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: De Proef/Hair of the Dog Flanders Fred

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Was thrilled to stumble across this in the international section at Binnys as Hair of the Dog is one of my favorite breweries and I don’t get to drink their beer nearly enough. Alan Sprints of Hair of the Dog collaborated with De Proef as part of their Brewmaster’s Collaboration series to make this beer, Flanders Fred. It is the first time the series has featured a blend, pairing Hair of the Dogs infamous Fred with a Flanders Lambic from De Proef. Flanders Fred comes in at 7.5% ABV,

Appearance: Cloudy deep golden orange color with a small head that dissipates quickly. Super sticky lacing as you drink.

Nose: Smells tart with some funky fruit and lambic yeast notes. Some nice dark fruit and spicy notes as well.

Taste/Mouth: Nice sparkling, clean and mineral feel to it. Some nice fruit notes, sour and tart but not overbearing. Wheat and salty brine flavors come through with a nice counterbalance of malt and vinegar. Cherry and raspberry flavors come through as well. Finishes clean.

Price/Availability: Re-release of a collaboration beer so not available everywhere but certainly found in places where Hair of the Dog normally is not. $12 for the bomber which is a solid price.

Overall: Really happy to have found this beer as I normally don’t frequent the imports and international aisle. Awesome beer all around and one I very much enjoyed drinking. Who knows if it will be released again at any point in the future but if it is I would certainly buy it again. Drinking this really made me want to get back out to Portland and drink some Fred!

Grade:A-

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: Deschutes Jubelale

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This is actually a review of last year’s Jubelale from Deschutes, just finally getting around to turning my notes into a proper review. They changed the packaging and label this year as it has just begun to show up on shelves. That’s how far behind I am on these reviews!

Appearance: Dark brown with a 1 finger head and some really great lacing.

Nose: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, caramelized sugars, toasted malt with some nice chocolate notes in there as well. Really nice malty, sweet nose. Smells like a delicious cookie.

Taste/Mouth: Follows the nose pretty closely with lots of caramel, sweet and roasty flavors. Brown sugar, caramelized sugars and a little bite from the carbonation make this a really easy beer to drink. Malt dominates the palate with really no hop presence at all.

Price/Availability: 6 pack for around 9-10$ in Chicago. Mostly available in the midwest and west coast, although Deschutes footprint may be bigger than it used to. It is a seasonal beer available in Fall/Winter.

Overall: One of the best winter seasonals out there, its not one of those gimicky bullshit spiced beers or loaded with orange peel or coriander. It is just a really great, malty, drinkable beer perfect for a cold night by the fireplace. I will always have a few of these in the winter months.

Grade: B+