Portland, Maine has a thriving restaurant and brewing scene and is often overlooked by the uninformed. Breweries in Portland have been churning out some awesome beers for many years. One of those breweries is Rising Tide Brewing and tonight I’m sampling their Ursa Minor stout. The label describes this beer as a Weizen Stout brewed with “wheat-beer” yeast along with dark crystal and roasted malts. That all checks out, time to dive in.
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The Bruery – one of the first breweries I admired when I starting drinking craft beer, a year or two after they first opened in 2008. California – the one place on the west coast I have wanted to visit the most since before I can remember. After years of saying “I’ll get there eventually,” I made it happen. My girlfriend and I visited the golden coast this past August & September 2014 and naturally, visited The Bruery too.
It’s something all beer nerds have done – you’re standing in your local six-pack shop holding the latest rare/seasonal release wondering if it’s a good price. So you text or tweet your beer nerd friends and ask, “Is $14 a bad price for this 22 oz bomber?” They then respond with the prices they have seen, and where. Lo and behold your six-pack shop is $4 more expensive, so you have to make a decision: Do you buy there, where it’s more expensive and you have the beer for sure, or do you attempt save a few bucks and run the risk of the next place not having it? A conundrum for sure.
There is a saying that goes “You can’t unring the bell,” you can’t go back to not experiencing something after you have experienced it. You can’t go back and watch your favorite movie for the first time and re-experience all the wonder and thrill of that first viewing. It may be just as good the second time around, but that first viewing is special because you didn’t know yet that you would love it.
Mixing different styles of beer can often lead to a great marriage of the best features of each style. My current favorite “hybrid” style is the wheat-IPA, the intersection of IPA and Hefeweizen. Browsing around a beer store in Maine I stumbled upon a beer of this style that I had to try, the Weiss Principal from Peak Organic Brewing company based in Portland, ME.