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Tom Atwell

Tom Atwell is a lifelong Mainer who retired after 37 years at the Portland Press Herald. He kept the fun parts of his job, writing columns about gardening and beer. He has been drinking beer for about 50 years, and was always looking for unusual beers even in the 1960s – when they were hard to find. For the past four years he has been writing What Ales You during a time when the beer scene in Maine has been booming. He does not, however, take all the credit for that.​

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Posted: June 17, 2014

Daughters of Poseidon & CoSLABoration: 2 new collaboration beers in Maine

Written by: Tom Atwell
Daughters of Poseidon, a black IPA brewed with oysters, is a collaboration between Baxter Brewing and DC Brau. Carla Companion photo

Daughters of Poseidon, a black IPA brewed with oysters, is a collaboration between Baxter Brewing and DC Brau. Carla Companion photo

Note: Originally, Narragansett said that the Del’s Shandy was going to be sold only in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, it recently showed up at specialty beer stores in Maine.

 

Collaboration beers are fun for several reasons. Usually they are one-time efforts, so a bit of an adventure, and they allow brewers to stretch their imaginations and come up with unique beverages.

Two new ones – with Baxter Brewing Company of Lewiston and Rising Tide of Portland – are now available and well worth drinking.

Baxter got together with DC Brau, another can-only brewery operating out of the nation’s capital, to create Daughters of Poseidon, a black IPA brewed with oysters.

Oysters have been added to stouts at least as early as the 1930s and probably long before that, but an oyster black IPA is unique.

Baxter and DC Brau each brewed a single batch of the beer at its brewery, with the only difference being that local oysters were used. Baxter’s came from Glidden Point Oyster Company in Pemaquid.

This is a highly complex beer. It pours almost black, and had a good and stiff tan head. The flavor leans toward a stout with lots of roasted malt flavor and quite a bit of sweetness, with some hints of chocolate. There is some citrusy hop flavor and bitterness, but is definitely not a hops bomb. The 800 pounds of oysters added to the mix did not provide a lot of flavor, just a bit of salt or brininess that balanced well against the sweetness of the malt.

The beer is 8 percent alcohol by volume, so it is one to savor slowly. The price was $8.99 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans at the Bier Cellar, and I expect the beer to disappear quickly.

Rising Tide’s CoSLABoration is a collaboration not with another brewery, but with a restaurant that is about to open soon at 25 Preble St. in Portland.

Slab, which is being created by the owners of Nosh, is doing collaborations with other local breweries as it leads up to its opening, but I was able to have a glass of this one recently when I stopped at Rising Tide.

CoSLABoration is a wheat ale, coming in at a about 5.5 percent ABV, brewed with fresh oranges and fried sage. This is an easy-drinking beer, with very little hops, and wonderfully fresh orange flavor behind the wheat, with the sage providing just a little bit of herbal interest.

This was only a seven-barrel batch, and it will be available only at the brewery and at Slab, with a slight chance that keg might make it to Nosh. Drink it if you see it.

Prince Tuesday is back on the shelves. This beer is a collaboration among Allagash Brewing Company, which does the bottling and provides its house yeast; Rising Tide, which provides the rye, and Maine Beer Company, which provides the hops.

This year’s offering is 7.7 percent ABV, down from 8.1 percent last year, but still tastes as I remember it, yeasty with a good bit of hops and a nice mineral and nutty background from the rye.

The price was $16.99 for a 750 milliliter cork-and-cage bottle.

There is another beer that if you see it, buy it, but you probably won’t be able to buy it in Maine.

Son Zachary gave me a can of Narragansett’s Del Shandy when I made a furniture delivery to his Medford, Mass., home. Del’s Lemonade is a Rhode Island icon and a requirement for summer in that state.

Narragansett’s Shandy brewed with Del’s tart Lemonade concentrate comes in at 5 percent ABV, has lemon as its dominant flavor, but still has some maltiness in the background. It is a perfect beer for a hot day. While most ‘Gansett beers make it to Maine, the shandy will be distributed only in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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