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The Three Pint Stance (04-13)

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Happy Birthday Nocturnem!

Time flies when you are drinking world-class beer! Nocturnem Draft Haus on Main Street in Bangor is turning five years old and they are throwing a party to celebrate.

The anniversary party kicks off Thursday, April 14th and rolls right on through until last call Saturday night. According to a text message received (while hastily composing this article) from Nocturnem's owner Gene Beck, the draft list will feature 'Some cellar selections. Couple of wilds. Barreled stouts. Rare stuff. Couple of Belgians. Couple of locals. All A+ stuff.'

Needless to say, you should probably plan on spending at minimum two of the three anniversary nights at NDH or you are sure to miss out on the chance to knock something off your beer bucket list.

If all of the above isn't enough to entice you to head to Nocturnem and celebrate with them, there is also a special release collaboration between Nocturnem and Orono Brewing Company being released. Called 'Compadre IPA,' the beer is brewed with a fantastically aromatic and flavorful mix of pretty much all of the best hops on the planet right now. I was fortunate enough to peek my head into the brewery at OBC while Asa and Gene were brewing this one and it smelled incredible. If you like hops (and I know you do!), you won't want to miss this one.

It's hard to believe it has been five years since Nocturnem first opened its doors. In that time, Gene Beck and his extremely talented crew of dedicated beer professionals have brought some of the very best beers from Maine and abroad to curious imbibers in the Bangor area.

Before pouring all that world-class beer through the taps at Nocturnem, Gene was the mastermind behind the ridiculously large and diverse beer selection at Swett's Hogan Road Deli. The first time I heard about Swett's, I was skeptical to say the least. One walk through their beer shelves and I was blown away. A gas station/service center in Bangor was selling saisons from Belgium and fresh craft beer from upstart breweries in Maine and across the US. That might not seem radical now, but back in the early aughts, it was unheard of.

Anyone who fancies themselves a beer aficionado in these parts owes a debt of gratitude (and perhaps a forgotten bar tab or two) to Gene Beck. Cheers to five years gone and many more to come!

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WHAT'S IN MY GLASS?

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)

Beer: Azacca IPA

ABV: 7%

IBU: 70

This week, I picked up a 6-pack of Azacca IPA from Founders in Michigan. Having had plenty of beers from Founders in the past, I had no questions as to whether or not this would be a quality brew, but I was unprepared for just how much I would enjoy it. It pours a beautiful orange-amber color and has a well-pronounced malt profile to balance and complement the citrus and mango notes from the Azacca hops.

(Tim Bissell is the co-owner and Director of Marketing for Gneiss Brewing in Limerick, Maine. Find out more about Gneiss by visiting their website at gneissbrewing.com.)

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