Drink (90)

What's burning? Smoked beer from Maine

  It's been a pleasure sampling super dark beers, loyal reader. But my palate needs a break from the dark side, so I'm making a momentary detour into an uncommon style: smoked beers.   Long ago, most malts were dried with burning coal, wood, or peat, each of which imparted a unique smokey aroma to the beer. These days, maltsters use kilns to dry malt, which don't impart a smoked flavor. Smokiness is a choice,…

The Clink: Checking in with Mast Landing Brewing Company

We’re now up to 89 breweries and counting in the state. While the concerns about an eventual craft brewery “bubble” make for interesting dinner conversation, the industry in Maine has shown admirably few growing pains. It would be one thing if the recent spate of brewery openings was watering down the standard of quality in the state, but what has happened is close to the opposite. The Maine beer industry is now a thoroughly collegial…

Coffee + Stout + Milk = Happy

Welcome to the dark side, loyal reader! Rather than push our collective glasses up the bridge of our collective noses and mutter about ABV, IBU and SRM*, we're going to appreciate the lighter, more fun aspects of darker beers. Dark beer is a blast — and tasting styles with unusual adjuncts is a great way to make that point. This week, we're going to sample stouts that include coffee and milk flavors. We've tasted coffee…

Serious Fun With Marshmallow Stout

  Stout has a reputation as a “serious,” weighty beer. Perhaps it's the dark color and heavy body of this style that lends it such a somber reputation? I've long argued that many stouts are more lighthearted than they appear. Take Guinness, for example. It has fewer calories per pint than many lighter-colored beers, and clocks in under 4% alcohol by volume. In an effort to shatter the stereotypes of serious, dour stouts, I'm dedicating…

The Clink: Checking in with Gneiss Brewing Company

Of all the considerations that go into starting a new brewery, location is one of the most central. Most brewers opt for a spot near the heart of a populous area and do so for two obvious reasons: increased foot traffic and proximity to more draft accounts.   But when Dustin Johnson and Tim Bissell, founders of Gneiss Brewing, started brainstorming locations in 2012, they decided to go in a more pastoral direction. The brewery…

Milk Stout Does a Body Good

Think about stout, loyal reader, and the mind conjures a bitter, black draft, with roasted flavors. Now imagine adding the sweet, creamy character of milk to the roasted, bitter experience of the stout. That's the essence of a milk stout, a novel style of beer that includes lactose, a sugar derived from dairy. Lactose can't be fermented, so it doesn't get turned into alcohol. Instead, it remains in the beer, adding a sweet, rich flavor.…

Get sweet, salty and buzzed on salted caramel beers

Happy 2017, loyal readers! I've just spent a month drinking Double IPA, a challenging, high-alcohol style of beer. It's a new year, and I'm in the mood to break out of my hoppy rut. There are few factors driving my decision. First, my palate is momentarily fatigued by hops. Second, during these dark days, I crave a style of beer that I can provide simple, sweet pleasures. So, I'm dedicating January to darker beers, primarily…

The Clink: Getting to Know Dirigo Brewing Company

If I told you twenty years ago that Biddeford was on its way to becoming a culinary and cultural destination, you probably would have laughed me out of the room. But here we are in 2017 and the “Biddosance," as I like to call it, is in full swing. With outstanding food spots like Palace Diner and Custom Deluxe, galleries and boutiques moving into once-shuttered storefronts on Main Street, and, most importantly, the revitalization of derelict…

A Grab-Bag of Oddball Double IPA

This December, I've been marinating my liver in delightfully hoppy double IPA (DIPA). I've sipped 8 DIPA's from Maine, 3 from California and 3 from Vermont. What did it leave me with? 1 hangover, 3 hoppy belches, 4 great beer articles, and a whole pile of DIPA that didn't fit into a convenient regional category. This week, I'm selecting the standouts from oddball bin in my fridge and putting my DIPA binge to rest. In…

Tasting an epic style of beer: the Double IPA

This month, we're slugging down epic quantities of an epic style of beer: Double IPA (DIPA). This style of beer intensifies the characteristics of IPA — an already profound style of beer. This week, we're tasting DIPAs from Vermont. Why? Well, I recently found three excellent DIPAs from that state, and many successfully argue that the “East Coast” DIPA trend started in Vermont, with the introduction of The Alchemist's “Heady Topper.” This unfiltered, highly hopped…
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