We’re just days away from tasting rooms being allowed to resume indoor service on November 2. Many of your favorite breweries will be eager to welcome you back inside with (socially distanced) open arms.
However, not every tasting room may choose to re-open for indoor service right away, so be sure to check their website, social media, or scan the horizon for smoke signals before you make the drive. While you’re there you might also want to pick up some to-go beer to get you through the next day — Election Day.
If you haven’t already voted, make a plan now for how you’ll safely cast your ballot in the coming days. Then celebrate performing your civic duty with an “I Voted” sticker and a cold Maine brew. You earned it!
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
As we get ready to bid farewell to October, it’s time to embrace the fact that Stout season is officially here! Several breweries are rolling out Stouts to ease the transition into cooler temps, including Gneiss Brewing Company, Lone Pine Brewing Company, and Funky Bow Brewing. There are also several Sours on the horizon, including one brewed with pineapples from Blaze Brewing Company, cranberries from Fore River Brewing, and cherries from Rising Tide. If we try them all, does that count as three servings of fruit? Asking for a friend.
Thursday, October 29
Blaze Brewing Company
28 Pearl St., Biddeford
Bayview, IPA (6.7%) & Backshore, Sour (4.2%)
Bayview is brewed with a simple grist and then dry-hopped excessively with El Dorado and Mosaic hops along with a multi-step dry-hopping process resulting in an incredibly juicy and soft beer. This beer smells and tastes like blueberry frozen yogurt, ruby red grapefruit, and Hawaiian Punch.
Backshore is part of Blaze Brewing’s kettle Sour series. For this round, they opted to condition the beer on what can only be described as a truly irresponsible amount of pineapple puree. The result — a pleasantly tart and incredibly tasty beer that tastes like pineapple juice.
Gneiss Brewing Company
94 Patterson Rd., Limerick
Obsius, Stout (5.9%)
Brewed with wheat and fermented with Gneiss Brewing’s house yeast, this robust Weizenstout is back! Incredibly smooth mouthfeel and a roasty finish. Available for delivery today or curbside pickup any day this weekend.
Friday, October 30
Bissell Brothers Brewing Company
4 Thompsons Point, #108, Portland
Voice of the Sea, Pale Ale (4.2%)
It can be easy to forget how fortunate we are to live and work next to the ocean. This Pale Ale, hopped with Nelson, Amarillo, and Citra, aims to carry the same depth and intrigue as the sea that inspired it.
Definitive Brewing Company
35 Industrial Way, Portland and 318 US Route 1, Kittery
Lens, Triple IPA (10.3%)
This Triple Dry Hopped Triple IPA is making its return for anyone craving a taste of summer. It tastes and smells like hazy pineapple clouds, orange creme popsicles, and has a fruity, fluffy body. Available in Portland on Friday and Kittery on Saturday.
Saturday, October 31
Barreled Souls Brewing Company
743 Portland Rd., Saco
Transformer, Pale Ale (6.3%) & Munro, Scotch Ale (9%)
Fresh batches of Transformer, made with Nelson Sauvin & Waimea, and Munro, a Scotch Ale, will be available for pick up only this weekend.
Fore River Brewing
35 Park Ave., South Portland (Pickup Only) & 45 Huntress Ave., South Portland (Tasting Room)
Preble, Cranberry Sour (4%)
Cranberry is the next rotator in Fore River’s Preble Sour series, releasing annually in the midst of the fall season. The aroma carries notes of cranberry, followed by hints of blackberry and raspberry. The beer itself has a light body with medium carbonation. Lightly sweet and moderately sour, with a subtle saltiness, Preble Cranberry finishes with a gently sour and sweet linger, and no bitterness.
Lone Pine Brewing Company
219 Anderson St., Portland
Dance Macabre, Imperial Stout (13%) & Cuvee De Funk, Sour (5.2%)
A collaboration with Mason’s Brewing Company, Dance Macabre was brewed with roasted pumpkins, maple syrup, Madagascar vanilla, Vietnamese cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar, ginger, and pumpkin pies.
While you’re at Lone Pine, be sure to also pick up some Cuvee De Funk, their mixed-fermentation Golden Sour aged in white wine barrels that just took home gold at the Great American Beer Festival, NBD. Just kidding, that’s a BFD!
