Tag Archives: Maine Beer Co.

Maine Beer Company’s New Lil One Ale

Maine Beer Co. Lil One Ale

UPDATE: I added Maine Beer Company’s official description of the beer below. (In bold.)

Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of Maine Beer Co. I have never had a Maine Beer brew that I did not thoroughly enjoy.

So I’m psyched to see that the brewer released a new brew, Lil One ale. I don’t have too much information on this one yet, and Maine Beer Co.’s website is down as I write this. But I reached out to the company via Twitter requesting specifics, and I will update this post if I get any more details worth sharing.

All I know right now is that Lil One is a rather “big” beer with 9.1% ABV, making it Maine’s highest-alcohol beer to date, not counting any limited releases I may not be aware of. I also know that I will be purchasing a couple of bottles of Maine Beer Co. Lil One ale as soon as possible. Lil One should hit beer-store shelves soon. (I’m also anxiously awaiting the release of Maine Beer’s “Dinner” double IPA.)

From Maine Beer Company:

“Some may call this a malty double IPA, some a hoppy barley wine.  We prefer that it not be classified.  We think of it, simply, as our strong winter ale.  Intense hop aromatics and flavor (think pine, candied orange) blended with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the palate.

Malt – American 2-Row, Marris Otter, Victory, Carapils, Caramel 80, Midnight Wheat

Hops –Centennial, Simcoe, Cascade, Falconer’s Flight”

Unfortunately, Maine Beer’s brews are only distributed to nine U.S. states at this point: Maine; Massachusetts; New York; New Hampshire; Maryland/DC; Philadelphia; Rhode Island; Vermont; and Virginia. But hopefully that changes soon.

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Image via Instagram user David Preston

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Maine Beer Co. ‘Dinner’ Double IPA

Maine Beer Co. Dinner Double IPA

I’m back like the Terminator, motherfuckers. My holiday vacation was great, but it’s time to return to The Grind.

First order of business: Maine Beer Co.‘s upcoming “Dinner” double IPA. I have no idea how I missed this, because I’m huge Maine Beer Co. fan. But the brewery is apparently working on a new double IPA to follow up on its world-class Lunch IPA. (Read my review of Maine Beer’s Lunch here and you’ll see just how much I love it.)

I heard about this from a friendly employee of Portland, Maine’s Bier Cellar craft beer shop last week during a trip to that fine city, and though I can’t really say he’s a trustworthy source—I simply don’t know the dude—Maine Beer’s recent Twitter activity seems to confirm Dinner double IPA’s existence. Maine Beer Co. is also based in Portland.

Way back on November 7, Maine Beer Company posted a tweet in response to some other users saying it was working on a new double IPA. And then a few days later, it posted another tweet mentioning a “Dinner double IPA.” No release details are available as far as I know, but it’s possible we’ll be seeing Dinner in the coming weeks or months.

And here’s a description of the “pilot batch” of the brew, from Maine Beer brewer Daniel Kleban’s Twitter feed:

“Think lunch x2 with citra and simcoe.”

The Bier Cellar dude also said he’d heard rumors of another new beer from Maine Beer Company, called “Nothing,” which he thought would be a barleywine-style brew. But, again, I can’t confirm that information.

Anyway, I can’t wait for Dinner. And I’m not even hungry.

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5 Maine Breweries That Should be on Your Radar

State of Maine Map

Earlier this month, I hopped a train from Boston to Portland, Maine for Portland Beer Week. And I quickly realized that Portland is not only a beautiful city on the Atlantic ocean, but it has an amazing craft beer scene. Portland and the entire state of Maine are home to a handful of world-class breweries and beer bars.

Here’s a list of five Maine breweries you should be aware of, two of which you’ve probably heard of and three you’ll very likely be hearing more about in the not-too-distant future.

1) Allagash Brewing Co.

