I know it's been a little while since I've done a "Lightning in a Bottle" beer blog but you know, COVID. I think everyone knows that's the reason for so many changes, delays, cancellations, and just distractions! With that being said I had the opportunity to try some unique beers while I was up in Bethel, Maine for a mini Winter getaway with my husband. For those who do not know, Bethel is the next town over from where Sunday River is located. I discovered that there are a couple breweries around the area and on top of that upon visiting Sunday River, I discovered they have some specialty beers that are only being served on the mountain! I will share with you here my review of three beers. Cheers!
1) FINDER - Shipyard Brewing Co.
7 out of 10. Very hoppy, true to a NE IPA. Anyone who lives, breathes, and dies for IPAs will love this. It’s strong on the hoppy taste. By nature I’m not a hardcore IPA drinker but I recognize it’s value and quality taste thus why I rate it higher than I normally would. Notes of lemongrass & grapefruit give it a refreshing taste that leaves you wanting more. The best part about this beer is it’s unique can. Wicked cool! The can features a full map of all of Sunday River's mountain trails. Skiers & snowboarders at Sunday River can kick back in the lodge mountain side & enjoy this hoppy beer out of a unique can. If you’re hitting the slopes, you can’t help but want this can to accompany you afterwards as it just jives with the atmosphere l. A+ on the can for sure!
2) Long Haul Lager - Sunday River Brewing Company
5 out of 10. The best way for me to describe this beer is it tastes like drinking a Bud Light. Now I can crush bud lights tailgating & competing in a mean game of corn hole so I dig bud lights, it’s not to say I don’t. But this beer is nothing to drive out of your way for. I will say it’s very refreshing and I have no problem pouring it back and as Sunday River describes it themselves, it really is a palate cleanser. It clears the way for other beers ahead. It has hardly any after taste left in your mouth, making it the perfect palate cleanser and casual beer at a 4% ABV. I call this a middle of the road average beer & we all need middle of the road beers like this, thus why I give it a 5. Just to understand my ranking, a 5 is average to me. Anything under is less than and over is above average. You know, sometimes I just crave a good ole average beer, nothing fancy & this is that beer.
P.S. All of their cans have a psychedelic design like this!
3) Whitecap Blueberry - Steam Mill Brewing
9.5 out of 10. This beer was amazing. First off I LOVE blueberry beers so as soon as I saw this I was in. Then I had high hopes and it did not disappoint! This was a refreshing, wheat ale that burst with notes of blueberry in a perfect way. The blueberry flavor was not too subtle and not too overpowering, just right! Additionally I had this beer on tap and they served it with fresh blueberries in the beer and I love when breweries do that so I was impressed. This beer is by nature a light fruity beer and that's my kind of beer. I've had other blueberry beers before and some are watered down with not enough blueberry flavor and others just missed the mark being too hoppy but this one is just right thus why I give it such a high score. It's easy to drink and enjoyable. I personally do not like when a beer is too harsh as you find with Double IPAs. I like a crisp beer and this hits the mark on that. I would plan a day trip to Bethel just to have this beer again that's how much I enjoyed it. As a side note, I enjoyed this beer sitting outside in the cold mountain air in front of a blazing fire pit in downtown Bethel surrounding by the mountains and it was just perfect. I highly recommend checking out this unique and newer brewery in Bethel, Maine.
I hope everyone enjoyed the reviews and gets to try some of these yourselves!