Release Date TBD
Funky Bow Brewing
21 Ledgewood Ln, Lyman
Five String Oatmeal Vanilla Milk Stout (6.2%)
Back in kegs this weekend, Five String Oatmeal Vanilla Milk Stout has aromas of chocolate and vanilla. The taste follows with smooth chocolate and fresh vanilla beans up front, along with a silky mouthfeel from the addition of lactose to the boil. A delicious and easy-drinking Stout!
15 Ocean St., South Portland
Communist Synthesizer, IPA (7%), Yuzu Kosho Gose (4.5%), and Beer (5%)
All three of these beers are being canned TODAY so make sure to drive, cycle, or walk yourself over to Foulmouthed and pick some up for yourself soon.
Maine Mead Works
51 Washington Ave., Portland
HoneyMaker Apple Cyser (12.5%) & HoneyMaker Cranberry Mead (12.5%)
Honeymaker’s Apple Cyser is “autumn in a glass,” as crisp and golden as the season itself. Medium-bodied and off dry, understated aromas of honey and wildflowers precede the unmistakable taste of cider-pressed Maine apples.
Honeymaker’s Cranberry Mead is a holiday favorite. The inherent tartness of cranberries unfolds into an inviting warmth and candy apple sweetness. Earthy hints of cardamom and a creamy, round finish envelope the senses.
Both the Cyser and the Mead will be available starting in early November, just in time for the holidays!
Rising Tide Brewing Company
103 Fox St., Portland
Cherry Squadron, Kettle Sour
A kettle soured ale aged with cherries. Sounds even better than a bowlful of cherries (not that we’d pass that up either).
Tributary Brewing Company
10 Shapleigh Rd., Kittery
Tmavý Ležák, Lager (4.4%), Double Wit (8%) & IPA (6.4%)
Folks at Tributary Brewing were busy canning these three beers for your drinking pleasure, so be sure and plan a visit soon to stock your beer fridge.
Tmavý Ležák is a dark Czech Lager that is soft on the palate and bursting with malt aromatics and flavor to stand up to the cool autumn weather. Primarily reminiscent of crusty bread, the lager also has nuances of chocolate, coffee and plum that is supported by Saaz hops that lend a hint of licorice and cola to make this an easy drinker.
Taking a bit of a leap from the classic Belgian Wit style, Tributary Brewing amped up the gravity on Double Wit, which clocks in at a whopping 8% ABV. That said, proper conditioning has toned down residual heat, and this Wit can be consumed dangerously easily. Spelt and two varieties of pale malted wheat support the phenolic character of a blended yeast pitch that are amplified by the addition of bitter and sweet orange peel, orange zest and white peppercorns.
Finally, their East Coast IPA features generous amounts of Lotus, Amarillo, Chinook, and the experimental hop ADHA 1940 to load your senses with a lot of citrus, berry fruit, and ripe mango.
Some of this week’s new releases are practically begging to be quaffed with dessert, including Cartel, a Coffee Stout, and Blackberry Crumble, a Sour brewed with blackberries and vanilla beans. Uh, yum! But the beer that really caught our eye this week has to be Gobble Gobble. That’s right, Gobble Gobble. It’s the newest IPA from Foundation Brewing Company and is brewed with a splash of tangerine. Which gets us up to four servings of fruit, right? Again, asking for a friend…
Airline Brewing Company
22 Mill Ln., Amherst
Cartel, Coffee Stout (8.1%)
Cartel is a dark, roasty, Columbian whole bean Coffee Stout that is mellow upfront with a kick at the end. Pairs nicely with dessert, especially a rich chocolate cake.
Austin Street Brewery
1 Industrial Way, #8, Portland
Pactolian, Pils (5%)
This German-style Pilsner is back for one final bow in 2020. A spicy, herbal hop aroma gives way to a soft maltiness with notes of cracker and honey.
Bath Brewing Company
141 Front St., Bath
Sea Trial, Cream Ale (4.5%)
This American Cream Ale was brewed to be light, crisp and crushable! Coming in at 4.5% ABV it’s also highly sessionable.
Battery Steele Brewing
1 Industrial Way Units 12 and 14, Portland
Loads of Motueka, Vic Secret, and Waimea come together to lend pronounced notes of pineapple, passion fruit, and dank citrus to this Southern Hemisphere IPA.
Bunker Brewing Co.
17 Westfield St., Unit D, Portland
Supremo Pale Ale (5.5%)
Supremo Pale Ale, a Pale Ale hopped with Galaxy and Sabro, is back!
