January 30

What Ales You: Baxter Brewing observes anniversary with first limited-release beer

On the Count of 3’s batch of 200 barrels won’t last long.

By Tom Atwell

Baxter Brewing Co. in Lewiston has just released its first limited-release beer, On the Count of 3, in celebration of the company’s third anniversary. Baxter describes the beer as an imperial hefeweizen, although the company admits it is not a recognized beer style.

On the Count of 3 is a wheat beer that’s strong enough to be consumed all year long.

Courtesy photo

Ben Low, head brewer at Baxter, said that 7 percent alcohol by volume is not overly high in the entire world of beers, but it is high for a hefeweizen.

I bought a four-pack of 16-ounce cans of On the Count of 3 at the Bier Cellar for $10.99, and tried one as soon as I got home.

I expected this beer to be cloudy, but this was even cloudier than most wheat beers. It shimmered an orange/yellow, had a white head that disappeared quickly and a good amount of carbonation.

The aroma was a mix of yeasty and fruity hops, and maybe because it was so unexpected in a wheat beer, the hops was the dominant flavor.

I usually consider hefeweizens a summer beer, but this one is strong enough to be consumed all year long. It went very well with the tacos I was eating.

Low said On the Count of 3 is Baxter’s first one-time specialty beer, and the batch consists of only 200 barrels, so it will not last long.

He said even though it has just come out, the beer has proven so popular that the company will release its next specialty beer soon, and follow that with several others.

This is also the first time Baxter has put beer in 16-ounce cans, rather than the 12-ounce cans used for its regular lineup. Low said there had to be a few adjustments to the canning line for the larger cans, but overall the entire canning operation went quite smoothly.

MAINE BEER CO. is scheduled to add a new beer to its full-time lineup.

The beer is called tiny beautiful something, with no capital letters, said Colleen Croteau, marketing director at Maine Beer. The pale ale is brewed with El Dorado hops and is expected to come in at 5.5 percent ABV.

It will be bottled in Maine Beer’s regular 16.9-ounce bottles, and be priced the same as the company’s other beers, except Peeper, which is usually a bit less expensive.

Croteau said the company hopes to have tiny beautiful something available about Feb. 11, but all of the labels and licenses have yet to be approved, so the date could change.

The company also has some one-off beers that will be available only at the company’s Freeport tasting room. One that is intriguing, if only because Maine Beer’s Lunch IPA is so popular, is a beer called Dinner. The release for that beer is expected to be mid-March.

Croteau said Maine Beer will have at least one brewery-only beer available at its tasting room at all times, so it pays to stop in if you are near Freeport.

I promise that I will taste these beers as soon as I can, and will report on what I taste.

Maine Beer Company will hold its second Do What’s Right Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at its brewery.

This year’s event will benefit HART (formerly Homeless Animal Rescue Team), an all-volunteer, no-kill shelter and adoption center for cats, located in Cumberland.

Croteau said the company’s tasting room will be closed that night, and the $30 tickets get you a tour of the brewery, a chance to meet the brewers, and beer and food. Only 25 tickets will be sold, and the entire price of the tickets goes to HART.

For tickets, got to brownpapertickets.com/event/539131. It’s a good brewery and a good cause.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at:

tomatwell@me.com

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