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Usually, at some point around the holiday season, I will put together a list of things that would be cool to get for the beer lover in your life. This year, I am going to do that, but only sort of. Here’s the deal, a beer lover usually only wants one thing. Beer. So instead of just wrapping up another pick-six from the local bottle shop, do the right thing and get that hop head on a brewery tour bus!

Published in Style

Over the weekend, I was at Stompers in Holden pouring some Gneiss beers for an in-store tasting as part of their extremely well-attended 1 Year Anniversary (And a very happy anniversary to them indeed!).

While pouring beers, I happened to meet a homebrewer and casual reader of this column who told me that his favorite column were the ones where I discuss home brewing and do my best to impart some of the collected wisdom that has lodged itself in my brain over the past decade or so of making my own hooch.

With that in mind, I figured I would touch upon the topic of home brewing this week, specifically dealing with what I found was the most appreciated and game-changing piece of brewing equipment in my homebrew setup: the Wort Chiller.

Published in Style

So a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a new style of beer that is popping at craft breweries all over the country, the ‘Milkshake IPA.’ An offshoot of New England IPA, Milkshake IPAs usually feature an addition of Lactose, or milk sugar, which is unfermentable and provides body and sweetness to the final beer. In addition to the lactose, many brewers add some vanilla beans and pureed fruit to up the flavor quotient and bring a sweet, fruity flavor forward.

In writing about this beer style, I did something that I should never ever do: I assumed that I would enjoy this style of beer before I ever got a chance to try one.

Published in Style

It seems that every time I look, there is a new fad taking hold in the craft beer scene. Lately, these fads have been centered around the ever-present and ever-popular IPA-style of beer. This latest beer craze is no different.

Enter the Milkshake IPA.

Published in Style

ORONO – You see the sign and make the turn off Orono’s Main Street, but you’re not quite sure where the road leads. A few small yellow signs assure you you’re in the right place. You drive down a hill and the woods open up and you see a broad, squat, colorful building surrounded by parking lot and trees.

You’ve arrived at your destination, 61 Margin Street, the brand-new home of Orono Brewing Company.

Published in Biz
Wednesday, 10 October 2018 11:58

Celebrate Octo-beer!

BANGOR – Here in 2018, the Bangor-area beer scene continues to blossom.

The craft beer scene in the greater Bangor region is as robust as ever these days. Over a dozen breweries are plying their trades in the vicinity, bringing delicious beer to the masses. Plenty of thirsts are being quenched as these businesses – some just a few years old, others with decades-long histories behind them – offer up a wide variety of tasty brews.

Published in Cover Story

An interesting headline came across my screen this morning when I was perusing the latest in beer news online. It seems that in the ever-simmering battle between the interests of small, independent craft breweries and the big powerful multinational big breweries, the big boys can claim a regulatory victory in the state of New Jersey.

Recently, the State of New Jersey’s Division of Alcohol Beverage Control passed a “Special Ruling” further clarifying and codifying what a “Limited Brewery” or small brewery, can do in their tasting rooms in terms of special events.

The Special Ruling is available here: https://www.nj.gov/oag/abc/downloads/Special-Ruling-Authorizing-Certain-Activities-by-Holders-of-Limi.pdf

If you are into reading legal stuff, I say go ahead and read it. If that sort of thing bores you, I’ll try my best to sum up the key points.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 11:35

Three Pint Stance - Situational beer enhancement

That’s right – situational beer enhancement. It’s a thing!

So, I often talk here about new beers, local beers and usually talk ill about drinking mass-marketed beer from giant corporations. Yeah, I’m one of those “fight the power/stick it to the man” types when it comes to my fermented beverages.

That being said, there is an exception to every rule; even I have my soft spots for some of the first beers I drank that turned me on to the world of “craft beer.”

So, in the next few paragraphs, I am going to shrug off my usual big beer cynicism and tell you why I always have, and always will love Guinness Stout.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 11:08

Three Pint Stance - The joy of reruns

If you are a reader with a decent memory and a keen eye, you may have noticed that from time to time that the Three Pint Stance is much like today’s modern aluminum cans - often recycled. So sue me. I am a busy person who stays busy by constantly making sure to tell people how busy he is. It can be exhausting, but I manage.

I bring attention to my penchant for playing tracks from the old albums for a reason. You see, most of you probably don’t realize that the article is a rerun (unless you read the thing telling you it was a rerun, because Allen has no chill and always blows up my spot, as the kids would say), because a rerun - when applied in the right situation - can actually be a wonderful thing.

(Editor’s note: I have plenty of chill. And I did not now, nor have I ever, “blown up your spot.”)

Published in Style

So you’re having some friends over for an end-of-summer blow out party and you are going to go stock up on beer for the occasion. With the vast array of breweries all around the state and region offering a multitude of styles in all kinds of convenient packaging, it can be tempting to just start buying all kinds of different beers and offering a wide assortment for your guests. That’s totally acceptable and everyone will love you for it.

However, if you are like me and don’t want to deal with the added cost, the “fallen soldiers” (half-finished beers) in the morning and the inevitable redemption center smell that will take over your house if you get lazy about cleanup, I have a better solution.

Enter the beer keg. 

Published in Style
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