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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries.
New beers from Harpoon, Maine Beer and others tasted
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About this blog
By Norman Miller
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email ...
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The Beer Nut
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Or, follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.
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By Norman Miller
Sept. 20, 2013 5:05 p.m.



A new week and a new set of beers have hit the shelves in the past few weeks. Here’s a look at five new beers you should take a look at.

First up is the latest beer in the Harpoon Brewery’s 100 Barrel Series, the Saison Various.

The Saison Various is a collaboration of four different Harpoon brewers vision of a saison that are then blended together. One brewer used East Kent Goldings hops with coriander and white peppercorns while another used no spices at all.

Saison1Another used citrusy hops, while the fourth used other America hops and a Trappist yeast strain.

The results are a unique saison that blends many different characteristics into an extremely drinkable and unique saison. The hops blend well together, bringing out a citrusy hop character, but with an earthy fiish. The coriander and white peppercorns add a little flavor, while the traditional Trappist yeast adds a bit of sweetness.

This is one of Harpoon’s better 100 Barrel Series and worth seeking out before its gone for good.

Next up is the Just Beer Project’s Just Beer IPA, which just launched in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware and New York.

The Just Beer Project is the brainchild of Magic Hat founder Alan Newman, who is now the head of Boston Beer Company’s offshoot of Alchemy and Science.

The idea behind the Just Beer Project is to make straightforward, good beers.

The Just IPA is exactly that. There’s nothing fancy about this beer. It’s just a solid, easy-drinking IPA, a mild, pleasant bitterness balanced with a nice malt backbone.

At 4.8 percent alcohol by volume, it’s light enough to have a few, but not light on flavor. If you’re a fan of balance, the Just IPA is just the beer for you.

Two new beers (I should have reviewed these beers a few weeks ago, I know) from Maine Beer Company are still floating around, Another One and Weez.

These two IPAs used the same exact hops, but are totally different beers. Weez is a Black IPA and Another One is an IPA.

Weez is an excellent black IPA. At 7.2 percent ABV, it’s bordering on imperial levels, but it’s not a heavy beer. It smells of pine and grapefruit from the hops and a slight chocolaty aroma.

The first taste you get when you taste it is the grapefruit hops, quickly followed by a dark chocolate like malt body. The pine is there in the background as is some coffee.

Overall, this is a black IPA (or Cascadian dark ale, or American Black Ale or whatever you want to call the style) worth seeking. I’ve been bored with the style, but this is a standout.

Even more of a standout is Another One. Maine Beer Company’s Lunch gets all of the accolades, but Another One is a superior beer, probably Maine’s best beer so far.

The hop aromas come through even more in this beer, with stronger pineapple, pine and other citrusy fruit smells wafting from the glass.

When you take a sip, it’s like a rush of tropical fruits hitting your tongue – pineapple, mango, maybe even a hint of oranges, with some piney hop flavor mixed in for good measure.

But, it’s not all about the hops. The bready malt flavors balance it out nicely.

One of my co-workers described this beer as “the perfect IPA,” and I really had trouble arguing with him. I’ll take another Another One any time.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has a new seasonal beer, the Flipside Red IPA, a “late summer” seasonal.

Whatever you want to call this, this hoppy red ale is tasty. It’s hopped like a traditional American IPA, but it has the caramel sweet malt flavors of a red ale.

The flavors work together well, making for a well-done beer that hop heads will enjoy.

 

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