Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coolship Beers--Allagash Brewing Company


Quick, if you're in Portland, scoot over to the Allagash Brewing Company, to pick up a bottle of their Coolship Red! Only 400 bottles are available to the public...they will be gone FAST!

Portland Brew Festival

Looking for an activity, involving New England craftbeer, cider & mead, over Labor Day weekend?
Check out the Portland Brew Festival website for more information on the upcoming inaugural two day event:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mom's Brew Pics Photogallery Part 1

I have determined I not only enjoy tasting & writing about craft beer but I also enjoy photographing the brew too!  Cheers :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bar Harbor Brewing Company Thunder Hole Ale

Style: English Brown Ale

Taste:  Butterscotch & syrup flavors come through--not too sweet but the malt is a distinctive presence during the tasting; along with a mild chocolatey goodness in the finish.

Color: An acorn brown.

Thickness: A slightly, watery, medium bodied mouthful; with a good, balanced level of carbonation and a quickly fading white head. Did not notice lacing along the sides of the pint glass after the pour.

ABV: 4.8%--is low resulting in a high drinkability with this yummy brew! Speaking of yummy, it is an award winner along with other Bar Harbor brews. Of note, if in BH, the brewery is open seven days a week & offers free tastings! Talk about an added incentive to visit :)

Mom Factoid: The Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale was a gift from our neighbors, after we watched their kids, on a Sunday morning, earlier in August. They ran in the Beach to Beacon, a 10K road race, in Cape Elizabeth, that has runners finishing at Fort Williams Park.  I've given props to Fort Williams before on the blog, but must do it again. It is a gorgeous park that should be included in a trip itinerary, if planning a visit to Maine. Back to my neighbors, how sweet & kind of them, to thank us, with delicious, local craft beer from the Bar Harbor region of Maine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Full Sail IPA

So wishing I could be out in Portland, Oregon these next few days to participate in a Beer Bloggers Conference but perhaps if the next one is closer, to me, in New England, I could attend. Instead, I will experience a taste of beautiful Oregon from the Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River. Of note, when dating, my would be future husband, we traveled cross-country one summer and our favorite spot on the whole trip was Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. If you've never seen snow in July, this is the place for you; along with a view of the most gorgeous lake, in my humble opinion! Okay, back to the Oregon brew:

Taste:  It is bitterish but not a huge hoppy bite--just enough to identify this as an IPA. Definite chewiness in the mouthfeel. Hints of citrus & pine come through in the finish.

Color: Golden amber!

Thickness: Nice medium body with a quarter inch white head which faded during the tasting. Decent carbonation.

ABV: A perfect 6%--just what I needed!

Mom Factoid: I love Full Sail's motto on their bottles, "Specialists in the liquid refreshment arts since 1997." How creative of them to link brewing with the arts because to brew is to invent something tangible with unique qualities which is art! And, the more beer styles I taste, the more I understand & celebrate the specialness each brewery has when producing their concepts. Cheers to thinking of craft beer as a form of artwork :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flying Fish Farmhouse Summer Ale

Taste: The beer is not overly flavorful, which isn't a bad quality for a refreshing ale! It lacks a strong hoppiness & isn't malty but it is trying to push through with a mild spiced fruit note.

Color:  A pretty blend of golds like a sunset.

Thickness: A light to medium bodied American blonde ale, with one inch of whipping cream textured, white frothy head. Plus, the brew was nicely carbonated.

ABV: 4.6%

Mom Factoid: I enjoyed "pairing" this crisp, cold brew with fried seafood goodness at the Jersey Shore. If you have a family summer tradition, that involves vacationing, at the same place & eating the same foods, year after year, consider yourself lucky! I have been going to Ocean City, every year of my life, which is 30 plus years, and to be able to share this experience, now, with the little duo, is not only memorable but magical! And, to find tasty, local, Jersey craft beer from Flying Fish just highlighted the amazing week we've had!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

Taste: There is a distinguished malt quality, with an intensity that screams, "this stout is not for a newborn craft beer drinker!" Its sweetness is complex, with melting layers that appear as the, very slow, tasting continues--coffee undertones pop out on the palate & in the air. *I did not finish this pint as it became too boozey for me but would have made for a great pint to share with the husband--maybe on Stout Day in November :)

Of note, to me, the aroma is like fresh shucked corn. Perhaps that's the "ridiculous amount of barley" that is listed on the bottle label.

Thickness: A very full & dense body; with an inch of tan head that took it's time slowly fading, leaving delicate lacing along the sides of the pint glass, as I journeyed on in my quest of enjoying another Dogfish Head beer!

