Old Fashioned and Manhattan’s seem to be popular cocktails to emulate with beer and Allagash has a new beer for the first one, World on a String. Not sold on the abstract label art but Allagash knows barrel-aged so this would be on to put on the buy list.

My Heart is Set

I don’t think this new collaboration between Allagash and Brasserie Dupont will reach L.A. But if I see a bottle of Heartset, I will grab it. It is described as “a robust saison bursting with classic Belgian aromatics—think banana, clove, honey, and more.”

And if I don’t see it, maybe I will finally re-visit one of those fancy Dupont bottles instead.

Not False

I am a fan of certain old school breweries like Firestone Walker, Sierra Nevada and the like. Another in that category is Allagash, and they had me with Belgian-Style Pilsner. I have added it to my buy it when I see it list.

Yellow Cans of White

As much fun as 16oz of a DIPA can be, that size is better suited to lighter ABV beers, and as I have been a bit nostalgic for the flagships of yore, it is heartening to see that Allagash White will be packaged into cans. I will be re-visiting and maybe even re-reviewing once I find the new can on shelves.

Sean Suggests for March 2018

Time to head back to the legacy breweries and try some of their new (and new-ish) offerings.

Anchor/ Brewer’s Pale Ale5.3% ABV
“Brewers’ Pale Ale is a bright and fruity American Pale Ale bursting with hop aroma and flavor. Its appearance is straw colored with a creamy, white head and nice lacing. The ale has aromas of grapefruit, passion fruit, citrus peels and dank piney hops. It’s a crisp and quaffable Pale Ale packed with complex hop flavor, finishing fairly dry with a nice balanced drinkability.”>

Allagash/ Map 407.5% ABV
“Map 40 is a Belgian-style stout blended with cold-brewed coffee from Speckled Ax. Black in body with a tan, reddish-tinged head, this beer’s aroma is strong in coffee and light in roasted grain. Brewed with dark chocolate malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, and brown malt. A light nuttiness accompanies tastes of chocolate, raisin, and a resounding coffee note that weaves its way throughout. This is a rich, creamy stout with a clean finish.”>

Pizza Port/ Bacon and Eggs8.0% ABV
“With award-winning cold-pressed coffee from Bird Rock Roasters of La Jolla, this Coffee Porter is black in color with a khaki tan head. Strong coffee flavors with rich chocolate and roasted malts. ”>

All of these beers can be found at Sunset Beer Co. (unless they got bought up real quick)

A Beer & A Book – IT

I had not read Stephen King’s IT in a long time. IT and its main disguise as Pennywise is not something one forgets though. And with the movie adaptation coming up, I thought it a good time to face down my fear of clowns and re-read the 2nd longest book by the horror writer.

I soon realized that Pennywise is only a cameo player in the travails of The Loser’s Club of Derry. Henry Bower’s and his roving gang of bullies cause more mayhem and broken bones over the course of the book to our heroes. King does a great job of structure with the book. Laying out the events leading to the first major encounter in the 1950’s between Bill, Beverly, Ben, Richie, Mike, Eddie and Stan, interspersed with the special (and deadly) history of the Derry Township that IT had caused. Plus the return of the older versions in the 80’s to do final battle and end the killing once and for all. To weave those threads throughout 1000+ pages of book without the action flagging is a tremendous feat.

Though there are jolts enough in the book, I was more scared by Pet Sematary and The Shining in book form as the ordinary takes evil form as opposed to the hibernating and shape-shifting IT. And considering the age of the kids I was surpirsed that I also didn’t remember the sex scene at the very end of the book. Overall, IT and The Stand work King territory well. There is a reason why they keep wanting to film his books.

For beers, let’s start with Maine’s best known brewery, Allagash and their Ghoulschip Wild Ale. A sour pumpkin ale blend to set the sour mood. Then move on to the Maple Beast from Rockingham Brewery in Derry (New Hampshire). After sitting in a chair reading for so long, you might have achy bones. So finish with Krieky Bones from the BarrelWorks crew of Firestone Walker.

Then make sure to steer clear of the house on Nieboldt Street.

Bijoux Fig

First off, before the liquid in the bottle, I gotta say that I really dig the minimalist with a splash of color and design look on the Allagash labels of late.

I think that the earthier, almost savory aspect of figs might balance out the wildness from the yeast and bugs that Allagash utilizes. This has the markings of an excellent dinner pairing beer.

Rhubarb in Flux

Each year, Allagash changes up the recipe for Fluxus. Otherwise the name would be ironic and not actual. This year, the mystery ingredient has been revealed as rhubarb. Something you don’t see in beers that often. So you might want to splurge for a bottle this year.