Beer Review: Foundation Venture Maine IPA

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This is from when I took my trip up to Maine a few months ago and was able to make my way to the Foundation Brewery. They had a ton of great offerings on draft and I took a 4 pack of Ventures home with me to make sure I would be able to get a review of it up. Venture is a Maine IPA brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus, El Dorado, and Mosaic hops. Venture comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Active carbonation, 1/2 finger head and is a nice hazy golden orange color. A really nice looking beer, their cans are also very aesthetically pleasing.

Nose: Mosaic definitely comes out a lot in the aroma. Tons of mango, tropical fruit and citrus. Pine, strawberry, grassy and herbal notes are present as well. Very dank and deep nose.

Taste/Mouth: Creamy and full mouthfeel, drinks sort of like a session IPA and not a Double. Mango, tropical fruit and berry flavors stand out, it is pleasant and easy to drink. Definitely pretty juicy as well with pineapple and citrus juice flavors.  Not as complex and deep as Epiphany.

Price/Availability: Grabbed a 4 pack at the brewery for around $12 I believe.

Overall: It is definitely no Epiphany but it is another solid “Maine IPA” from Foundation. It has some nice deep juicy flavors and a dank aroma but lacks some of the complexity found in Epiphany. I am excited to continue to have more of Foundation’s beers as they continue to grow. I need to start to plan my next trip back to Portland ASAP. This one was super easy to drink and I went through the 4 pack like this was a Session IPA not a Double.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Foundation Epiphany Maine IPA

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I had this beer shortly before I took my trip up to Portland and was able to actually visit the brewery and get this fresh on draft. Drinking this Epiphany was the first Foundation beer I ever had, after hearing quite a bit about them and Epiphany in particular. Epiphany is a “Maine IPA” and comes in at 8% ABV.

Appearance: Very hazy light orange color with a 1/2 finger head which dissipates to a nice layer of foam. I love Foundation’s branding, its super clean.

Nose: Really big dank juicy nose, orange, pine, resin, tropical fruit, pineapple and mango. You get some caramel malt notes but its mostly just super stanky and dank.

Taste/Mouth: Awesome tropical fruit, citrus fruits, pineapple, pine and resin. Mango comes over from the nose as well. It has a super juicy and full mouthfeel. Great marriage of both the east coast IPA/DIPA with the NE style IPA. Sticky dry finish with some nice bitterness to keep this thing modest. It is super easy to drink at 8%.

Price/Availability: I got it in a trade but they are brewery release 4 packs I believe and are around $12.

Overall: This is one of the best beers I have had this year without a doubt. I got one can in a trade and after drinking it was so excited to get to Portland, Maine and try this on draft and at the brewery (which I did!). It is such a great hybrid double “Maine” IPA which blends kind of more traditional east coast DIPA notes with the NE style juice IPA that is the hot beer currently. Epiphany is bursting with juicy flavor and has such a big dank aroma I could smell for days. As mentioned this is one of my favorites of the year, and recent time, so no surprise it hits a perfect score!

Grade: A+

Beer Review: Bissell Brothers Substance IPA

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Next is a review of Bissell Brothers flagship IPA, Substance. Bissell Brothers are certainly creating some noise out of Portland Maine with beers like this one, Reciprocal and Swish. Substance comes in at 6.6% ABV.

Appearance: New England hazy juice style. Yellow orange color with a 1 finger head which dissipates slowly into a layer of thick lacing. Very turbid.

Nose: Pine, orange, pineapple, tangerine, tropical and mango. Very dank and juicy nose. The pineapple and mango notes are what stuck out most to me.

Taste/Mouth: Nice juicy peach and orange with some floral notes up front. Lemon, tangerine, pineapple and mango make their way over from the nose as well. Biscuit and cracker malt. Nice chewy, medium body with medium carbonation. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Its a very New England style IPA mixed with a typical East coast style IPA.

Price/Availability: This is a brewery release which is brewed weekly I believe. I got it in a trade.

Overall: A fantastic NE Style IPA which I would consider on the same level as some of Trillium’s beers. Unlike a lot of other juice bomb style IPAs this one still has a nice East Coast IPA feel to it. This was my first Bissell Brother’s beer and I recently took a trip to Portland Maine and was able to try some of their other stuff as well. Excited to see what this brewery will do in the future. This is a well crafted flagship beer for the brewery and certainly lives up to what I heard about it.

Grade: A

Beer Review: Maine Beer Company Beer III Black Ale

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The third installment in Maine Beer’s Hop Program, Beer III is a Black Ale showcasing Citra, Cascade, Lemon Drop and Falconer’s Flight hops. The Hop Program is a series of new beers from Maine which showcase different application of hops in a variety of beer styles. Beer III is also dedicated to Blossom a non-releasable turtle at the Center for Wildlife in Maine. Beer III comes in at 5.5% ABV.

