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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: February 11, 2015

Local pilsners that are clean, fresh and unpretentious from Bunker, Banded Horn & Moat Mountain

Written by: Dave Patterson
Growlers are available at Bunker Brewing’s facility in Portland (left), Bunker Brewing Co.’s Machine Czech Pils (center), Moat Mountain’s Czechmate is available statewide in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Dave Patterson photos

Growlers are available at Bunker Brewing’s facility in Portland (left), Bunker Brewing Co.’s Machine Czech Pils (center), Moat Mountain’s Czechmate is available statewide in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Dave Patterson photos

Here’s one for the Bud Light drinkers who want a clean beer without big craft beer flavor. And for the Miller Light guys who think that the local beer movement is about beers made with strange ingredients and given even stranger names. Have you tried our double pale ale brewed with snapdragon root and local kale? We call it Robot Kale Thunder Funk Ale.

For all the regular beer drinking guys and gals out there who feel that the craft beer scene is getting too hip for its own good, I want to tell you that there is a niche of craft beers just for you. These beers don’t wear black-rimmed glasses or skinny jeans or have iconic mustaches. These beers wear denim work shirts and if they don a mustache, it’s because they mean it.

I’m talking about local pilsners. You know great taste, less filling beers. Beers that are clean, fresh, and unpretentious. Beers that your grandfather would recognize as beer.

I want to lay down a challenge to Maine light beer drinkers to try one of these three local pilsners at a bar, in a can, or at the brewery itself. I prophesize that you will agree that a local beer can fulfill your light beer desires.

Machine Czech Pilz // Bunker Brewing Company

Bunker’s take on the traditional Czech Pilsner pours a light golden hue. It has a nice head from the lager yeast, and a spicy pilsner aroma. The clarity is perfect in this beer. Machine Czech Pilz has a subtle graham cracker flavor from the German grains and finishes with a nice spicy hop bite from the Saaz hops – the traditional noble hop used in a Czech pilsner. Machine Czech Pilz walks that fine line of having a fresh, distinct flavor without packing too much punch. This beer can be purchased at its small, but very hip brewery in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, or found on tap all around town.
THE BEER: Machine Czech Pilz
THE BREWERY: Bunker Brewing Company
THE STYLE: Czech Pilsner
THE ABV: 5.2 percent
WHERE TO BUY: At the brewery or on tap around the state

Pepperell Pilsener // Banded Horn Brewing Company

I was recently sharing a pint of Pepperell with a friend at Elements Coffee Bar in Biddeford, and he said, “This is the Bud Light of Maine.” He meant it as high praise, and I agreed. Pepperell (named after the repurposed mill in Biddeford where Banded Horn is located) is a light beer gem. It is straw-colored in appearance with a floral, earthy aroma. The brewers use German Hersbrucker hops, a noble hop with low alpha-acids, but high flavor. In addition, they add American Summit hops, which impart a sharp spicy hop flavor. This beer is an old-world-meets-new-world beer with traditional pilsner ingredients combined with American grains and hops. Find this beer at the brewery in Biddeford and around town on draft.
THE BEER: Pepperell Pilsener
THE BREWERY: Banded Horn Brewing Company
THE STYLE: German Pilsener, a.k.a. Keller Pils
THE ABV: 4.6 percent
WHERE TO BUY: At the brewery or on tap around the state

Czechmate // Moat Mountain Brewing Company

Technically Moat Mountain is a New Hampshire brewery, but since they’re only 10 miles from Fryeburg, I consider them local. The other impetus for including their Czechmate on this list is that, unlike the two beers above, this beer can be found in four packs of 16 oz cans all around the state of Maine. Made with noble hops of Saaz, German Tettnang, and German Hallertau, Moat Mountain’s pilsner has the nice refined bite of a traditional pilsner. This beer has become my go-to après ski beer for its portability, clean flavor and low 4.9 percent abv.
THE BEER: Czech Pilsner
THE BREWERY: Moat Mountain
THE STYLE: Czech Pilsner or Bohemian Pilsner
THE ABV: 4.9 percent
WHERE TO BUY: Look for this beer in 16oz cans and on tap around the state

I give Maine light beer drinkers the Beer Muse guarantee that these beers will satiate your demand for a clean, refreshing beer. I also encourage craft beer aficionados to try these well-crafted pilsners; you will be surprised how much flavor resides inside each golden pour.

Bissell Brothers Announces Spring Release Schedule
Bissell Brothers Brewing, One Industrial Way, Portland
Bissell Brothers has announced the release schedule for all their canned beer through April. This release chart can be found on their Facebook page and allows Bissell enthusiasts to know when they can purchase cans at the brewery. The brothers are releasing a few different beers this winter and early spring, so check the schedule and plan accordingly. I suggest getting there early, and if you want to expedite your purchase, bring cash for their quick-moving cash only line.

Car Tender Alcohol Home Delivery Service Opens
Portland Deliveries Only
Yes, you read that correctly, Car Tender is a new business in Portland that will deliver alcohol to your house. Car Tender works with Old Port Spirits & Cigars and will bring you beer, wine and spirits. You can order online at Have your ID ready upon delivery. This service is perfect for those winter days when you need beer but don’t want to leave the house.

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