I finally found a brewery that offers its complete founding story and history on its website! As you probably know by now, one of my pet peeves is breweries who offer almost no information about themselves on their websites. Well, Maine Beer Company took it a step further with a great interactive storybook about their history, complete with pictures. It is really too great to post here. You simply must click here and read through it, then come back for this review.
Maine Beer Company Dinner Ale (8.2% ABV) is a double IPA. This means that it is, at heart, a pale ale brewed from roasted malted grains, but with a large amount of hops added as a preservative and as a flavoring element. According to Maine Beer, these are the beer’s stats:
Malt: 2-Row, CaraPils, Caramel 40 & Dextrose
Hops: Citra, Falconer’s Flight, Mosaic & Simcoe
Our first Double IPA – dry, refreshing and hoppy. We really focused on hop flavor and aroma here. To maximize hop character, we dry hopped Dinner twice with over 6 lbs. of hops per barrel. For the best experience, please enjoy fresh as possible.
I will say that this is not the easiest beer in the world to obtain, and I shall not disclose my sources (do I sound like a secret agent now?). It is an extremely highly-rated beer by experts. So, can Dinner Ale live up to the hype?
Everything On Tap Review: Maine Beer Company Dinner Ale:
Bottle: The bottle is made of dark-brown glass and shaped like a Bordeaux red wine bottle. The label also looks like a nice wine label: it is a pale off-white, with discreet, sparse, red and black lettering. It is quite elegant and understated.
Pour: The color is indeed a nice, hazy yellow-orange. The head is one finger thick and pale white. It is foamy and dissipates at a medium-quick pace, leaving a thin film and light lacing on the glass.
Aroma: The first aromatic sensation upon the nose is that of intense citrus (mainly grapefruit), and piney resin. Underneath this, there is malted grain sweetness and tropical fruit, with some lush green grass.
Flavor: While there are some sweet malted grain elements underneath, the predominant flavor is most certainly bitter, citrus hops, with a huge emphasis on grapefruit, although with a hint of orange zest. On the finish, there is crisp piney resin. Though this IPA is very highly-rated by many, and a huge hit among craft beer drinkers, I find it a bit one-dimensional in flavor. While the flavor is excellent, it is still a bit thin and unilateral. But what it does (citrus hops), it does very, very well.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is certainly thin and watery. The carbonation level is unsuitably low. It is reasonably crisp, and very bitter on the tongue. The bitterness lingers after the swallow.
Structure: A little thin and unstable. The structure is not overly complicated. It is strong on the grapefruit hops, but it lacks complexity and broadness.
Food Pairing: Because of the very overwhelming (but nice) citrus, hoppy bitterness, this ale would pair well with very spicy food, like Southeast Asian or Indian cuisine, or tart, hard cheeses. It would also do well with roast duck.
Overall Rating Out Of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: