There’s really only one beer style I describe to beer lovers that makes them question my sanity every time I explain it: Gose. [Read more…]
Tag: Rising Tide Brewing Company (Page 1 of 2)
Every summer I take a vacation with a friend to Vinalhaven Island – the highlight of which is usually kayaking around the inlets and tiny islands and hanging out with eagles, seals and the sights and sounds that make summer sing with life. I am grateful for the opportunity to do this, but also grateful that the coast of Maine has stayed mostly natural, and that there are so many Mainers that are fighting to protect its beauty. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) has been working for 25 years to create sustainable ways that people can enjoy Maine’s islands and waters without leaving a harmful impact. Through partnerships with private landowners and public lands, MITA created the first ever water-trail – The Maine Island Trail – stretching 375 miles and including almost 200 islands.
In support of this effort, Rising Tide Brewing Company endeavored to create a beer for summer that would capture a little bit of the feeling of summer in Maine, and also contribute to MITA’s goals of coastal stewardship. To do this, Maine Island Trail Ale was created, and portions of the proceeds from the sale go back to MITA. Making its debut (very appropriately) at Portland Greendrinks, the beer has been well-received – so I went to grab a bottle of its second batch that was released this week.
The bottle is pretty – and features a map of the trail on top. The beer is a session pale ale with an ABV of 4.3% – so this is no alcohol bomb, and can easily be consumed on a relaxing summer evening. It pours a thin copper color with terrific pine and citrus aroma. The beer features Simcoe and Citra hops (two of my favorites) and they are the ones bringing the delightful whiffs of forests and fruit to my nose.
The hops make this one quite “zippy” (at least that’s the word that sprung to mind when I sampled it) and are in no way heavy-handed. There is plenty of citrus in the taste, and it comes off with a very summery feeling. The mouthfeel on the Maine Trail Ale is also pleasantly light. It is a refreshing alternative to those that can coat the tongue with their sticky or resinous feel. This is a beer that would be excellent for a really hot day – lots of flavor without weighing you down. It has a very approachable hop profile to it, and I’d say it might even be a good one to use to get a friend to “test the waters” of hoppy beer while keeping one foot in the familiar.
This is the second beer in Rising Tide’s collaboration series, and I am hopeful that they will continue finding place in the community to participate like this. It is one thing as a brewery to state that you are committed to building community, it is another thing entirely to actually engage with the issues that matter to your customers and to your local area. Rising Tide has accepted this challenge with pride – and I think that their commitment to finding ways to help is worth a toast. Cheers to that!
After really enjoying Ishmael, delighting in Daymark and reveling in Ursa Minor, how could I not be excited about the next release from Rising Tide? I figured that considering winter has arrived early, it would be a great one to open. A “Black Ale” described on the label as “smooth and hoppy with a whisper of smoke” sounds like the perfect complement to the bizarre weather going on this weekend.
Weather note: Thankfully, after 6 inches of wet snow, I only lost power for a few hours last night, though some of my New England neighbors are still without power or heat. :-/
Atlantis pours very thickly black, with a brown and springy head that stays for quite a while and makes pouring a slow, yet worthwhile endeavor. Aroma is a combination of strong hops and chocolaty roasted malts – it has a hint of smokiness but mostly smells like a delicious hoppy chocolate stout (if something like that actually existed). I was happy that the armoa is not bacon-esque because I’d be disappointed if the smokiness overwhelmed the beer.
The taste is not like a black IPA, but rather like an oatmeal stout with some nice bitter hoppiness. The bitterness almost fools you into thinking that is has some notes of coffee, but it is really something that sticks with you. Each sip yielded a little something different, but the roastiness was done just right.
I am quite pleased to report that it doesn’t taste like bacon or a campfire, but tastes like an excellently roasted meal. It is complex and still hoppy, so the bitterness of the hops works with the the slight smokiness in a very playful way, and it’s fun to keep sipping it. I would love to pair this with some kind of lamb stew or chili, but I think it would go just as well with a summer barbeque.
They’ve set the bar even higher with this brew. While it is hard to pick a favorite among the Rising Tide lineup, they’re making my job harder with every new brew that they put out of this quality and depth.