Rising Tide Brewing Co. celebrated its first anniversary last week by introducing a new beer, Atlantis, a black ale with just a little bit of cherry wood-smoked malt.

“This differs quite a bit from the black IPAs that are coming out,” said owner and head brewer Nathan Sanborn. “There is quite a bit of hops, but it’s not that bitter. We added a little bit of cherry wood-smoked malt, but it’s not a strongly smoked beer. It just adds a little bit of character with it.”

Rising Tide was celebrating the release of Atlantis last week with a low-key party at Mama’s Crowbar, 189 Congress St., so I dropped in to try it out.

It’s a truly black beer with a stiff tan head, a great aroma and, as Sanborn said, just a hint of smoke. I’m a big fan of rauchbier — the German name for a smoked beer — but this is a beer than even people who are wary of the smoke would like.

Atlantis has a strong malt background, and the hops flavor comes only at the end of the taste. It has a good, creamy mouth feel and 5.3 percent alcohol.

Tim Wissemann, whose Mariner Distributors handles Rising Tide, said the first batch of Atlantis is sold out at his warehouse but is still available at stores. The next batch should be ready for distribution soon.

Rising Tide’s beers are all hand-bottled, unfiltered, unpasteurized and bottle-conditioned. They are sold in stores in 22-ounce bottles and in kegs to bars and restaurants.

Along with introducing Atlantis, Rising Tide is bringing back its winter beer, Ursa Minor, a wheat stout brewed with Bavarian wheat yeast. I enjoyed it a lot last year.

Sanborn said the company’s first year in business has been good.

“We’re right on track for where we wanted to be at this time,” he said, “pretty much at capacity for our little system. We are getting a lot of great feedback, and people are buying our beer.”

With the current one-barrel system at capacity, Sanborn is looking at expanding to a 15-barrel system, which would allow the company to offer more varieties of beer and expand its distribution.

In the near future, Rising Tide will be selling Polaris, its Ursa Minor aged in bourbon barrels. There will be a limited release of 336 hand-numbered bottles.

RISING TIDE was getting support from the local beer community at Mama’s Crowbar. Jon Cadoux of Peak Organic was there, as was Tim Adams of Oxbow Brewing in Newcastle.

Oxbow is scheduled to bring several of its beers to the Great Lost Bear tonight, and I am planning to drop by. I have yet to have an Oxbow beer, and Sanborn, Cadoux and Wissemann all had high praise for them. Adams said he is planning to bring four different beers, and it will give people a chance to test a range of what the company is doing.

MARSHALL WHARF BREWING CO., 2 Pinchy Lane, Belfast, will hold its fourth Year of Beer Fest on Saturday. The company will be pouring 33 of its beers and will tap a gravity cask.

Marshall Wharf’s property will be covered in tents in case the weather isn’t as wonderful as it was last weekend. The company had 400 people roll into Belfast from across New England for last year’s event. For admission prices and other information, visit marshallwharf.com.

HERE’S A LITTLE tease for next week’s column — and you thought they did that only on radio and television. Portland is getting a new brewery, Bull Jagger, which will specialize in lagers. Allan Jagger is the executive, and Tom Bull, who has worked at Stone Coast Brewery and Gritty McDuff’s, will be head brewer. The introduction of the beer is scheduled for Harvest on the Harbor on Oct. 22. I’ll have more details next week.

Staff Writer Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at: [email protected]