Tasting: December 18, 2013
Style: Ale (Red)
Beer #: 507
About this time last year, I called Maine Beer Company my best up and coming brewery of 2012. Although Maine Beer Company started in 2009, I would say that 2012 was their benchmark year. With a solid lineup of beer varieties, they increased distribution to multiple northeastern states. The brewery’s story is of two brothers swapping jobs as lawyers to pursue their craft beer dream. To date, I have enjoyed four of their offerings and I can recommend each – Mean Old Tom (86 points) , King Titus (90 points), Lunch (93 points) and Zoe (92 points) .
Each offering from Maine Beer Company comes in a 16.9 ounce bottle with basically the same simple white understated label. After reading this label, it all makes sense to me now. On the back of the label is a message from one of the brothers and it explains how he was introduced to the poetry of William Carlos Williams as an English major in college. Williams penned the simplistic poem with the same title as this beer:
The Red Wheelbarrow
so much depends upon
a red wheel barrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.
Simple as it is…it does paint a visual picture a well-worn farm tool. I’m sure there’s some interpretation that involves the struggle of mankind to come to terms with the meaning of life – but it doesn’t hit me.
Onto Red Wheelbarrow the beer… The yeast patch on the bottom is a dead giveaway to this beer being bottle conditioned. Pours a beautiful reddish brown. ABV checks in at 7.0%. This one is very IPA-like with lemon/citrus hops as the dominant flavor but there is really a nice undertone of caramel. Really nicely balanced. There is this mystery flavor that I just can’t wrap my taste buds around – it’s woody and nutty. It will come to me later. Bitterness and finish on Red Wheelbarrow is just right. I’m digging this one and I’ll add another winner to their stable. Red Wheelbarrow comes in at 92 points.