Until recently there were very few stores that specialized in beer. In Maine, where I grew up and went to school, they sold beer at every local grocery store and convenience store. Some places took pride in offering a good variety of choices that skewed towards local selections, but most were just taking advantage of summer tourists eager to purchase anything that had Maine written on the label. When I moved to MA, I started to see more liquor stores that made it a point to stock an extensive selection of craft beer. Recently, I was introduced to Craft Beer Cellar, which combines an amazing selection and a knowledgeable staff with a beer-centric philosophy. My local CBC is Newton where I buy the majority of my beer. I also follow the Newton and Belmont stores on social media (Facebook and Twitter), where they are quick to announce new beer releases. A few weeks ago CBC Newton informed their followers that they had a case of Lunch, the highly sought after IPA from Maine Beer Company that makes infrequent appearances in MA. Instead of a first-come, first served announcement, any one who liked the post was entered in a drawing to purchase a discounted bottle. I was one of the winners, and went in that weekend to buy Lunch (and a crazy amount of other deliciousness). Lesson: It pays to have a local place where you get your beer, and to follow them online. You never know when you’ll get hooked up with a hard to find and delicious beer.
Maine Beer Co. Lunch pours a clear deep copper with a moderate white head. The first smell is a huge burst of American hops, tropical fruit, citrus and pine. The taste is dominated by juicy hops with notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange, mango, resin, flowers and grass. This is accompanied by a pleasant, but not overwhelming bitterness. While this is a hop-bomb of a beer there is some noticeable maltiness that helps balance things out. Lunch is medium bodied and very easy to drink. At 7.0% ABV this is a pretty big beer, but the alcohol doesn’t come through in the flavor at all. The finish is very crisp with a mouth puckering bitterness in the aftertaste. It’s a great beer! When I first started to drink Maine Beer Co. beers there were some issues with consistency, some beers would be great one time and so-so the next. I haven’t had any issues with this in the last year or two. I’ve had Lunch 3 times in the past year and each time it’s been spectacular. If you have the opportunity to buy and try this beer I highly recommend it. Hoppy Boston score: 5.0/5.
Previous Maine Beer Co. Reviews: