As you may well know readers, I recently had that most unsettling of experiences that is the annoyingly demanding house guest. Yes, although it looked laid back and easy going, that can of Head Topper proved to be demanding and needy (even though it did turn out to be one fine beer).
With that experience still firmly planted in my mind, I decided to peruse the aisles of State Line Liquors hoping to find a beer that might make a less high-maintenance house guest. Matt seemed to tune in to my need immediately when he suggested, “Have you tried the new beer from Maine Beer Company?” I had not, although I had definitely heard of the brewery.
So with great trepidation, I reached back into the second shelf and slowly pulled out the beer in question. And instead of finding a bossy, overbearing can; I found a 25oz bottle with a large white label that contained an over abundance of negative space. Instead of a plethora of words making suggestions and demands, I found a single diminutive word. A small voice trying its best to be heard over the chorus of roars from the competition on the beer shelves surrounding it. That one word? LUNCH. Oh, Ok. The bottle did make a few suggestions, “Do What’s Right”, “Drink This Beer Fresh”. But with their small black font against the sea of label white, them seemed more like requests than commandments.
Over the next five days, the bottle proved to be the perfect house guest. It didn’t seem to mind its spot in the fridge next to the half used jar of marinara sauce. It never complained the couple of times that it was moved; once by the GF to get to her Greek Yogurt and once by my son to make room for some doggie-bagged chicken wings. It didn’t even complain (although it certainly had every right to) when day-after-day, lunch came and went, and yet still it remained unopened.
The little bottle continued to be courteous when finally, I decided to open it – for dinner. Yes, I know. What a terrible way to treat a house guest. But there I was on a Monday night (for the record I really try to make Monday “Ed doesn’t cook day”) and Tracey was working late. So with a fridge full of sandwich makings and a bottle who certainly had displayed an exemplary amount of patience, I decided it was time for it to be open.
But as charming as a tenant as Lunch was, did it live up to its appreciative, good nature in the glass? Let’s taste.
THEM: Lunch’s grain bill consists of American 2-Row, CaraPils, Caramel 40L, Munich 10L, and Red Wheat. The gravity starts at 1.059 Plato and is fermented down to a respectable by not over powering 7% ABV. The beer is then flavored and balanced with a combination of Warrior, Amarillo, Centennial, and Simcoe.
Maine Beer Company’s bottles are stamped with a bottling day, and they recommend that their hoppy beers be enjoyed no less than 90 days after that date.
Red Wheat? Well, Northern Brewer states “3-3.5° L. This American wheat malt is made from hard red winter wheat and has a slightly fuller, richer taste than normal wheat malt. Use up to 5% for head retention, or up to 50% for a wheat beer”.
ME: Man, does this beer rock. The carbonation is awesome, and the lacing is amazing. The initial head takes it’s own sweet time to fade, and as it does it remains as a dense, creamy head that can almost be described as fluffy.
Yeah, I said it. So what? It’s not like he’s trademarked the word or anything. Now where was I? Oh, I mean really, you can blow rosebuds in this head. Maybe it’s because of that Red Wheat. If so, I’d toss some into just about any beer I brewed. The hazy (bottle conditioned), orange beer really shines in the nose with rindy grapefruit, melon, a touch of pine and some grassiness. . If you’re a fan of hoppy beers, this is right up your alley. There’s an blend of pine and fruit (both citrus and tropical) on first sip, and then it all clears out. Really, it’s kinda of empty in the middle when compared to the initial hop burst. and pretty clean in the back, except for a lite lingering coating of hops on your mouth.
Anything negative I could say about this beer would be just nit picking against my personal preferences. This is a lovely beer, with an awesome appearance in the glass, and lots of hoppy goodness. If this sounds like your glass of beer, then you might want to think about picking it up if you ever come across it. I think you will find it a very welcomed house guest, and not just for lunch.
Time for another beer.