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 Ale” on the label. No,  I'm going to review the beers I'm finding most refreshing right now, without regard for any particular label, ingredient or style. The only limitations I'm placing on my reviews this week will be that my summer beers must be in 16 oz cans, and must be from Maine. Cheers to summer, loyal readers!

Mast Landing Saccarappa India Pale Ale
Availability: Purchased at Bow Street Beverage
Format Sampled: 16 oz can

ABV: 7.0%

Tasting Notes: Pours a cloudy, glowing gold with a thin, white head. Aroma packs a powerful wallop of grapefruit, lemon and pine. The initial flavor swirls with the citrus character of delicious hops, oily with orange peel, grapefruit rind and lemon meringue. Surprisingly, there is very little bitterness – an almost disconcerting absence given the flagrant hop character. The smooth opening makes this beer dangerously easy to drink! There is a delayed bitterness, a sort of depth charge of hop bite, but it's suspended in a lovely miasma of tender, cracker-crisp malt flavor. The body is smooth and moderate, and the aftertaste is clean, bitter and totally satisfying.


Mason's Hipster Apocalypse
Availability: Purchased at Bow Street Beverage
Format Sampled:16 oz can

ABV: 5.7%

Tasting Notes: Pours a sparkling dark yellow with a dense white head. The aroma has pineapple, passionflower, citrus and  pine needle. The initial flavor has a juicy abundance of hoppy citrus. There's some fresh orange slice, zesty lemon peel, and the tannin flavor of sour grapefruit. Underneath, there's the artfully bitter scrape of the hop flower itself. The hop character is profound, but without overbearing bitterness. The malt is delicately sweet and unobtrusive, letting the flowery, citrus/pine character of the hops lead. The body is light, fluid, easy to drink and the aftertaste has all the refined herb character of the initial flavor, with a slightly more profound bitterness to encourage another sip. A masterpiece.


Rising Tide Maine Island Trail Pale Ale

Availability: Purchased at Trader Joe’s
Format Sampled:16 oz can

ABV: 4.3%

Tasting Notes: Pours a clear yellow with loads of white foam. The aroma is bright with citrus and herbal hops. The initial taste is mouthwatering with piney, herbal hops. The initial bitterness is brief and tantalizing and evolves into juicy citrus, and mellow, sweet malt. The hop flavors dominate MITA but are ably supported by a firm bass-line of dry, toasty malt. The aftertaste is vibrant with bitter hop resins, clean, bitter and eminently refreshing.

Last modified onMonday, 19 June 2017 12:12