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Three Pint Stance - Less is more: Local brewery jumps on ‘stripped down’ beer trend

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WATERBORO – We live in a world where things change pretty fast. No matter what business you’re in, you have to be flexible and willing to adapt to whatever the marketplace is throwing at you.

It’s as true in the craft beer world as anywhere else.

While somewhat new and exciting in the cultural zeitgeist, craft beer is showing that it is just as subject to the whims and peculiarities of cultural trends as any other industry. Finding ways to give the discerning beer drinker what he or she wants has played a huge part in helping the industry as a whole become as successful as it has.

That notion of simplicity – and please, don’t mistake simple for easy – allows for the more forward-thinking breweries to continue pushing the envelope and redefining what it means to be a craft beer.

While the late 1990s and early 2000s brought big, heavy and overpowering flavors to beer, the trend has flipped of late, with more and more breweries keeping it simple. Continuing the growing trend of single hop, SMaSH (single hop and single malt) and session-style beers, the crew at Waterboro, Maine’s OverCut Brewing company have put a few beers out to market that are sure to please the purists out there.

OverCut has made a name for itself in recent years as a brewery that rides the sudsy edge of brewing technology, always looking to change the game in ways both large and small. They’ve developed a real knack for anticipating trends and extrapolating them out to the nth degree, finding ways to take ideas and push them to their logical extremes.

As such, they might not be the sort of company that you’d expect to embrace simplicity, but what makes OverCut so special is their ability to arrive at the simple through complex and needlessly arcane methods. By finding ways to make something easy into something unnecessarily hard, they raise the degree of difficulty in a way.

OverCut’s flagship offering is called Quench, a completely stripped-down American Pale Ale made with such a restrained malt and hop bill that the final beer is 0 IBU, 0 SRM and actually clocks in at 0 percent ABV, making it the first naturally non-alcoholic beer! Have you ever wished for a beer of nigh-infinite sessionability? Consider that wish granted!

Due to the simplistic nature of this brew, the folks at OverCut have figured out a way to make without creating any wastewater, a degree of environmental consciousness of which they should be extremely proud.

If you are looking for something with a bit of a hoppier flavor, you’ll probably want to order up a pint of Pellet Pile IPA. Pellet Pile is so hoppy, it is difficult to discern any other ingredients in the beer – probably because there are no other ingredients! It can take a while to get used to Pellet Pile, as it made using the old German Trockenbrew method, where no actual water, barley or yeast is used.

Pouring a pint of Pellet Pile is a long and painstaking process as the faucet normally clogs, but for the hop heads out there, this one is worth the wait!

If neither of these beers have you excited, perhaps you would be interested in the Orange Juice variant of Quench. The crew at OverCut takes their Quench and adds Sunny D at a rate of 35 percent by volume to the beer, so the resulting beverage is evocative of a thinner, lighter, subtler Sunny D (and who doesn’t want subtlety from their juice-adjacent citrus beverage?) with a slightly acidic mouthfeel and a lovely brightness.

OJ Quench is definitely something to look for if you’re a big fan of Sunny D, but find it to be just too strong.

Regardless of what you choose, you are sure to leave OverCut with a clear head and a pep in your step! You’ll never feel as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you will after you enjoy one or more of OverCut’s sublimely simple offerings. And best of all? No fighting over who is going to be the DD (Or the Sunny DD, in this case)! Of course, OverCut would prefer you walk or ride your bike or take a longboard, but driving is acceptable.

OverCut Brewing is open Wednesday mornings from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and again on Mondays at 3:30 p.m. for about 10 minutes or until the Pellet Pile tap gets clogged, whichever comes first.

(Editor’s note: This story is part of the annual April Fools’ Day edition of The Maine Edge. As you might imagine, this means that the story that you just read is pretty much completely made up.)

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