Allagash Brewing Co. Dubble Ale

Portland-based Allagash is already well known, thanks to its top-notch Belgian-style white ale, which is available throughout the United States. In fact, many folks outside of New England simply call that white ale “Allagash,” and they’re not aware that the brewery also makes a number of additional high-quality Belgian styles. (I’m partial to its Confluence wild ale and Hugh Malone Belgian IPA.) Read more about Allagash on the brewery’s website.

2) Maine Beer Co.

Maine Beer Company's Lunch IPA

Maine Brewing Company, also based in Portland, is the Maine brewery that I’m most impressed with. I’ve been drinking Maine Beer Co. brews for a couple of years now, and I’ve never met one I did not like. I would be very surprised if the popularity of this small, humble Maine brewery—with the motto, “Do what’s right”—doesn’t spread like wild fire through the United States and beyond. Maine Beer’s Lunch IPA is one of the best IPAs I have ever had. (Read my review of Lunch here.) Learn more about Maine Beer Co. on the brewer’s website.

3) Oxbow Brewing Co.

Oxbow Brewing Co. goblet glass

Oxbow Brewing Co. in New Castle, Maine, calls itself an American farmhouse brewery that makes “loud beer from a quite place.” I attended an Oxbow tap takeover at Novare Res Bier Cafe during Portland Beer Week, and I was very impressed with the range and quality of the brews. I had a fantastic IPA with tropical-citrus flavors and Brettanomyces called Funkhaus, and another solid IPA called Freestyle No. 8, both of which were complex and unique. Learn more about Oxbow Brewing Co. on the brewer’s website.

4) Bull Jagger Brewing Co.

Bull Jagger Brewing Co. logo

Bull Jagger is a newcomer to the Portland, Maine beer scene, but it’s quickly making a name for itself with some solid lagers and other noteworthy brews, including a fantastic porter, called Baltic Porter No. 19. I also attended a Bull Jagger tap takeover during Portland Beer Week, and I was very impressed with a tart, strawberry infused limited-release lager called WILD BJ. Visit the brewer’s website for more information.

5) Shipyard Brewing Co.

The Shipyard Brewing Co.

You’ve very likely heard of Portland’s Shipyard Brewing Co., makers of the insanely popular fall seasonal Pumpkinhead ale. (FWIW, I hate pumpkin beers; here’s why.) Shipyard also brews an export lager that’s widely distributed across the United States. I visited Shipyard’s brewery while in Portland, and as a New Englander, I’ve been drinking Shipyard brews for years. My favorite is probably its Monkey Fist IPA. For more on Shipyard Brewing Co., visit the brewer’s website.

(Honorable mentions: Baxter Brewing Co.; D.L Geary Brewing Company; and Rising Tide Brewing Co.)

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Maine Beer Co. King Titus Porter Review

Maine Beer Company King Titus Porter

When reviewing beers on this blog, I try to evaluate rare or notable brews that may be hard to find but are also widely distributed. I don’t really see value in reviewing beers that anyone can find every day in their corner liquor store. On the other side of the coin, I don’t really like to review beers that are only available to a small percentage of beer drinkers.

I occasionally make exceptions for beers that really blow my mind or for beers that are particularly notable. Today’s review falls into the latter category. Last month, I posted on Maine Beer Co.’s latest creation, King Titus Porter, and I explained how it would soon be hitting beer-store shelves. I found a couple bottles of King Titus this week.

Maine Beer Co., a small brewery in Portland Maine, makes exceptional beers, especially their hoppy ales. (Check out my glowing review of the company’s Lunch IPA.) Maine Beer’s brews are only distributed to eight U.S. states at this point: Maine; Massachusetts; New Jersey; New York; New Hampshire; Philadelphia; Vermont; and Virginia. But Maine Beer’s products are so good, it should only be a matter of time before distribution expands, assuming that’s what the brewers want.

I poured my 1-pint, 9-fluid-ounce bottle of King Titus Porter into a tulip glass with some force and it immediately formed a thick, frothy beige head. The porter is very carbonated, its head composed of tons of very fine bubbles. Its strong, notable bouquet smells sweet and has a hint of vanilla. And it’s a very dark brown color, like creamy dark chocolate.

