Imbibe: America’s Emerging Beer Mecca’s

The January/February issue of Imbibe magazine list Reno, Austin, Atlanta, Minneapolis-St Paul and Portland as their Fab 5 of America’s emerging beer mecca’s. Portland beer blogger Luke Livingston from Blog About Beer is quoted in the article which calls out Allagash, Geary’s, Gritty’s, Maine Beer Co, Sebago, Shipyard, Downeast Everage, RSVP, Great Lost Bear, Novare Res, and Three Dollar Deweys as evidence of Portland’s beer meccaness. The article isn’t available online but you can pick-up a copy of the magazine at Longfellow Books.

Hangover Cures

The Press Herald’s Meredith Goad has pulled together some hangover cures suggested by local restaurants.

Arlin Smith, the general manager at Hugo’s, discovered that if he added a perfectly poached egg, the Duckfat poutine makes an excellent hangover cure. The cure caught on, and now the whole staff swears by it.

“It fills your belly,” Smith said. “It’s got the grease that coats the lining of your stomach. It’s got the starches going. It’s perfect.”

Koelschip at Allagash

Portland Psst uncovered a blog post published today by The Atlantic about Allagash’s experimentation with the traditional koelschip fermentation.

The future of American craft beer sits in a shed on the industrial outskirts of Portland, Maine. Built by the Allagash Brewing Company in 2007, the shed holds the country’s first commercial “koelschip,” a shallow, 15-barrel steel pan used to cool down beer wort–and expose the beer to naturally occurring yeasts that float in through the shed’s open stained-glass windows.

Collaboration Brewing

Allagash’s head brewer, Jason Perkins, was quoted in a recent article in The Atlantic about creative collaborations between brewers.

In both cases, says Jason Perkins, the head brewer at Allagash, “The fun of it was a huge part of doing it,” but it was also “a great opportunity to work with someone from across the pond,” particularly two of the most respected breweries in Belgium. The Belgians brought their mastery of Old World techniques, while Perkins and Allagash brought their skills at finding new and unique ingredients to tried and true styles.

#2 Brewery of the Decade

Allagash is in the #2 slot in Paste magazine’s list of The 25 Best American Breweries of the Decade (via a post from A Blog About Beer).

Allagash is like a little slice of Belgium without those pesky language barriers. Using Belgian yeasts and coloring brilliantly inside the style lines as with their flagships White, Dubbel and Triple, what really makes this Maine brewery special is their series of barrel-aged beers, led by Curiuex, Interlude and Fluxus—the latter of which includes sweet potatoes and black pepper in its recipe. We’re also impressed with tweaks to standards like the quad Allagash Four that blends four malts, hops and sugars.

Shipyard Wins Silver

According to A Blog About Beer, Shipyard recently received recognition for their XXXX IPA at a competition in Sweeden.

Of course it’s always a treat to see local boys doing well, so I was pleased to hear the news this morning that Shipyard’s XXXX IPA (the third installment in the brewery’s four-beer-strong Puglsey Signature Series) recently won a silver medal at the Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival in the “Ale Modern Style 6% and Above” category. According to the Shipyard press release, the Stockholm Beer and Whiskey Festival is one of Europe’s largest trade and consumer shows and Shipyard was just one of ten U.S. breweries to medal at the festival.

Allagash Vagabound Ale

A Blog About Beer has published a report on the scene at this morning’s launch of Vagabound Ale,

Today I arrived at 8:40, parked half-way down the street, and got in a line which was all the way out the side door and through the loading area of the brewery itself (before you even get to the gift shop). Everyone in line got two tickets – one for two bottles of Vagabond (no ticket = no beer) and one for a free Belgian waffle. There were also huge vats of free coffee for everyone. It really was a festive event.

And Portland Food Heads has published his first impressions of the limited release beer,

Well, one thing I will say is that this was an incredible beer. It poured a dark, murky amber with a small head. The immediate smell was that of dried fruit, like many of Allagash’s darker offerings. At first sip, macerated cherries hit me right off the bat with a surprisingly strong backing of carbonation…It’s actually pretty unfortunate that this beer will not be available anymore; it’s one of the better offerings I’ve tasted from Allagash, and I’ve tasted most of them.

Harpoon Beer Dinner Report

About Town has published a report on last week’s Harpoon beer dinner at David’s.

local blue cheese bisque “shooter” with cayenne and celery salt popcorn: This was the least-familiar of the concepts: a chicken-stock reduction with blue cheese liquefied and served in a shot glass, with a small chunk of blue cheese and the aforementioned popcorn. You nibble the cheese, do the “shot” (which was far creamier than I had expected, and was the texture – though not at all the flavor – of an incredibly dense, thick New England clam chowder), and then munch on the popcorn, which cut through the thickness and richness with a little spice and crunch. I wanted a straw to suck up the last of the shot.

Launch of Vagabond Ale

A Blog About Beer has a report on the anticipated October 19th launch of Allagash’s Vagabond Ale.

Now the exciting part. Just like with Garamel, Allagash is releasing Vagabond on a VERY limited basis. The beer — of which there are only 500 bottles — will be available ONLY at the Brewery (on Industrial Way in Portland) and ONLY from 9am to 6pm on Monday, October 19th. There is a 2 bottles per person limit and each bottle will cost $10.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Review

Blog About Beer has published a review of Smashed Pumpkin, the Puglsey Signature Series beer from Shipyard.

But best of all, all of the spices from the nose are there in the taste, too. Plus some real pumpkin tastes — like the actual gourd, not just the pie — too. the wheat and munich malts lend a nice bready, biscuity flavor too, which compliments the spices. A bit of the hop bite and the warming alcohol bite (forgot to mention that this “imperial-style” brew weighs in at 9% abv) come through in the finish, too. Especially as the beer warms to room temperature.