Tag Archives: Maine Beer Company

Intellectuals and Beer

Ray Bradbury with Maine Beer Company Lunch bottle

“Beer’s intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.”

– Ray Bradbury, The October Country

Every time I go to a professional sporting event, this quote from Mr. Bradbury comes to mind. So true. But lots of really interesting (and handsome) intellectuals drink beer, too. Like me.

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Image (sans Lunch bottle) via LiveScience.com

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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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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 Lunch IPA (Review)

Maine Beer Company's Lunch IPA

“Do what’s right.”

That’s Maine Beer Company‘s motto. It is printed on all of its bottles. And the company is following its own advice, doing what’s right for the New England craft beer scene by brewing some very special beers, including its Lunch India Pale Ale.

Maine Beer Company says Lunch is “our ‘east coast’ version of a West Coast-style IPA.” And I can say without any doubt that Lunch is one of the best east coast IPAs I’ve ever had, and it can hold its own with some of the best West Coast IPAs, too.

Whenever I drink any of Maine Beer’s ales, I’m struck by just how crisp and clean they are. They’re also always extremely fresh, but that probably has to do with the fact that the company’s beers are also always in high demand in and around Boston, so they never sit on store shelves for very long.

Lunch IPA is probably Maine Beer’s most sought-after ale. It’s extremely difficult to find, and many of the liquor stores I frequent never even put it on their shelves; the shops keep Lunch behind the counter or in their storerooms for local beer nerds like myself who will appreciate it.

I slowly poured my Lunch IPA into a medium-size Maine Beer Company goblet, and it gradually formed a nice, frothy head, which didn’t dissipate much before I finished the beer. The color is orange/beige. It’s extremely flavorful, and you immediately taste citrus, mild pine and, of course, lots of fresh hops. Lunch is brewed with Warrior, Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe hops.

Lunch IPA comes in a 1 pint, 9 FL. OZ. bottle. It has a 7.0% ABV. I paid $8 for my bottle. Maine Beer Company brews are currently available in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York City, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Put quite simply, I love Lunch IPA. Lunch is so good that I forgive Maine Beer Company for ditching its beautiful paper labels for cheap-looking plastic ones—though I’m still not happy about it; Maine Beer’s old labels were awesome and unique.  Maine Beer Company’s Lunch IPA gets a 9 out of 10 on the Urban Beer Nerd scale. (It has 95/100 score on BeerAdvocate.com based on 266 user ratings.)

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

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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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