Color: Midnight brown--almost a coal black if I stare long enough. Bottom line, you can't see through it!

ABV: 18%--woah--be careful!!

Mom Factoid: The late afternoon thunderstorms at the shore were a welcome reprieve from the intensely icky heat and humidity that greeted us upon arriving to NJ from Maine. The change in weather changed my direction when it came to choosing my nighttime brew to taste. I wasn't feeling like a crisp summer ale. Rather, I was chilly, in sweats and seeking warmth and comfort in my beloved stout style of brew! I guess the weather not only affects what you can do outside but also can affect what your body craves with respect to eating & drinking.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

Taste: I could feel the inside of my cheeks puckering up as the beer met my taste buds--a refreshing blast of sour meets sweet with the peach concentrate--wow, tasty! Aroma was peachy too :)

Color: soft gold

Thickness: Very light in body; highly carbonated with an inch of white, frothy/foamy head.

ABV: 4.5% makes for an easy, two in a sitting, on a hot, humid August day.

Mom Factoid: August is the month of fresh peaches which means peach pie, Grandma Bertsch style! If you like creamy, sweet, juicy, chunky bites of luscious deliciousness, then this is a pie for you! Family recipe, available, if you ask me!  I know what I'll be drinking when I bite into a piece of homemade peach pie!  Cheers :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sebago Brewing Company's Frye's Leap IPA

HAPPY International IPA DAY from Maine!

Taste: Citrusy with a grapefruit essence that dominates the hoppy finish. Malty presence that grows on me as the tasting continues, but not overwhelming sweet. Overall, a really delicious IPA.

Color: Caramel with subtle orange hues.

Thickness: Medium body with balanced carbonation; quarter inch white head.

ABV: 6.2%

Mom Factoid: After relocating, my first Maine Mom's Night Out was to the Sebago Brewpub in Scarborough, with the mom friends I made through taking my daughter to our local library's weekly story time! Just proves that when you facilitate social situations with your little ones, sometimes you're lucky enough to socialize too and meet great friends!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dogfish Head Brewery's Bitches Brew via Boothbay Part 1

So much to say about my "research" based trip to Boothbay this past weekend, for the first Craft Beer Comes to Boothbay tasting event, sponsored by the Maine Brewers' Guild, yet so little time, on my end, to provide the details in a tidy fashion. Please bear with me, if this post becomes a two-parter, as summertime napping for the little duo is hit or miss these long days!
Okay, let's start with the ironic nature of my experience: the festival had over twenty breweries from Maine--quite an impressive number for this craft beer loving fan. However, it wasn't the beer from Maine that captured my heart on Saturday, it was the beer from Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery--namely, their intense Bitches Brew which is categorized as a Russian Imperial Stout!
You might be puzzled as to how I could be sampling beer from a non-Maine brewery at this event, but long story short: the founder of Dogfish Head, Sam Calagione, named his brewery after an island in Maine, where he spent his summers as a youth. He knows the co-owner and founder, Win Mitchell, of the Boothbay Craft Brewery and decided to be one of the creators/sponsors of this new event, as a way of thanking & celebrating his Maine roots and fellow brew masters.
I casually spoke with Sam & his wife, Mariah, on Saturday, while we were eating tasty BBQ. They were both lovely and gracious with their time & super supportive of my beer review blogging adventure!
Speaking of beer reviews, let's dive into the Dogfish Head Bitches Brew!  These are my tasting notes, prior to reading the description, honest! (Check out the picture, below, that I took of the signage provided by Dogfish Head at the event.)

Taste: Dark velvet, chocolate cake with a red licorice, fruity hops aroma--bold flavors & smells.

Color: Deep brown like roasted coffee beans.

Thickness: moderate to heavy in body, with a dark tan, thick, head; produces a full & creamy mouthful in which the aftertaste lingers.

ABV: 9% --Yum, this is definitely a slow sipper!

Mom Factoid: It turns out that Sam's mom, whom I met too, taught special education as well! So, when finding out that working with special needs students was part of my background, Sam gave me a nod of understood appreciation for how challenging that field is. Bottom line, I may have gone to the Boothbay event in search of the local Maine brew scene, but I left there feeling connected to the positive people from Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and I know that I will be tasting as many of their beers as I can in the future for the "research" purposes of this blog! Cheers :)

PS Speaking of tasting beers, I did my fair share on Saturday and will focus on the Maine side of my field trip in Part 2!