Maine brewery in this week’s headlines. Specifically, Maine Beer Company. And we also have some…frankly disturbing news regarding the most popular beer in Maine. We recommend that this year you fill the stocking of everyone (well, everyone of legal drinking age) on your Christmas list with Maine craft beer to help turn this stat around.
As Maine Coast Heritage Trust nears the finish line of a $1.3 million quest to buy three small Casco Bay islands for conservation purposes, the Topsham-based nonprofit is getting an added boost from one of its donors.
Can you guess the most popular beer in each state? There may be a few obvious contenders, but some results could surprise you…
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 beerthi[email protected] (207) 209-2094