The top 5 finest micro-brews from the state of Maine
by Lucas Thomas
5. Harvest IPA by Black Bear Brewery- Orono, ME
This IPA is brewed by the pride of Orono, Maine, the Black Bear Brewery. Only available seasonally and in limited batches, this beer is unique because the hops are picked fresh and thrown into the tank wet. No drying takes place between the harvesting of the hops and the brewing process. This adds to the flavor, which is thick and lingering. This very hoppy beer is a must try for IPA lovers.
4. Pail Ale by Black Bear Brewery- Orono, ME
Another distinct beer from the Black Bear collection. This beer is a borderline IPA. It is lighter than the #5 beer, but like the Harvest IPA this brew has an after taste that is very prevalent. The hops and grains are balanced well in this beer. Very similar to the Harvest IPA but does not have such an explicit taste as its brew-mate.
3. Bar Harbor Real Ale by Atlantic Brewing Company- Bar Harbor, ME
This beer is brewed at both of Atlantic’s Maine locations (Portland and Bar Harbor). This beer is the darkest and richest one on the list. It has a dark red tint to it and when poured produces a thick, creamy head. The taste of this beer is an acquired one, carrying a bitter aftertaste to it. The darkness and heaviness of the beer is what sets it apart and makes it unique. Not everyone will enjoy this beer, but if you enjoy broadening your micro-brew horizons, give this exclusive taste of Maine a shot.
2. Allagash White by Allagash Brewing Co.- Portland, ME
The only white beer on the countdown. This classic Belgian white brew has a cloudy, yellow tone. Unlike other Belgian white’s like Shock Top or Blue Moon, the Allagash White is not quite as smooth. A noticeable pine taste sets this beer apart from others in it’s category. This is a drink that is best enjoyed during the summer months. For a fan of Belgian style white’s like myself, this is a must have in your arsenal. The taste is refreshing and, like the previous brew, is a nice asset to the uniqueness of Maine brews.
1. Pumpkinhead by Shipyard- Portland, ME
At #1 is a crowd pleaser throughout New England. Fun fact: no pumpkin is used in the brewing of this beer, which will come as a shock to anyone who’s tasted it. This delicious brew can be drank by itself, with a touch of Guinness added to it, with Captain Morgan’s (or any vanilla spiced rum), or with a sugar and cinnamon ring around the rim of the glass (my personal preference). After drinking Shipyard’s fall seasonal, one will feel like they just ate a piece of pumpkin pie. This beer has a full-bodied flavor, is smooth, and perfect for the fall season. Yes this beer has something for everyone in it, making it the best beer brewed in the state of Maine.