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Tasting Notes: Maine Beer MO Pale Ale

I love the creativity and risk-taking of craft beer brewers.  Without it, this thing we call craft beer would not be as important or as vital.  However, I think sometimes brewers (as with all creative types) get too caught up in recreating the wheel and pushing the creative envelope and they forget to just make a quality product. No bells and whistles, just something good, consistent and tasty.

I like NE-style IPAs and big sugary stouts and hibiscus, rosehip, honey goses.  I love to taste the crazy things brewers try to come up with to set themselves apart.  Yet, there are times when all I want is a good well-balanced beer.  A well made Irish Stout has become my go-to beer.  Something dry and easy drinking.  One of the original session beers.

Another well-balanced sometimes forgotten style that I’ve found myself coming back to again is the pale ale.  One of the best made today is the Maine Beer MO.

This is a beer that immediately looks beautiful in the glass.  It has a nice light golden color and a thin white head.  The head doesn’t last long but it does leave a good lacing on the side of the glass as you drink.

The aroma is equally as beguiling with citrusy hop aroma and a bready malt backbone.

It is the taste, however, that really highlights MO’s balance.  As it should.  You get the characteristic American Pale Ale hop flavor: bright and citrusy.  However, there is little to no hop bitterness.  Just enough to give it a nice dry finish that begs you to take another sip, but not something overwhelming.  You also get a bready malt sweetness with, to my palate, a hint of apple/apricot.  MO is soft and medium on the palate with good carbonation and finishes dry and clean.

A good pairing for this beer would be an “adult” grilled cheese sandwich with a nice sharp cheddar on sourdough or rye bread.  If you are looking for a more meat-focused pairing you could also go with a lean pork dish.  (Don’t worry the meat recommendation comes from a very close friend who eats meat.  Not me.) You can also drink it with a fig based dessert where the crisp hoppiness cuts through the natural sweetness of the fruit.

I am recommending Maine Brewery’s MO even though I know a lot of beer geeks who may read this, already love it.