Fore River Brewing
35 Park Ave., Portland
Rosa Rugose, Sour (4.5%)
What contains sea rose, black currant, lime zest, and a dash of Maine sea salt? This mouthwatering celebration of all of the best parts of Maine’s beloved coast, and of the bright, beautiful days spent on its beaches. Rosa Rugose is the perfect coastal companion, no matter the season, or how dreary the weather outside.
Foundation Brewing Company
1 Industrial Way #5, Portland
Gobble Gobble, IPA (6.5%)
A New England IPA with a hint of tangerine, Gobble Gobble was brewed in the spirit of celebrating family, friends, and community, and in thanks for all the support Foundation Brewing has received from friends and neighbors over this wild year. They added a splash of tangerine to this Citra hopped IPA to amp up the citrus notes and bring in an extra burst of refreshing flavor.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company
250 Commercial St., Portland
The Essentials, IPA (7%)
A reflective beer brewed for us all during tough times, The Essentials is an India Pale Ale that’s fresh, zesty, and bright, with a golden haze. It uses a mix of New Zealand Southern Cross, Citra, and Amarillo hops for an eclectic hop surge.
Mast Landing Brewing Co.
920 Main St., Westbrook
Larger Than Life, IPA (7.4%) & Blackberry Crumble, Sour (6%)
Brewed in collaboration with Tripping Animals Brewing, Larger Than Life features a hefty triple dry hop with Citra and Mosaic, as well as the New Zealand Revolution blend (Nelson, Riwaka, Motueka, and Pacific Sunrise). One sip of this bad boy will have you walking on air and feeling gigantic.
Blackberry Crumble is another collab, this time with the folks from Barreled Souls. This audacious and delicious Sour balances dessert-like sweetness with fruity tartness and reinvents the experience of berry crumble using blackberries and vanilla beans.
Norway Brewing Company
237 Main St., Norway
Life’s a Peach, Grisette (5.9%)
Why release Life’s a Peach in the fall? Because every year, the harvest of the white and yellow peaches from Pietree Orchard runs from late August through September, and every time Norway Brewing empties the Sauvignon Blanc barrels it ages in, they fill them back up with freshly peached beer! They then bottle the beer still and let it naturally carbonate and condition for at least a month. It’s presenting super crisp and bready, with tart peach, wine, and spice notes that pair perfectly with cool autumn days and the smell of crackling leaves.
SoMe Brewing Company
1 York St., Unit 3, York
DDH Apostrophe, IPA (6%)
Let’s be honest. Dry hopping a beer twice just works and it doesn’t have to be a big IPA. So SoMe Brewing took their flagship IPA, played with the yeast, dry-hopped it at the end of fermentation, and then again afterward. The results are a juicier, more modern IPA.
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.
Geary Brewing Co.
38 Evergreen Dr., Portland
- Brown Ale (5.5%)
- Fort Knight, Pale Ale (5.3%)
- Geary’s Hampshire Special Ale, Strong Ale (7%)
- Razzle Dazzle, Sour (4.8%)
- Welcome Home Stout (6%)
Island Dog Brewing
125 John Roberts Rd., Unit 15, South Portland
- Clear Cut, American IPA (6%)
- Smitty’s Irish, Red Ale (5.2%)
- Unit 15, Saison (6%)
- Captain Strawberry, Fruit Ale (4.8%)
- Tipsy Dawg, Belgian Strong (9.5%)
Norway Brewing Company
237 Main St., Norway
- Hop Pop, Sour (4%)
- Green Machine, IPA (4%)
- Sunday Surf, IPA (4.5%)
- Left Turn, Pale Ale (5.3%)
- Mr. Grumpypants, Stout (4.8%)
Maine Beer in the News
Sea Dog Brewing is getting national recognition for their killer recruitment video, while other Maine brewers are getting shout outs for their old-school brewing methods as well as for just being generally awesome.
Shipyard and Sea Dog just released a middle management recruitment video that showcases the chain’s awesome beer, delicious food, and cool people.
Inspired by this Old World original, a growing number of American brewers are rolling back the clock to age their bottom-fermenting creations in wood vessels.
Without question, no other type of alcohol has seen more change over the past 150 years than beer. So, how did we get here? (Hint: it includes a long-time favorite brewed in Portland!)
With the spirits and craft beer industry award seasons winding down, we enlisted the help of some of our favorite bartenders and asked for the one craft beer they reach for above all the rest. (In case you didn’t already guess, one is brewed right here in Maine!)
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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