Brew Review

Beer Review – Maine Beer Company Collaboration Time III

Maine Beer Company Collaboration Time III

As I’m putting the finishing touches on this review, AMC’s The Pitch is playing in the background. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the show, here is what AMC has to say about it:

The Pitch explores the incredible lengths, intense stakes and tight deadlines advertising agencies encounter when they take aim at a new piece of business. Each episode not only follows two creative shops as they work day and night to build a campaign worthy of winning over the brand, but also takes a closer look into the decision making process the brands go through in order to choose which agency has successfully captured their identity. 

While AMC makes this sound like a gripping and enthralling docudrama, I have tried to watch it on several occasions and have either fallen asleep or changed the channel within the first 10 minutes. In other words, The Pitch is one incredibly boring piece of  television! This illustration, taken directly from Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2012 review of the show, pretty much sums up how I feel every time I stumble upon this show (click here to read their review):

The Pitch

So what does any of this have to do with Maine Beer Company? As I was sitting here thinking about what to write about Collaboration Time III, I tried to remember where I first heard about this brewery. Was it on a television commercial? Did I see their latest glossy advertisement in a national magazine? Did I hear about them on the radio? No, no, and no. The truth is that I probably heard about them from a fellow Craft Beer lover during our 2011 Philly Beer Week pub crawl which just happened to take place a few weeks before our first family vacation to Maine.

My point is that while a fancy marketing and public relations campaign might have spread the word about this brewery much faster than word of mouth ever could, the truth is that a small Craft Brewer doesn’t have that kind of money, so they simply let their beer do the talking, and they let the Craft Beer loving community do the rest. And thanks to Social Media, it’s never been easier to spread the word about your latest and greatest Craft Beer find. If they brew it, we will Blog about it, Tweet about it, Instagram about it, Facebook about it, Rate Beer and Beer Advocate about it, Pinterest about it, and even Reddit about it!

I myself have reviewed seven of their beers in addition to the one that is the subject of this post. I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a fan. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Maine Beer Company, here are a few words from the brewers themselves about who they are and why they do what they do:

As far as Collaboration Time III, I picked up several bottles of this beer at their new tasting room in Freeport, ME. This beer was a collaboration between Maine Beer Company and Nogne-O, a Norwegian brewery that is also highly respected, but one whose beers I have yet to try.

Below is a bit of information about this beer taken directly from the Maine Beer Company website:

Brewed with a new friend, Kjetil Jikiun, founder and brewer at Nogne-O.  Our aim was to brew a delicate, sessionable beer incorporating elements of the saison and hoppy American ale styles.  We used a blend of our house ale and saison yeast strains.  The result, an ale, golden in color, generously hopped, with background notes of saison funk accented by soft rye and wheat flavors.


        • Malt – Belgian Pilsner, Danko Rye, Warthog Wheat
        • Hops – Saaz, Falconer’s Flight, Cascade
        • This beer will be available for a limited time on tap in our Freeport Tasting Room, and in limited quantities in bottles late July 2013 in ME, MA, NY and VT.  Please enjoy fresh.

And now for my impressions of this beer…

  • Appearance: Cloudy pale orange color with a thick, fluffy layer of foam that tops out at about 1.5 inches and then settles down to a lingering 1/8 layer. Moderate lacing.
  • Aroma: Vibrant lemon zest scented hoppiness followed by a hint of tea biscuity sweetness, some Saison like yeastiness, and a wee bit of Rye spice off in the distance.
  • Taste: Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated with some fizzy bubbles. If this beer were a cocktail, it would be 1/4 Peeper, 1/2 MO, 1/8 Lunch, and 1/8 Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale. Everything that I picked up in the nose carries through to the palate. From start to finish you get a medley of mild hop bitterness, a smattering of malt sweetness, and a healthy dose of funky Saison astringency.
  • ABV: 5.6%

This is my second time trying Collaboration Time III. The first time around was during a Craft Beer sampling session at The Alemonger’s hacienda. I liked it that night, but since there were other beers in the mix, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate how good this beer truly is. As I mentioned in my tasting notes, this beer tastes like a “Best of Maine Beer Company” mash up with something new (i.e. the Farmhouse Ale elements) thrown in to add yet another layer to this highly drinkable beer. I loved it from start to finish.

3 replies »

  1. The dejas just keep vuing……..

    First of all, I would probably avoid a “craft beer” that actually uses traditional, big budget media ad campaigns. It’s one of the things that’s always made me look at Sam Adams with the third squinty eye – the one that, when closed, appears to host the image of a collage of infamous Medieval mathematicians within the serpentine holds of its creased lid. Fortunately for so any passionate craft beer brewers, word of tweet by loyal and enthusiastic fans is extremely effective and dirt cheap. Look at tiny Alchemist. Would a sparkling and expensive ad blitz do anythng for them other than attract more frustrated craft beer geeks who couldn’t get their hands on a Heady Topper anyway? Many (most) of the great craft brewers don’t have enough capacity to meet additional demand as it is so it it just makes practical sense not to mimic the big bastards of As Seen On TV Beer.

    As for Collab Time III, I liked it the first time and still liked it the first time. Nogne-O has long been a favorite Fjordlands Region brewer even since having had one opened for me by one of the tap tenders at Monks (they’re not all about Belgians after all). I was surprised to find that Maine Beer Co.’s DNA predominated over Nogne’s (not that I’d have been disappointed otherwise). A really well crafted, round, satisfying brew that works on many levels. About the only thing missing was a rent-a-sushi chef in the corner of the room clad in a vintage early 80’s Peter Gabriel concert t-shirt. Come to think of it, those things are often missing. Whose hoarding them?



    • Good points all around, though you got to them in your usual round about way.

      Not really sure whose hoarding the rent-a-sushi chefs. Guess that explains why it take over an hour to get a plate of sushi at Oh Yoko. I mean, it’s not like they’re cooking the stuff.


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