Brew Review

Beer Review – Maine Beer Company Zoe

Maine Beer Company Zoe

As of this writing, Maine Beer Company lists a total of eight beers on their website. If you count this review, I have so far covered seven of them. I guess I’m sort of like Ray Kinsella from Field of Dreams when it comes to Maine Beer Company. If they brew it, I will buy it!

In case you don’t remember Field of Dreams, here’s a clip from the movie to refresh your memory…

Before we got on with this review, this is what Maine Beer Company has to say about Zoe, their happy, hoppy, amber ale:

Our take on an American amber ale.  Complex malt bill delivers notes of dark raisin, chocolate and biscuit.  Copious additions of American hops yield notes of pine and citrus.

And now for my impressions of this beer…

  • Appearance:  The color is reddish brown and somewhat cloudy. Since I poured this into my glass somewhat aggressively, a thick, fluffy 2 inch off-white head formed rapidly and dissipated really slowly. Some lovely lacing remained on the insides of the glass as I slowly drank my beer.
  • Aroma: I’m getting fresh out of the oven biscotti (the kind that are a bit overdone at the edges), hints of bittersweet chocolate, and honey from the malt, along with a strong grapefruit and pine scent from the hops.
  • Taste: Rich and creamy mouthfeel, perhaps even a bit chewy. This beer has some serious body to it! Starts off with that semisweet roasted malt goodness. Bitter hops kick in towards the middle and lead you to a dry, mouth coating, and moderately bitter finish that lingers for quite awhile.
  • ABV: 7.2%

It’s been a couple years since I tried Maine Beer Company’s Zoe. The first time around, I thought it was just ok, but in all fairness, I had it after a Peeper, so I was probably too starstruck at the time to realize how good Zoe truly is. While there are definitely oodles of hops at play here, once again, Maine Beer Company has done a fantastic job of keeping the bitterness in check with a healthy dose of sweet malty goodness. Great stuff and well deserving of its #1 Amber Ale ranking on Rate Beer!

5 replies »

  1. These guys (all 2 of them based upon your recon visit) have got to be pulling a scam on the craft beer world. No way such a tiny outfit so close to Newfoundland could possibly turn out world class ales on such a consistent basis. Here’s what I think is going on:

    2 Scenarios…..

    #1: They were met a dark yet eclectic figure while setting lobstah traps at the crossroads of a rarely used dirt road. This guy made some sort of deal which promised them spectacular brewing skills in return for the bottoms of their shoes.

    #2: They’ve got one of those pneumatic bank drive-up tube contraptions running deep underground between themselves and San Diego which delivers unlabeled bottles from Pizza Port, Green Flash, Stone, Ballast Point & Mission.

    Or it could be that they’re small enough to actually care about what they’re doing. I guess that’s plausible but not as interesting.

    Zoe is a really nice brew. Right up there with Stone Levitation as one of the few Ambers worth seeking out. Hopefully they don’t go all Calgione and start brewing with indigenous ingredients like drawn butter or mooses.



    • What? No Moose Testicle Beer for you? Where’s your sense of adventure? How about a Black Fly Black IPA? Too obvious perhaps? I know! Maine Wild Blueberry Saison! I’m sure it’s in the works (I’m looking at you Oxbow and Allagash!), though me thinks that might be too pedestrian. One more…

      Little Kennebec Bay Larry The Lobster Carcass Stout. BOOM!


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