Drink (37)

Flesh, Pulp, and Blood Orange Beers

The torrid heat of August is upon us, and it's given me a royal thirst. After a month of drinking lagers, my palate, brain and liver are crying out for  variety, so I'm launching into an exploration of fruited beers. This week, we'll explore beers brewed with the Citrus × sinensis, also known as the “blood orange.” This hybrid orange has a vivid, reddish flesh, rich in antioxidant chemicals known as anthocyanin. The unique combination…

Maine Lager Redux — Local Beers Are Worth Coming Back For

  I'm a bad beer writer, loyal reader. Last week, I promised “No more lager.” I intended to keep my promise too! I thought I had enough lager for the summer and craved new flavors. That was before I chanced into a local establishment with a wide variety of Maine lagers that either slipped my mind, or recently entered the market. In seconds, I was drooling, my mind spinning, and my liver throbbing. I knew…

The Clink: Checking in with Hidden Cove

“Before we get started, you wanna have a look at the place?” Dick Varano didn’t grow up with eyes on opening a brewery. The Braintree native comes from an Italian family, and he’s been a restaurateur for thirty years. Owning a winery in Italy? Sure. Opening a successful brewery in Wells, Maine? Well, OK! Varano opened Hidden Cove in 2013 out of the old pizza place he owned, just across the street from Varano’s, his…

West Coast Lagers: Taking a Break From Maine Beers

It's been a mild ride this summer, loyal readers. We've been focusing on lagers, those even-tempered, highly quaff-able beers that are lower in alcohol and hops. We've sampled many lagers from Maine, and the Northeast in general, so it's time to broaden our horizons! This week, we're sampling lagers from the west coast. Next week, I'm taking some sorely-needed time-off. What will I sip when I return? I don't know! If you're so inclined, visit…

Northeastern Lagers

This summer, we're exploring lagers – mellow, easy-drinking beers that are perfect for summer. We've tasted lagers from Maine, and  New England, and now we're broadening scope to lagers from the entire northeast. Lagers are ideal beers for summer for several reasons. First, they tend to be quite low in alcohol (5 percent seems to be the average). Second, through hopped lagers are becoming more common, the style as a whole is typically only moderately…

The Lager Binge Continues

We've been on a lager binge for the past few weeks, a bender I hope to continue well into the summer. It's easy to adopt a “go-with-the-flow” attitude with lagers. These beers are created by a lazy yeast that live on the bottom of the beer as it ferments. After a slow fermentation, lagers are stored in a cold room for an extended period ('lager' means storeroom or cellar in German) so this lazy yeast…

More Maine Lagers to Beat the Summer Heat

'Tis the season when the sun rises early, and emboldens our neighbors to begin such silent, meditative tasks as lawn-mowing, scrap-metal tossing and competitive yelling, bright and early! Why not escape the stress of 5 a.m. yard maintenance with a trip to the beach? But first, perhaps a brisk, 15 MPH drive, amid hordes of reflex-impaired tourists, piloting whale-sized RV's. You know what? Let's turn on the A/C, pull a beach towel over our heads,…

Quench Thirst With These Three Cool Brews

We're right in the middle of those few stifling weeks where we forget ourselves and wonder how it got so gosh-darn hot. But don't fear the heat! In just a few short months, the snow will return and we'll think upon these days with fondness, pausing every so often to blow our noses. But while it's here, summer heat calls for a simple beer, low in alcohol, with moderate flavor impact and a light body.…

The Beers of Summer

As I type, it's almost 90 degrees. When my editor requested some summer beer reviews for this column, I nearly wept with joy. Don't get me wrong, loyal reader, I love a good chewy stout when the weather is hot, but nothing drives me to drink like warm weather. This week, I'm going to be sampling some “summer beers.” I'm approaching this from a selfish perspective. I'm not going to drink anything that says, “Summer…

What's Red, Flemish, and Sour?

This spring, we've taken a virtual trip to Belgium. It's been a terrific journey featuring unusual adjuncts (like coriander!), brain-blistering levels of alcohol, and startling realizations. For example, who knew tripel was so light, and so easy to drink? I'm wrapping up our springtime Belgian ramble by sampling an unusual style called Flanders Red Ale. This uncommon style of beer features modest alcohol content (5-6 percent), strong sourness, and pronounced fruit character. This unique blend…
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