Six Maine Beers to Drink This Winter
These beers from Pine Tree State breweries pair perfectly with wood stove fires and ski retreats.
If you’re anything like me, you walk into your local beer shop, take a thrillingly long look at the wall of Maine-based beers, and then open the fridge to grab your go-to four-pack. (In my case, an IPA with around a 6.5-percent ABV.) With more breweries per capita than any other state in the country—one for every 8,710 people—why not branch out? With host gifts to be given, fridges in need of packing for holiday visitors, and a thick layer of snow (finally) on the ground, there’s no better time to try one of these winter-inspired brews.
BA Snow Blower | Austin Street Brewery
Style: American Barleywine | 10.0%
This Portland brewery’s take on an American barleywine packs in the caramel and dark fruit flavors and adds just the right amount of bitterness to keep it from getting too sweet. Pay attention to that ABV: Austin Street recommends drinking this one after snow blowing.
December Double Sun | Mast Landing Brewing Co.
Style: Double IPA | 8.3%
Crack open this full bodied, double dry-hopped IPA and reflect on the past year, keeping in mind that as one sun sets, another rises… or something.
Mr. Grumpypants | Norway Brewing Company
Style: Oatmeal Stout | 5.8%
Tap into your inner Scrooge and take a swill of Mr. Grumpypants, Norway Brewing’s “patron saint.” This smooth oatmeal stout is brewed with local Blue Ox malt and Maine Grains oats, and is finished with an Ethiopian light roast from Coffee By Design.
Shining Light | Blaze Brewing Company
Style: Sour | 7%
This holiday sour is brewed with cherries, marshmallow, lactose, and vanilla, and tastes like cherries jubilee in a can. Dedicated to the star on top of Mount Battie in Camden, Shining Light is a tribute to the holiday season throughout the Pine Tree State.
Let There Be Bock | Foundation Brewing Company
Style: Bock | 6.5%
The traditional German bock dates back to the fourteenth century, when Bavarian monks brewed and enjoyed the strong beer as a symbol of better times to come (like the eventual end of winter). Foundation’s mahogany-colored version is best drunk the way a traditional bock would be—during special occasions. And with aromas of New England brown bread and flavors of cherry and caramelized pie crust, who needs dessert?
Black Barn Program No. 28 | Maine Beer Company
Style: Imperial Stout | 12.2%
Maine Beer Company’s Black Barn 28 was released five days before Christmas and is the brewery’s darkest and strongest beer to date. Aged on cinnamon, ancho chili, and natural vanilla beans, and weighing in at 12.2-percent ABV, this one’s ready to party during these long winter nights.
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