This caught my eye the other day becuase, for the most part, Sebago (or Portland, ME) isn’t well known for large bottles, and primarily deal in 6-packs and draught (for those who don’t know of Sebago, you need to try their Hefewiezenm its phenomenal!). This one is a special collaborative beer between two brewers decade of brewing beer with Sebago. What struck me after I read the label is that it was brewed in a way that I had never heard of – it was stoned.
No, I’m not talking about the kind of stoned that you’re thinking of. In this process, the unfermented mash had red-hot granite rocks dropped into it to instantly carmelize the malts. According to the Sebago website, “This collaboration beer is brewed using a non traditional process of stoning the beer, using granite stones that were heated until red hot and lowered into a wooden vat of unfermented beer.” I would really love to see picturesof this process – I can picture the hissing and the spitting of the stones, and can only imagine what that would smell like.
The end result of this process is a red ale, and I haven’t had a good red in a while. I like the aroma on this, it has a lot of malt there, and a lot of sweetness and depth. I think that the smell that I am getting is described by some as “pineapple” but I could be totally off base on that. needless to say it is a very inviting aroma and something that I was eager to try.
I was very happy to taste this – it has a syrupy mouthfeel but a really nice balance. It is very sweet but not in a bad way. I like the way that it lingers, its a good beer to sip, even though it is such a common style. I think that this one is a winner, and I honestly wish they’d add it to their regular line. While I think that this may be Sebago’s first “specialty” brew, I hope that they continue to develop quality beers like this.