My trips to Maine almost always involve stops at local breweries, usually a mix of old favorites and newer places, and the most frequent stop over the years has to be Maine Beer Company in Freeport. There are numerous reasons for this, the beer is consistently excellent, it’s a convenient stop about halfway through our trip and near some good places to grab lunch, friendly staff, and I don’t feel like I am really in Maine until I am sipping a glass of Lunch on the porch by the lake. When we stopped in July it was the first time I’d been back to the brewery since they completed their major expansion. The new tasting room is enormous and beautiful, plenty of seating, awesome list of beers on draft and in bottles to go, and the pizza many of the patrons were eating looked delicious (we’d already eaten, but might stop for lunch on our trip in August). I just grabbed beers to go, including the latest release from their brewery-only Black Barn Series. I think every brewery that has substantial distribution should have some taproom only beers, it allows them to experiment a bit and rewards the loyal customers who frequent the physical brewery. Maine Beer Company Black Barn Program #5 is a session IPA available for a limited time on draft and in 500 mL bottles at the brewery.
Maine Beer Co. Black Barn Program #5 pours clear copper with a solid white head. The aroma features plenty of fruity hops, mostly citrus. The flavor is also hop forward, notes of orange, passion fruit, and guava along with a mild but present bitterness. The hops are balanced by some malt character, touches of bread crust and crackers. Black Barn Program #5 is light and easy drinking but not watered down, sessionable at 4.7% ABV. The finish is crisp and clean with a little lingering hop flavor. This session IPA fits well in the Maine Beer profile, another precisely built beer that lets the hops shine. I look forward to sampling more of the Black Barn Program releases in the near future! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Maine Beer Co. Reviews:
Maine Beer Co. Fall, Maine Beer Co. Woods and Waters, Maine Beer Co. Beer V, Maine Beer Co. Thank You, Maine Beer Co. Mo, Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom, Maine Beer Co. A Tiny Beautiful Something, Maine Beer Co. Beer II, BREWERY OVERVIEW: Maine Beer Co., Maine Beer Co. King Titus, Maine Beer Co. Lunch, Maine Beer Co. Another One, Maine Beer Co./Allagash/In’finiti 2013 Ale, Maine Beer Co. Peeper