Shipyard could have a new cult beer winner on its hands.

The company admitted when it introduced its Applehead beer in December that it was aiming to give people who buy Pumpkinhead, its immensely popular fall-season beer, something to drink in the winter and early spring.

Applehead placed second in the fruit and vegetable beer category of the West Coast Brew Fest’s Commercial Craft Competition held in Sacramento, Calif., earlier this month.

“One of our sales reps for the California region submitted it,” said Shipyard spokeswoman Tami Kennedy. “He has submitted other beers for us, and we have won a lot of West Coast awards. We have been very well-received in that market.”

Kennedy also said that sales of Applehead were quite strong through the winter, and that although there may be a few six-packs of Applehead left on some store shelves, they will be disappearing pretty soon.

The first-place winner in the contest — and I don’t expect you will find it in Maine — was Mountain Meadow Ale made by Old Hangtown Beer Works in Placerville, Calif.

Kennedy also said the initial response to the company’s Monkey Fist IPA has been strong, and that there is plenty of room in the market for Shipyard to be selling three IPAs.

ALLAGASH also did well in a foray out West while competing in the 2012 World Beer Cup in San Diego, Calif., earlier this month.

Allagash White, which accounts for about 80 percent of the company’s sales, won a gold medal in the Belgian witbier category. It is a wheat beer with some coriander and fruit peel in the mix, and is a beer I like quite a bit.

Mattina Rossa won a silver medal in the American-style sour ale category. Mattina Rossa is both brewed and aged with raspberries. When I tasted it at the brewery in January, it was dry and complex, and had a wonderful flavor of raspberries.

From the Allagash Facebook page, I learned that some Allagash Black was coming off the line in 12-ounce bottles. When I toured the plant in January, I learned that the 12-ounce Blacks would be coming sometime this year, so you should see four-packs of them soon at your local beer store. The other beers that Allagash sells in 12-ounce bottles are the White, Dubbel and Tripel.

LAST THURSDAY, I realized that we were out of just-feel-like-having-a-beer brews at our house as I headed into a weekend when I was going to be doing a lot of gardening.

We have several 750-milliliter high-alcohol beers and a surprising amount of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, which no one seems to want to drink. I wanted some Baxter Celsius, but it had not made it to RSVP by then — although I have a report that it is there now.

I ended up buying a six-pack of Sebago Brewing’s Runabout Red Ale ($8.99 at Hannaford). I had forgotten how much I enjoy this beer. It isn’t hoppy at all, has a great malt flavor, is clean and crisp, and not overly sweet. And it is only 5 percent alcohol, so a couple of beers while sitting on the patio after working outside is going to be just about perfect.

The company website said it was originally a spring/early summer beer, but then was made year-round.

Another benefit of the beer is that I like the picture of Elsie Whidden — a teacher living with Parkinson’s Disease — in an old wooden speedboat on the label, and that $1 for every case of the beer sold goes to the Maine Parkinson’s Society.

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

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