Wednesday, December 21, 2011

OUT OF THE NANO & INTO THE MICRO – MAINE BEER CO.’s “ZOE”

I may have heard the term “nanobrewery” for the first time only a mere 18 months ago. It may have been 12. I do know this – it was in reference to MAINE BEER COMPANY from Portland, ME and their “Peeper Ale”. Naturally, a scarce beer with a lot of hype behind it piqued my dork instincts, and I made a vow to taste this beer however I might. Even if I meant I had to go to Maine, one of only 6 states in the lower 48 I’ve never set foot in (the others are both Dakotas; Montana; West Virginia and Wisconsin). I never did get to taste that Peeper, but a good pal sent me a bottle of their ZOE in a recent trade, and I thought I’d hunker down and give it a try.

MAINE BEER CO’s “ZOE” comes in the unassuming bottle with the happy smilin’ face that you see pictured here. It’s truly the “hoppy amber ale” they said it would be. You can taste both biscuity malts and tingling hops in equal measure. The malts come on strong and sweet at first, and it’s then followed by a semi-biting but very pleasurable citrus hop aftertaste. It’s got medium-to-high carbonation, and a good thick mouthfeel of syrup and caramel. In short – it delivered as advertised, and even came in a pleasing not-too-big, not-too-small 16-ounce bottle. It’s pretty obvious that they’ve moved beyond their nano roots and are making a good play for distribution and beer dork love across the East Coast.

Go check ‘em out online – they do nothing at all to dispel the notion of Maine & Vermont being the provenance of the happy eco-hippie - and good for them, as long as they keep making beer this superb. 8/10.

1 comment:

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

Cool. I actually grabbed a bottle of this on my last trip to VT - just waiting for the right moment to give it a try. Aside from how the beer might be, I really like the labels. Kinda classy!