I want to invite you to an anniversary party — 25th, silver, a big deal. I am a little late with my invitation, and for that I have deep, if selfish, regrets.

D.L. Geary Brewing Co. opened 25 years ago, becoming Maine’s first commercial brewery since Prohibition and helping to launch a beer revolution.

“To celebrate the anniversary, I am having each of my brewers create a beer,” David Geary said when I called him to ask about the Mullen’s American Wheat Ale I had tasted recently at Dock Fore on Commercial Street.

It was a hot night, it had been a particularly difficult day at work, the Major League All-Star Game was on television, and the wheat ale was a perfect fit. The first sip of this crisp, golden, and lightly but dry hopped beer made the day get better already.

Geary said the crispness comes because this is a filtered wheat beer. At 4.9 percent alcohol, the beer, created by Thaddeus Mullen, was ideal for a summer night.

My regret is that I missed the first beer in the anniversary series. It was an oatmeal stout. One of my favorite beers of all time is Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout, and the reports I get are that Geary’s version was in the same ballpark.

I can’t be blamed entirely for missing the stout. I more often drink beer at home than in bars, and Geary said these anniversary beers will be sold only on draft, going to what he called “the usual suspects” — bars that carry a lot of local beers.

You have only a month or so left to try Mullen’s American Wheat, because on Sept. 1, it will be replaced with Hudson’s Red Ale, created by Larry Hudson with support from Geary.

“Larry is not a big fan of hops,” Geary said, “so it going to be less hoppy than a lot of beers, probably close to our brown ale.”

I will be sure not to miss that one. 

WHEN — AND IF — the Patriots’ football season begins, you will have a chance to taste a really good beer if you go to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., to watch the games.

Jim Prucha of Londonderry, N.H., won the fourth annual Patriots Homebrew contest. That means his Baltic Porter will be served at Gillette Stadium, along with other Samuel Adams beers, all season long.

This is a malty, smooth beer, with a bit of chocolate malt and some fruity overtones, and every one of the five people who got to taste some of the two bottles that came to the office thought it was excellent.

Entries are limited to the six New England states, but it is pretty impressive that this is the third straight year that the winner has come from New Hampshire’s Brew Free or Die home brew club.

You can go to samueladams.com and search under “promotions” for the rules for the contest. While rules for 2012 are not yet available, the entries probably will have to be submitted sometime in late December. Some of you should work on having a Maine home brewer win this contest. 

WHEN I FOUND three types of Alexander Keith’s Nova Scotia Style Ale at my local Shaw’s a couple of weeks ago, I was a bit surprised.

I had received a press release last month that the beer — which is brewed in Baldwinsville, N.Y. — was going to be available in Maine, so I knew what it was. But Shaw’s is a bit slow at picking up new local and unusual brands, and that’s where the surprise came.

When I purchased the six-pack of the Nova Scotia brown ale and read the label at home, I saw St. Louis, and that made me think Budweiser. Sure enough, Alexander Keith’s is a subsidiary of Labatt’s, which is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch.

But Keith’s goes back to 1820 in Halifax, so there is some history and tradition there. And I have actually liked Budweiser’s American Ale, so my hopes were still pretty high.

While the Keith’s had a great body and mouthfeel, the beer was way too sweet for me. Not the sweetness of malt, but of sugar. The sugar flavor was overpowering.

I happened to have a Nut Brown Ale from Peak Organic Brewing Co. in Portland on hand, so I had one of those for comparison.

The Peak did not have as much body as the Keith’s, but the flavor was much more complex, with quite a bit of chocolate malt. It was a much more satisfying beer.

Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:

[email protected]