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A new Milestone

“Citra x citra x citra!” That’s how head brewer Rusty Packer describes the bold spirit of Sebago’s “new” steinbier Milestone.

Milestone Ale was originally brewed in 2010 to commemorate former Sebago brewers’ Jon Clegg and Tom Abercrombie’s decade of brewing together. It was around that time Citra hops were just starting to become available on the hop market; Jon and Tom brewed this special batch as the first Sebago beer to use this hop that is now extremely popular.

Steinbiers were traditionally made using an old brewing technique of heating rocks over a fire to bring the wort to a boil. This time around, the brewers used several batches of granite that were heated up to 1000°F in our pizza oven before adding it to the collected wort. They sourced four different variations on Citra hops to bring even more intensity to the citrus character to this unique beer.

What is a steinbier? German for “stone beer,” steinbiers were traditionally made using a very old brewing technique where the beer is mashed not in kettles but in wooden barrels or tubs. Rocks were then heated over — or even directly in — a fire and then thrown into the wooden barrels to bring the wort to a boil. The hot rocks would caramelize with the grains inside the wooden barrel to create its distinctive flavors and aromas.


For this year’s version, the brewers took granite slabs from a local granite company and heated them up in our Tasting Room pizza oven to temperatures of up to 1000 degrees. They took the wort, ran it through an open barrel, and then used the hot granite blocks to let it boil away. They would draw off that wort and kept reheating the rocks over and over again — six rounds worth. The goal was to use all pale malts and a lot of oats, rather than caramel malts, to create those caramel notes using the hot-rocks technique. And it did!

What makes this Milestone extra special are the four different kinds of Citra hops from Yakima Chief Hops: their regular pellet-sized version, cryo version, a “low-alpha” version that went into the mash, plus a new product utilized warm in the whirlpool. They dry-hopped it three separate times, allowing the full expression of what Citra can be.

Milestone tastes like ripe citrus and candied fruits, while being complex with a ton of dank notes.

Milestone Steinbier is available at all Sebago locations, while supplies last!


Sebago Brewing Company