Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I've enjoyed Peak Organic Brewing Co.'s Simcoe Spring Ale a lot this spring-like late winter. It's probably going to disappear from the shelves soon, and I am going to miss it.
About this time last year, I received a strong recommendation to try this beer, but I missed it. This year, I started searching for it in February and grabbed a couple of six-packs, and I am glad I did.
Simcoe is a trendy hops, but I think it's a hops that will outlast its trendiness. It has a strong piney flavor with some citrus in the background. It is a pale ale, with a subdued maltiness, pours a sparkling clear, and is nicely bubbly with a fairly light and crisp texture. It was a big hit at a family party in early March.
I held off on writing about this beer because I wanted to find two other Peak beers I had seen on Peak's Facebook page: Oak Aged Mocha Stout and King Crimson.
The stout is described as a perfect breakfast beer with coffee from Coffee by Design and chocolate from Taza. It sounded luscious, but I never found it, and then I saw on Facebook again that they were finishing up the last of it. Missed it again.
King Crimson is described as a very limited winter release, so I am less surprised that I couldn't find that -- even though I asked at every specialty beer store I stopped at during the past few months. It is an imperial red ale, comes in at 9.5 percent alcohol, and sounds superb. Maybe next year.
SEBAGO BREWING CO.'S Elegans Saison marks one of those wonderful times when my interest with beer intersected with my interest in gardening.
This is part of Sebago's Single Batch Series, comes in a 22-ounce bottle, and costs about $8 at RSVP. Saisons are Belgian farmhouse ales, and I thought the name just meant that the beer is elegant, which Nancy and I both think it is -- and she normally is not a big fan of Belgian-style beers.
But the beer is flavored with pineapple sage -- Salvia elegans -- and while the flavor was not overpowering, there were just a few hints of it in the mix. The yeast was the dominant flavor, with a malt undertone and the hops way in the background. It was a complex beer without being overpowering.
ALLAGASH BREWING CO. will be selling a new beer beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday at the brewery, 50 Industrial Way, Portland. The doors open at 9 a.m.
Old HLT is described as a beer with cherries aged for two years in stainless coming in at 8 percent alcohol. The price will be $10 a bottle, with a limit of four bottles per person.
I know nothing else, but it could well be worth dropping by.
GRITTY McDUFF'S is serving Mt. Abrams Red Ale, a wonderfully delicious draft-only offering that I found at The Grill House in South Portland, which is now occupying the former home of Beale Street Barbecue on Broadway. It is also available at Gritty's own pubs and other bars.
This beer is on nitro, which gives it a wonderfully creamy texture, and it has a rich and malty flavor -- almost no hops. It was both rich and easy drinking.
The beer was apparently brewed to celebrate Mt. Abram's 50th anniversary a little while back.
But I wouldn't mind at all if it came back until Mt. Abram reached 100.
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at email@example.com