I’ve visited more breweries in Maine than any state other than Massachusetts, and it isn’t even close. While Massachusetts is home now, I spent the first 22 years of my life in Vacationland and during normal times I make frequent trips up north to visit friends, family and for alumni events at my alma mater. Despite this, there are still tons of breweries in Maine that I haven’t been to, it’s a big state that loves craft beer, so I try to also visit beer stores when I’m in Maine to try selections from a wider variety of breweries. A good example is Gneiss (think of a German word like Weiss but with a silent G, so it’s pronounced “nice”) out of Limerick, ME, a part of the state I don’t think I’ve ever visited. Gneiss makes a variety of beers with a focus on traditional German styles, I have been able to try a few of their releases in Maine but I haven’t done a formal review. Fortunately their beer is now available in Massachusetts, distributed by Craft Collective. I recently grabbed some Rocktoberfest, Gneiss’ take on the traditional German marzen style. Gneiss Rocktoberfest is available in the fall on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Gneiss Rocktoberfest pours clear deep copper with a small off-white head. The aroma features some rich toasty malts. These malts lead the flavor too, notes of caramel, bread dough and biscuits along with a hint of residual sweetness. Some floral and herbal hops add balance. Rocktoberfest is medium bodied and smooth, but packs some punch at 6.0% ABV. The finish is rich with some lingering malt flavor. This is another good example of the marzen style I enjoy this time of year, I will need to try some more Gneiss beers on my trips to Maine, or on stock-up runs in Massachusetts. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.