Tom Madden and John Paul, the co-founders of Lone Pine Brewing in Portland, are both Maine natives who enjoyed going to sugarhouses on Maine Maple Sunday as kids. Pancake breakfasts dripping with pure Maine maple syrup – what’s not to love?

So they thought it would be fun to pay homage to this delicious Maine tradition by teaming up with the Maine Maple Producers Association to create an “official” beer for this year’s Maine Maple Sunday.

Madden and Paul set up a collaboration with Lyle Merrifield, owner of Merrifield Farm in Gorham and president of the association. They went out to the farm, and Merrifield paid a visit to the brewery.

“We helped him make some syrup,” Madden said. “He helped us make some beer.”

The limited edition beer, called Maple Sunday, will be launched at Little Tap House in Portland on Maine Maple Sunday this weekend. The bartender will begin pouring it around lunchtime and a special event begins at 6 p.m., during which maple-inspired food will be paired with the beer. Merrifield will answer questions about making maple syrup.

Maple Sunday will also be provided that day to “a few select accounts” around town, Madden said, and will be served in the brewery’s tasting room at 219 Anderson St.

The idea, he said, is to take the kids for a pancake breakfast that morning, then enjoy a pint or two of maple beer later in the afternoon.

“It’s a brown ale, so there’s a lot of flavor going on,” Madden said. “We never really wanted one flavor to be the highlight. We wanted to make this mélange. This beer uses lactose, which is essentially milk, and oatmeal. We wanted it to be reminiscent of a pancake breakfast.”

Lone Pine only made 30 kegs of the beer, but if it proves to be popular, look for more come next maple season.

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