A couple of months into 2020, and our brewers are killing it – from the mega-release of MEGARED (on draft at all Sebago locations) to our beloved Barleywine in a (new) can. But wait, there’s more! Here are a few more new small batch beers to try…
Beer for Keeping
Bière de garde – French for “beer for keeping” – is a classic style of French farmhouse ale. For Keeps was brewed in March of 2019 and aged cool in Pinot Noir barrels for nine months. Our bière de garde uses traditional French malts with and a lengthy boil to create a richly malt driven beer. The unique toffee notes are subtly accented with Maine grown Willamette hops along with character from barrel aging combination.
Rich malt and dried fruit notes with balanced oak tannins make for an easy beer to enjoy while having complexity to keep it interesting.
What’s next in fruit
Cherry Hill Trails is part of an ongoing series of fruited barrel ferments. This sour ale was fermented in pinot noir barrels and aged with Brettanomyces (aka “Brett” yeast) on cherries. After sitting in barrels for over a year the results are a pleasant tart beer with notes of fruit and wine.
Although the cherries used came from away (Michigan), this ale is named after the Cherry Hill Trail system on the property behind the brewery.
Tang C.R.E.A.M. Ale (Dolla dolla bill, y’all)
Rachael Ellis on our packaging crew dreamed up this creamy citrus ale at a Winter Brew Fest with the British Beer Box. She tried a beer called “Rhubarbra Streisand” from a Brew York, a brewery in York, England.
Rhubarbra had rhubarb and strawberry in it, plus it was a super creamy ale but without the lactose. I loved the flavor and the style – and the story behind the style.
Cream ales were conceived before Prohibition times, so it never gained in popularity. The style was meant to compete with refreshing German lagers but on the cheap…and with what they had available to them. They used flake corn to get that sweetness and top of the cream for mouthfeel.
Basically, a cream ale is brewed like an ale but fermented like a lager. The best of both worlds, in a way. That’s how they achieved that clean, light, crisp beer without the lactose. I wanted to stay true to the recipe, but also introduce the style in a fun, familiar way. That’s why we decided to play on the orange cream idea.
Rachael worked with our head brewer Rusty Packer on Tang C.R.E.A.M. Ale to create something pale in color but with lots of body. They used orange peels and zest in the brew (steeping about three pounds of orange peel in a bag similar to a cheese cloth) and then dry hopped with a ton of Citra hops.
Rachael’s goal is to really be able to taste the sweet flavor of the cream ale, rather than bitterness, while creating a light aroma of orange peel – and to make people to think happy thoughts of spring!