Beer drinkers can give their opinion on some potential new beers from Sebago Brewing Co. beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the company’s Portland restaurant, 211 Fore St.

The company has recently installed a new 30-gallon pilot brewing system to test beers that could become part of its popular single-batch series of beers in the future.

“This gives us a chance to work out different beers and try some different things, and instead of doing it on a 5-gallon batch, we can do it with 30 gallons,” said Kai Adams, co-owner and brewmaster at Sebago.

Adams said Sebago has a lot of talent on staff, and they all want to try out different beers. In the future, he would like to have staff at the company’s different restaurants create beers and hold competitions.

“We just want to get people fired up about beer,” he said. “Our single-batch beers are popular because they are so limited.”

Pilot-beer night at the Portland Sebago will include a milk stout, an extra pale ale, an old ale, Good Man Charles Brown Ale, Barrel Aged Slick Nick Ale and a pre-release of Sebago’s next single-batch ale, the Double-Throttle IPA.

The beers will cost $3 for a 12-ounce pour, and the event will last until the beers are gone.

From now until Wednesday — and maybe beyond — people can enjoy Sebago’s current single-batch offering: Elegans Saison, a Belgian-style red ale, which will be available on draft at Sebago’s restaurants and in 22-ounce bottles at beer stores.

After we had talked about the beer event, Adams said Sebago’s business is growing at a steady clip. It has had to expand into the building next door at the Gorham Industrial Park where the brewery is located, and has just expanded its sales into Vermont. Its January sales were up 25 percent over last year, and Adams conservatively projects a 25 percent growth this year.

“We will probably be building a new brewery in 18 to 24 months,” he said.

Adams said that after the Pilot Beer event at Sebago’s Portland restaurant, the brewery staff will be heading down to RiRa, 72 Commercial St., to take part in an IPA Challenge that will be going on from 6 to 9 p.m. 

MAGIC HAT recently sent me three beers that will be part of the Burlington, Vt., company’s Spring Fever variety 12-pack.

The Vinyl amber lager and Demo black IPA were part of last year’s spring variety pack. Demo, at 6 percent alcohol, was as I remembered it, a good and rich IPA with pleasant bitterness to go along with some charcoal roastiness and a good malt background. Both Nancy and I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

Last year, we really disliked the Vinyl (5.1 percent alcohol), finding an off aroma and flavor of swamp vegetation. When it came back this year, we tried it first to get it out of the way and see if last year was an off bottle.

Fortunately, this beer was better — just mild and sort if bland. But it was still a beer I could sit back and enjoy with a good meal.

The one I liked best was +/- (pronounced plus/minus), a perfect rendition of a low-alcohol (4.2 percent) brown ale. It has a good medium, silky body and a sweet, malty flavor from start to finish, with just a light flavor of hops. It was a good beer to finish our dinner, serving as a light dessert as well as a beverage.

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

[email protected]


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