August 22, 2013

What Ales You: Portland Brew Festival on tap Aug. 30-31, needs volunteers

One addition: a pairing of Maine cheeses with rare beers from some of the festival participants.

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Victoria Noel of Tuckerman Brewing Co. pours a sample of Headwall Alt at the annual Portland Brew Festival in Portland in 2011.

Press Herald file photo/Derek Davis

This grisette -- a beer made for miners, like Oxbow's popular Loretta -- is only 5 percent alcohol, and is made with a new hops that didn't even have a name when the beer was made but is now called Azacca.

This is an easy-drinking beer that both Nancy and I enjoyed. The hops was fairly mild, it was quite malty and had a good yeasty flavor. Oxbow was selling only growlettes, about a quart of beer, and I bought one.

The Original Deluxe, a collaboration of Oxbow and Stillwater, was a bigger beer in every way: hoppier, maltier and 8 percent alcohol, with a knock-your-socks-off flavor. It was good, but I liked Grizacca better.

I ALSO DROPPED BY the Portland location of Sebago Brewing recently and had a pint of its Bonfire Rye.

This is a seasonal, designed for late summer and early fall. The hoppiness was close to that of Local Harvest, which is my favorite Sebago Beer (Runabout Red is my favorite year-round Sebago), but with a nice mineral-flavor from the rye added to the mix. It is available in bottles and on draft, and is definitely worth trying.

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


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