If I have any complaint with Maine breweries, its a very small one. I get their names confused. First, you have the Gritty’s and Geary’s problem. Both make beer of a similar character, both have pubs in Portland, and in general, roll off my tongue in the same exact way. Then there are the “S” breweries. Shipyard, Sebago, Sea Dog, Sheepscott. Not to be confused with Smuttynose, either, which is in NH. So frequently, I may have a slip of the tongue. Or not give one their due. And to correct that, I decided to pick the next beer because I’ve overlooked them for a while. And I regret that. Because the heart of the craft beer movement is the local little guys who fight to create a good product, get it out there, and be the taste of their area.
So, without further apologies, I present the Sebago Brewing Company’s Hefeweizen. I actually really like the label on this one, nice and modern, wheaty. I poured it and was happy to see some genuine cloudiness and a springy head. The smell was slightly tart – almost like a sourness on top of the grain. I viewed this as a positive attribute, not a flaw, and I was eager to taste it.
The taste was different than a lot of hefeweizens I’d tried. This one had a very banana-bread like taste, but it didn’t stay around in my mouth for long. It doesn’t have a lot of carbonation, I’d say a medium amount. But I like the sweet citrusy aftertaste. This one has definitely “interesting” flavors. Usually my complaint with hefeweizens is that some are just too thin, too much like a reular wit beer. I like a lot of flavor in my brews, and this one delivers in that arena. I’m not sure I’d want to eat this with dinner, though. It has a lot of complex flavors that I can’t really imagine pairing with much. As a marinade or beer batter base, though, it could be interesting because of that little twang of sourness brings.
I’m not sure if I loved this one. But it was quite different than other hefeweiziens that I had sampoed, so its interesting to get a good perspective on the range of flavors that could be incorporated into one style of beer. I think Sebago’s done a nice job here, and I hope to see and taste more of their brews in the future.