Zoe (Maine Beer Company)

Style: American Amber/ Red Ale

7.2% ABV

Bottled On: 05/31/2012

This bottle is minimalism at its most perfect.  From the thick recyclable paper of the label to the simple childish smiley face and the very plain font and black and purple letters, this bottle says a lot with very little.  I love how environmentally conscious this company is, as it makes me feel even better about drinking good beer.  They use 100% wind power for their electricity, donate 1% of all sales to environmental non profits, and send all of their spent grains, yeast, and grain bags to farms!  With this beer specifically, Maine Beer Company says they donate another 1% to the Adopt-a-Whale program, which is committed to understanding and preserving whales.  The bottle also gives a nice story of one of the brewer’s daughters, whom gives the beer its name, seeing a whale museum and smiling, hence the smile on the bottle.  I really like the environmentally conscious turn that craft beer is taking, and I really like the bottle, message, and personal family touch that this nano-brewery has.  Definitely worth a shelf space.


This beer pours very dark for a red ale with a deep dark brown amber color, reminiscent of a more earthy red wine and brown sugar, and with a huge lightly maple syrup-drizzled head that lasts forever and leaves a nice sticky spatterwork of lacing on the side of the glass.  The beer smells thick with some great resiny pine hops and fruity grapefruit mango.  There is also a light underlying mingle of sweet biscuit and caramel malts along with a ghost of chocolate.  The beer tastes fantastically balanced for a hop-forward red.  The pine hops are definitely the big thing here, and leave a lovely pine taste in the mouth with hints of mango, nectarine, and grapefruit.  This beer also delivers a lovely bit of caramel malts that put a nice sweet body to the bitter pine and balance the beer tremendously.  The clash of the hops and the malt seems to make a slightly roasted taste that could be in the malt or just could be from the collision of flavors.  Mouthfeel is cool and slightly gelling, yet very smooth and clean on the tongue, only leaving a light cloying pine hop linger and lots of clean saliva lining the mouth.  There is a slight tingle of carbonation which is definitely present in the beer, but it is not harsh at all.  Overall this is a supremely great red ale that I am very excited to live near.  I still need to try Troëg’s Nugget Nectar, but as of now this is the best red I have tasted!  I can guarantee I will be trying Peeper Ale (their summer seasonal) within the week!

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