I had some beer related plans for my family vacation to Maine: a visit to the Allagash Brewery in Portland and a visit to Smuttynose in Portsmouth, NH. Although I didn’t get to visit the breweries, I did have several opportunities to do some New England beer hunting.
Since Maine Beer Company’s offerings are only available in four states (Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York), they were high on my list of must find beers. Although they only have a few beers in their line-up, they are generally well rated on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer, so I just had to see what their beers are all about.
Over the course of my vacation, I had their Peeper Ale on three occasions: once on draught as an accompaniment to pizza at When Pigs Fly Pizzeria, and twice with lobster at our rental house. Here is a description of this beer from Rate Beer’s site:
“An American-style ale brewed one barrel at a time. The malt bill is built on American two-row malt and accented by crystal 10, Vienna, and white wheat malts. Magnum hops give the beer a nice clean bittering and Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial hop varieties provide a pleasant floral and citrusy hop flavor. A healthy dose of additional Amarillo and Centennial are dry hopped to give this beer an inviting hop aroma. The beer is fermented with a neutral yeast strain and allowed to dry out so it finishes crisp and clean.”
And now for the review…
- Appearance: Golden yellow with a slight orange tint. Thick, fluffy, slowly dissipating head. Mild lacing.
- Aroma: Orange marmalade. Honey. Tea biscuit. Floral hops. Subtle hint of clove.
- Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Starts off slightly sweet with honey and citrus notes. Mild hop bitterness kicks in at mid-palate and leads you to a pleasant, but never overpowering, bitter finish.
- ABV: 5.5%
The fact that I had this beer on three separate occasions tells you how much I enjoyed it. Maine Beer Company’s Peeper Ale is crisp, clean, and very refreshing, and with an ABV of 5.5%, it’s also very session worthy. This beer is extremely well-balanced with the bitter hops and sweet malt playing oh so nicely together. If you’re ever in their very limited distribution area, find it and give it a try. We’d love to hear what you think about this very delicious beer.