Appearance: Very dark almost totally black with a nice cream colored 1 finger head and some great lacing. Always simple and appealing bottle art from Maine.

Nose: Coffee, chocolate and citrus fruits particularly orange and lemon dominate the nose. Some earthy hop aromas in their as well. It is a very nice mix of hoppy aromas and roasty coffee and chocolate.

Taste/Mouth: Has a nice hoppy taste and feel to it but with a big coffee and chocolate presence as well. Like the nose you get a nice amount of citrus fruit. Finishes slightly dry with a very full smooth mouthfeel. Drinks kind of like an APA or IPA but certainly has lots of elements of a nice coffee porter as well.

Price/Availability: Rotating beer part of the hop program and about $8 for a bottle here in Chicago.

Overall: I love Maine and everything they stand for and they rarely disappoint with their beers. Super interesting beer here and certainly very glad I got to try it. One of the better American Black Ales/Black IPAs I have gotten to try. I would drink it again and I hope to get to try the rest of the Hop Program beers.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Maine Beer Co. Another One IPA

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Despite now being a proud resident of the Midwest, I still have so much love for East Coast beers and especially ones from Maine Beer Co.! The first review I ever did for this blog was of Maine’s MO Pale Ale and now for you I have their IPA, Another One. Potentially DJ Khaled’s favorite beer Another One is the light colored counterpart to their Black IPA, Weez. Another One comes in at an even 7%.

Appearance: Super hazy light golden yellow. Small 1/2 finger head which sticks around for a while (literally) and makes it way to the side of your glass producing some excellent lacing. Such an aesthetically pleasing bottle.

Nose: Huge piney, floral and juicy citrus notes. Lots of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon and earthy notes coming through. Really bright and inviting nose.

Taste/Mouth: Really juicy citrus fruit taste coming through carrying over from the nose. Floral and earthy notes follow with a nice bite of bitterness. Finishes really clean making this is an incredible drinkable beer all the way through. All of Maine’s beers are so drinkable and clean. Great hop presence throughout the flavor profile of this beer balanced by a nice delicate malt body.

Price/Availability: Rotating and $7 for a pint bottle (as you can see by the picture which I forgot to remove the price tag!)

Overall: I will always pick one of these up if I see it fresh, or anything from Maine fresh for that matter. What a great brewery, definitely one of my favorites on the east coast. This is an incredible, drinkable IPA. Grab this one if you see it!

Grade: A

Beer Review: Maine Beer Co. MO

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I was having trouble deciding what beer I wanted to do as my first review on this new blog when I went to one of my favorite liquor stores in hopes they would have Maine Beer Co’s Lunch which was supposedly just distributed in my area. No Lunch, but I did find some incredibly fresh Maine Beer Co MO (bottled 3/25/14, purchased on 4/8/14). It dawned on me that this would also be a great beer to do as my first review as it was one of the beers that really got me to start drinking more craft beer.

The first time I had Maine Beer MO was at Amherst Brewing Company in Amherst, MA when I was still in college. They were a guest draft and I was very into APA’s at the time because my palate was still warming up to the hop-bombs I enjoy so much today. So MO sounded right up my alley, and it certainly was, I think I had 3 or 4 of them that night at ABC for a pregame before I went out that night. Anyway that’s my back-story for this beer and the first time I had it, I am always excited when I can find it fresh or on draft locally (or any Maine Beer Co beers).

Appearance: MO pours a beautiful copper/light amber color with a billowy head about 2 inches. I absolutely love the color of this beer, love to see my APA’s to have a nice copper color like this, got a nice haziness to it as well. Laces the glass all he way down to the end. It is a really nice beer to look at, pours great.

Nose: Maine Beer Co. are some of the best when it comes to hoppy beers so this as the majority of their beers smell incredible. Lots of citrus fruits right away; grapefruit and definitely some pineapple as well. You also get some piney and floral hops in the nose as well. Smell just makes you want to immediately get to drinking this.

Taste/Mouth: Taste is right there with the smell; citrus, tropical and floral hops but very balanced with biscuit malt and not too bitter. Very pleasant and refreshing to drink, creamy. You could definitely drink a bunch of these and not get tired of them.

Availability/Price Point: Pretty readily available on the east coast, especially Northern NJ just need to check bottle dates as sometimes they tend to sit on shelves (not sure why!). Price point isn’t great but not terrible on pretty much all Maine Beer Co beers, it’ll run you about 6-7$. Their bottles are a little over a pint so it isn’t a mindblowing deal like a bomber of Hop Stoopid for 5$ but also not horrible. It is definitely not an everyday beer but more than worth buying every so often when you can grab a fresh one!

Overall: This is an awesome beer from a really awesome brewery, easily in my top 3 for APA’s (probably right behind 3F ZD) and probably my second favorite Maine Beer Co beer (right behind Lunch). It is a real treat to occasionally see it on draft but if not I am happy with having a bottle every so often when I see a fresh one!

Grade: A