Maine Beer Company King Titus Porter

King Titus

Like all of Maine Beer’s products, King Titus Porter tastes extremely fresh. My King Titus was bottled less than two weeks ago, so there’s a good reason for that. It’s very malty, and very smooth. It tastes of chocolate and caramel malts; it’s brewed with American 2-Row, caramel 40L, caramel 80L, Munich 10L, chocolate, roasted wheat and flaked-oat malts, according to Maine Beer. And it’s also quite hoppy with a bitter finish thanks to the Centennial and Columbus hops.

King Titus Porter is 7.5%ABV. And my bottle cost $7.50, which is very reasonable for such a high-quality brew.

Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of porters in general. So it’s hard for me rate this particular beer. I can appreciate King Titus for what it is, though: A solid porter created with very fresh ingredients and a lot of love. For that, I give it a 7 out of 10 on the Urban Beer Nerd scale.

Here’s some information from Maine Beer Co. regarding the name of this porter:

Titus was a wonderful, bold silverback gorilla that led with his heart. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund studies and protects these magnificent animals in the Virunga Volcano Mountains in Rwanda. Maine Beer Company proudly supports their efforts.

Find more details on Maine Beer Co. and King Titus Porter on the brewer’s website. And check out the video clip below for additional information about the brewery.

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New Brew from Maine Beer Company: King Titus Porter

Maine Beer Company King Titus Porter

Maine Beer Company said on Twitter earlier this week that its brand new beer, King Titus Porter, will be shipping soon.

From @MaineBeerCo:

“[A] new beer. King Titus. Named after an amazing gorilla. bold porter. Going to distributors in another week or so. pic.twitter.com/ahbihtwA”

I’m a big fan of Maine Beer—read why here—so I’m anxious to get my mitts on this new porter. It’s not yet listed on the company’s website, so the only details on King Titus Porter that are available right now are what you see above.

Maine Beer Company’s brews are currently available in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York City, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Read more about Maine Beer Company on the brewer’s website.

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Maine Beer Company Picks Plastic Over Paper, New Labels Lack Luster

Maine Beer Company bottles

I’ve written about the importance of packaging and branding in the craft beer world a couple of times in this blog. In an increasingly competitive market where hundreds, even thousands, of bottles are placed next to each other on packed store shelves, unique, creative and visually-appealing labels and bottle design can help certain beers and breweries stand out and, in turn, sell more beers.

The Maine Beer Company’s bottles and label designs immediately grabbed my eye the first time I saw them about a year ago. The dark-glass, 1 pint, 9 fluid-ounce bottles are tall, thin and smooth, and they feature elegant and simple white labels. Until very recently, those labels were made of thick, rough bond-like paper that was slightly rigid around its edges, as if it had been torn by hand. Unfortunately, the company recently switched to the slick, standard—and somewhat “cheap”-feeling—plastic labels found on many craft-beer bottles today.

The labels still feature the same clean and simple design, but something was lost when the company switched from paper to plastic.

If you live outside of New England, chances are you’re not familiar with the brewing company or their bottles. That’s too bad because the Maine Beer Co. makes some genuinely wonderful brews, and from a bottle/label-design perspective, Maine Beer really stands out. Or it did.

I’m not going to stop buying Maine Beer brews, because the quality of the beer is more important than bottle design, after all, and I haven’t noticed any decline in beer quality. But Maine Beer already hooked me, and I picked up my first Maine bottle due largely to the look and feel of its bottles. I’m sure Maine Beer Co. decided to ditch the paper labels for cost-cutting reasons. But the plastic labels may not inspire the next potential Maine Beer customer to pick up that first bottle in the same way the paper labels helped to draw me in.

Check out the video clip below for more information on Maine Beer Company.

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(Image credit: Jared McKenna on Flickr)

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