I happened to go skiing this past weekend (yes, I’m quite aware that its April, but when the snow’s still up there in northern Maine, how can you not go?) at Sugarloaf in Carrabasset Valley, Maine. At the base of the slopes is actually a brewpub, that, during the time I went in it was pretty quiet so I figured I’d try two of their flagship beers.
They have a total of 8 beers on tap at “The Bag”, most with ski or Maine related names. The Half Pipe porter, Trout Brook Golden Ale, The Alpine Red Raspberry Ale, the Maine Potato Ale, the Brown Dog Ale, the Joe Stout and the two that I tried. (I hear that the potato ale is quite interesting, but I had to pick two, so maybe that’s a Maine specialty that I’ll have to catch next time I’m up.)
The first was the “Pick Pole Pale Ale” which smelled very hoppy. I was expecting it to be a lot like an IPA from the smell alone, but the taste was very malty and smooth. It kind of tricked my brain, because I kept smelling hops but tasting anything but – it was nuttier, fuller than a pale ale usually is. It’s an interesting one, and definitely not short on flavor. I did like how easy it was to drink, not overly dry or carbonated, which I’ve been growing weary of lately.
The second was the “Brown dog Ale” which I loved! It had a smooth brown ale taste which was very friendly to the tongue (no bitterness that brown ales can sometimes bring) and it actually had a maple finish to it. It was lovely, and I wanted to eat it with some maple glazed ham. Next time I go to a Quebec sugar shack (where everything they feed you is practically drenched in syrup), I’m bringing a growler of this with me.
So, if you’re in the neighborhood, Sugarloaf is going to be open for skiing through May 3rd, so in between runs, go check out the Bag & Kettle.