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Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson is a writer and musician who is thirsty for craft beer. He's been immersed in the New England beer scene for years as a patron and since 2013 as a beer writer. In his attempt to drink all the great beer America has to offer, Dave has become convinced that the Maine beer scene is among the best in the country. He can be spotted throughout the state at breweries, bars, and backyards imbibing brilliant Maine beers. It is his belief that craft beer plays an integral role in bolstering a vibrant local economy, so he urges you do your part by drinking local beer to support your community. Twitter: @PattersonWriter​

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Posted: July 3, 2017

Summer’s here, and so are these Maine beers

Written by: Dave Patterson
Photos by Dave Patterson

Photos by Dave Patterson

This week, the Fourth of July ushered in the delicious miracle of summer in Maine. That means it’s time for another list of my picks for Maine beers to pair with dreamy trips to Scarborough Beach, rocky hikes in Maine’s western mountains, boat rides to Vinalhaven and the seemingly infinite number of ways to enjoy summer as this great state once again opens her loving arms.

Every time I assemble a list of seasonal Maine brews, I think to myself, wow, I couldn’t imagine a better group of beers. Then Maine brewers boil up new brews to dazzle my palate. Though I stick by my past summer lists (check those out too), this group of beers is simply outstanding.

Cheers to another summer in Maine and the local beer that captures its essence in liquid form.

Wicked Bueno Mexican-Style Lager || Banded Horn Brewing Co.

No beer says summer like a lager. Despite conventional wisdom, lagers are very difficult to brew. That’s what makes Wicked Bueno from Banded Horn so exceptional. This Mexican-style lager pours a beautiful hay color and gives off clean aromatic notes of grain and bread. The flavor is crisp and clean, exuding hints of cracker, a subtle bite from the lager yeast and a light citrus finish from the hops. Replace your affinity for the macro-brewed Bud Light with a locally crafted Wicked Bueno. This lager is wicked good indeed.

STYLE: Mexican-style lager

TASTING NOTES: Notes of cracker, light citrus hops and a spicy bite from the lager yeast

ABV: 4.3 percent

AVAILABILITY: Purchase four-packs of cans at local beverage stores and at the Biddeford brewery

Zuurzing Farmhouse Ale || Foundation Brewing Co.

Zuurzing is a brilliant example of an approachable sour beer. This farmhouse ale is soured with lactobacillus and has beautifully restrained tart flavors with a blend of bright citrus notes from the Cascade and Crystal hops. Taking a sip of Zuurzing sends your taste buds on a titillating flavor ride; just as the tangy sour notes begin to soar, they settle into a dry finish that doesn’t pucker the senses. At 4.5 percent and pouring a straw-colored hue, Zuurzing is a light, refreshing beer with just the right sour zing on a summer’s day.

STYLE: Farmhouse ale soured with lactobacillus

TASTING NOTES: Subtle sour flavors of sweet citrus

ABV: 4.5 percent

AVAILABILITY: Purchase four-packs of cans at local beverage stores and at the Portland brewery

Double Dry Hopped Tell Tale Pale Ale || Mast Landing Brewing Co.

American ales are a great summertime choice; their crisp flavors and moderate alcohol content make for perfect warm weather imbibing. The Double Dry Hopped Tell Tale Pale Ale is seething with tropical fruit and dank hop notes that seem impossible for a beer that is only 5.3 percent. The process of double dry hopping gives Tell Tale a bliss-inducing abundance of hop aroma and flavor without the astringent hop bitterness. If you love hoppy beers that ride that juicy, dank line, get your hands on a can of Double Dry Hopped Tell Tale Pale Ale on your way to the beach.

STYLE: American ale

TASTING NOTES: Juicy citrus and dank notes from double dry hopping

ABV: 5.3 percent

AVAILABILITY: Purchase four-packs of cans at local beverage stores and at the tasting room in Westbrook

Oh-J Double IPA || Lone Pine Brewing Co.

As someone who writes a beer column, I get a lot of messages urging me to try new Maine beers. (And I love it; keep ’em coming.) No beer has incited more emails from craft beer fans than Oh-J. This double IPA from Lone Pine Brewing has caused euphoric bedlam since it was released this spring. After one sip, I understood why. Cracking a can of Oh-J releases mammoth citrus notes of passion fruit, mango, and oranges. One swig of this 8.1-percent double IPA will make you a believer. The flavor is akin to full-bodied, sweet pineapple juice. There are no off flavors and no pine bitterness. This is a great beer, deserved of all the hype. And with the Mount Katahdin-sized tropical fruit flavors from the American hops, it hits the spot on a humid day.

STYLE: Double IPA

TASTING NOTES: Mammoth citrus fruit hop notes of passion fruit, orange and pineapple with no bitter aftertaste

ABV: 8.1 percent

AVAILABILITY: Purchase limited four-packs of cans at the Portland brewery


OTHER BEER HAPPENINGS

Oxbow Beer & Oyster Tasting Cruise

5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, 40 Main St., Damariscotta. $55 per ticket. damariscottarivercruises.com

A Farmhouse Pale Ale from Oxbow Brewing paired with a fresh-shucked Maine oyster is as good as it gets in the summer. On Saturday, Damariscotta River Cruises teams up with Oxbow for their first Beer & Oyster cruise. This two-hour cruise features world renowned Damariscotta River oysters matched with an array of Oxbow beers brewed in Newcastle, just miles from the region’s oyster farms. Oxbow brewer Mike Fava will be on hand to explain how to perfectly match the right beer with the right oyster.

Great Beer Adventure Presents: Beer Geek Retreat

Aug. 11-13, Thomas Point Beach and Campground, Brunswick. $100 per ticket. thomaspointbeach.com

Fresh off her 100th episode, Great Beer Adventure podcast host Amanda Doughty announces a midcoast beer celebration at Thomas Point Beach and Campground. The weekend-long beer retreat features bottle shares, lectures and talks by craft beer experts, live music, Beer Geek Olympics and more. Cost of the event includes two nights of camping and full access to the beach and park. Check out the website for more information and be sure to tune into the Great Beer Adventure podcast to listen to Doughty’s interviews with brewers, industry insiders and craft beer enthusiasts.

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