I am finally finishing up the reviews of the beers I bought on my trip to Industrial Way in Portland at the end of August! My writing schedule has been a little crazy, so it has taken me a while to get through all of the different beers I grabbed on that trip. While I maintain that Industrial Way is the best one-stop brewery destination in New England, I have one minor quibble, the breweries there (and really everywhere) are a little too IPA focused. I know that hoppy beers tend to drive sales, and these are businesses that need to make money, but the vast majority of offerings at each brewery (aside from Allagash) were IPA variants. So after I bought IPAs at Austin Street, Battery Steele and Definitive I was happy to grab some diversity at Foundation Brewing. Foundation makes some stellar hoppy beers, Epiphany and Cosmic Bloom are personal favorites, but those beers are available in Massachusetts on a somewhat regular basis. I was excited to try some of the small batch barrel aged beers from Foundation, many of which are local-only releases. One of the beers I grabbed was Panoptic, a mixed culture golden farmhouse wild ale aged in wine barrels. Foundation Panoptic is available on a rotating basis in 500 mL bottles.
Foundation Panoptic pours clear light yellow with a massive white head, you can tell this beer was bottle conditioned, there was some serious foaming when I popped the top. The nose is full and complex, fruity, funky and floral. The flavors imparted by the fermentation lead the way, notes of lemon, apricot, peppercorn, barnyard and just the slightest hint of acidity. There are some noticeable hops here, hints of orange and herbs that add another layer to the flavor. A mild malt backbone rounds out the flavor with touches of bread crust and cereal. Panoptic is light and easy drinking but packs some serious punch at 8.4% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering flavors from the fermentation. This is a very nice wild ale, complex and flavorful, definitely worth checking out if you enjoy the style. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Foundation Reviews: