Sitting in the Newark airport, waiting for a delayed flight on a cold and drizzly day, I stared out the window and lamented what I was missing. Rising Tide, one of my favorite Maine breweries was offering a limited release of my favorite beer of theirs after aging it in bourbon barrels. Though I couldn’t think of much else that I’d rather be doing than sipping a satisfying craft beer, I was stuck. I was sure that by the time I returned home from my business trip that there would be none left for me.
I first met the ladies of Throwback brewing this summer while writing up a very short piece on NH’s newest brewery. Throwback Brewing has the unique focus of being a “throw back” to the times when brewers used whatever ingredients the could find around them, and made their beer with care. This modern North Hampton, NH brewery aims to have all of its ingredients eventually locally sourced – a bit of a feat in New England. Their debut beers were a hit, but when I first went out to meet them I got a taste of something really special -a chocolate peanut butter beer – and it blew me away.
For the last few years, Portland, ME based brewer Kai Adams of Sebago Brewing company gets on the radio and announces the arrival of Slick Nick, their winter seasonal brew. And at that moment, I am often happy that the beer has come back, but also feel a twinge of sadness about the true end of fall and the inevitable beginning a long winter ahead. However, hearing Kai’s voice assure me that this beer will be around to keep me company during the long winter months is a consoling thought.
According to Redhook, the Winterhook recipe changes slightly every year “because nobody likes receiving the same gift twice.” I’m all for opening this year’s gift to see what it’s all about.
After really enjoying Ishmael, delighting in Daymark and reveling in Ursa Minor, how could I not be excited about the next release …
First of all, any brewer that uses “quaffable” on the bottle is okay in my book. Secondly – by using only malt, hops, yeast and water, it takes a lot of precision to get the tastes where you like them. Any brewer can add fruit, or pumpkin, or whatever to their beer and add flavor, but not any brewer can stick to the basics and brew something clean, tasty and flawless.
I haven’t written about too many Saisons on this blog, and it is mostly because until recently, it was challenging – to say the least – to find domestically-produced amazing saisons that were worth writing about. Because I don’t review import beer on my site (though I admit to loving it a lot) that has left Sasions out of the styles I’ve reviewed much.