Maine Beer Co – Peeper Ale

You would think that the beer industry is one thing that would avoid having an app, but one of the most used apps on my phone is my Untapped app.  Of course, if the app tells me anything, it may be that I drink too much.  I had been hearing about Untapped for a while, but I had never actually decided to start using it.  Then, the day after my birthday last year, I decided to get my app usage going. I’m not sure how many unique beers the typical beer snob drinks in less than a year, but I would like to think that reaching 200 unique beers in ten months is a big accomplishment.  Regardless, I had some silly thought that reaching 200 in less than a year would have to be a special beer, so I went with a little beer I’d never had before.

As some of you know, we recently purchased a new home.  So, like most proud Americans, we decided to have a little house-warming party to celebrate.  Having only lived in apartments and condos, I wasn’t sure how house-warmings normally took place.  I was a little caught off guard when a few people began asking where we were registered.  I never realized that was a thing for new houses.  My ultimate solution was to just tell people to bring me beer.  While most was easy to find beer, I did receive a few nice little gems from my good friend Gavin.  This particular beer from Portland, Maine struck my interest the most.

Being made in a town like Portland, everyone surely expects this beer to made on the west coast, but this is one of those rare good breweries that comes out of the beautiful state of Maine.  Maine Beer company doesn’t really have any information on their background on their site, and I’m not going to try to grab some unreliable site, so all I can tell you is they appear to be a very environmentally friendly and socially aware brewery.  Their nondescript labels jumps out at you, but not in a way you would really expect.  It is bold in its simplicity, which I kind of admire.  This particular brew, Peeper Ale, originally had me thinking I was going to be drinking something with some spicy kick, but I quickly realized I had misread the spelling of its name.  PEEPer ale is a very hop forward and clean pale ale using US Magnum, Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial hops to develop some really good hop complexity.  Once I got the style straight, I was far more excited to dive into this beer than I originally had planned.

This one pours our a very pale yellow golden color.  There was an ample amount of sudsy white head that develops on top of the beer.  I was actually quite surprised by the amount of head that developed on top.  It reminded me of a saison or farmhouse ale.  The bubbles are quite big and soapy in appearance.  There is some really pleasant and long lasting lacing that develops on the side of the glass along with some very sticky residue that lingers around.  There is definitely a light haze that seems to only intensify as you get further into the bottle.  Finally you do see a few bubbles from the carbonation in the glass.

Just looking at the beer in the glass you can’t help but smell some of the hop aroma coming off the glass.  Getting closer for a more legitimate whiff results in some very big and bold hops.  The hops seem to have a lot of herbal smells and very little pine.  It does have a pretty earthy scent with some very light sweet malts as well.  There is a bit of lemony citrus and pineapple notes to this aroma profile.

The one thing that was clear from the first sip was that this is a really good hop forward beer.  You have a very short sweet malt intro to the onset of the beer.  The malts combine with some nice well balanced lemony pineapple flavors.  The really big floral hops come in with some very pleasant herbal flavors.  There is some nice pine that kicks up in the second half of the beer.  It doesn’t become too bitter overall, but it is just enough to give some nice hop complexity.  The beer ends with some nice earthiness as well as a little light hops and citrusy pineapple.

The flavors in this beer are really well-balanced and quite flavorful.  The hops are definitely big, but they tend to be more herbal.  This helps the mouthfeel to be slightly more bearable for those who are only moderate fans of hops.  There is certainly lots of carbonation which creates a slight champagne feel to it.  It does manage to dry out a little towards the end, but it helps keep the beer rather light and refreshing.

As always, I have no idea if you can find this beer in your area, but it is a good beer to pick up.  It may not jump off the shelf at you, but if you’re willing to give it a chance, you’ll be more than happy you picked it up.  I’m just happy it walked its way into my house for a little party present.  Of course, I won’t hesitate to pick up anything else from this company in the future.

Teacher Grade: A

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7 Comments

  1. Nice. This is a classy, refined IPA. The Haybag claimed I was a hype whore for liking it (she likes her IPAs sweeter with less carbonation). I say to her: “Your pregnancy tastebuds are haywire. And why are you drinking while you’re pregnant?”

  2. Ahhhhh….. I f’in LOVE this beer! It makes my Top Ten list in a heartbeat. I first had it on draught in Summer 2011 during our Maine summer vacation and have since had it on at least 8 more occasions (twice on draught in Philly!). It’s not cheap (not even in Maine and at the actual brewery), but I think it’s worth every penny.

    This past summer I popped into the brewery and actually talked to one of the brewers. Really nice and soft spoken guy. Their brewery is tiny, and they can only brew two beers at any one time. Peeper is year round and their other 3 beers are brewed when they have the capacity. Outside of Maine and New England, I think they are only available in NYC, Philly, and DC. If you see it on the shelves, try their other beers. MO, Lunch IPA, and Mean Old Tom are fantastic! Just watch the freshness dates. The brewer emphasized that you should try their beers when they are as fresh as possible.

    Great review of a great beer!

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    • Yeah I really need to find more of their stuff. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for them. I’m actually quite interested in old tom.

  3. ok, good reviews here. I am definitely looking for this.


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