Drink (42)

Strawberry Beers Forever

In these waning days of summer, I'm tasting beers with added fruits, berries, and other unusual ingredients. Earlier, we tried three beers brewed with added strawberries. Two weeks ago, I reviewed a notice that two breweries I follow were releasing strawberry beers and I took it as a sign. Summer ain't over yet, and there's more strawberry to drink!   Hidden Cove Fragola ABV: 6.0% Format Sampled: 16 oz corked bottle Availability: Purchased at Bow Street…

Keg Count: What's new at Barreled Souls Brewing

I first got to know Chris Schofield and Matt Mills during my time as a driver and guide for the Maine Brew Bus. Back in those days, they had just opened their hole-in-the-wall brewery in a basement on route one in Saco. Their Burton Union system (a process through which all of their beer is fermented in oak barrels) was unique among northeast brewers, and they are quite possibly the only brewery anywhere using such…

Dreaming of tangerines — Respect the fruit

In the waning weeks of summer, I'm sipping beers that include fruits, berries and other unusual adjuncts. This week, we'll explore beers with tangerine flavors. Many citrus fruits are surprisingly natural additions to beers, because they contain chemicals that echo the flavors of popular hop varieties. Tangerines are no exception to this rule. In fact, this particular variety of citrus fruit contains a unique and varied mixture of essential oils, many of which are also…

Strawberry Sippers — Guzzling Fruit in the Waning Days of Summer

For the next few weeks, we're exploring delicious, quenching beers made with fruits, berries and more. This week, we'll be sipping a few beers brewed with strawberry. Fragaria × ananassa is technically a fruit, not a berry at all. Regardless of classification, its delicate, distinctive flavor is the essence of summer, distilled into a sweet bundle. Many brewers add strawberry to sour beers, using the sweetness to achieve a balanced flavor. When pairing these beers…

The Citrusiest Summer — Gulping Down Orange Brews

The summer swelter is in full effect, and it's doing strange things to my palate. I'm tired of lagers, and have to venture into stranger and stranger beers to keep my palate engaged. So, I'm kicking off an extended jag of tasting beers with fruits. Last week, we sipped some blood orange beers, so this week we'll try a few different beers that incorporate regular orange. This marriage of flavors might appear unusual at first,…

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…
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