Every day, I am thankful for beer. It enlivens my palate, stimulates my brain, and engages me in a wonderful community of like-minded imbibers. During Thanksgiving week, we'll sample a few beers that add an additional dimension of thankfulness. Each of these special brews demonstrates the commitment of a local brewer to give back to a good cause. Cheers, loyal reader, and thanks!
Brewery: Maine Beer Company (Freeport, ME)
Beer: Post Ride Snack
Cause: Bicycle Coalition of Maine
Backstory: MBC makes at least three beers (Katahdin Woods and Waters, King Titus, Post-Ride Snack) that benefit particular causes. According to Anne Marisic, MBC's Marketing & Event Coordinator, their commitment goes beyond those beers, “We're a member of 1% For the Planet, so we've committed to give 1 percent of the gross annual sales of all our beers to good causes. Post-Ride Snack highlights our support of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. They do great work throughout the state to promote safe and accessible cycling. Additionally, we support the BCM”s “Bike Maine,” and event that brings great cycling experiences and economic benefits to a new region of Maine every year.
Tasting Notes: Post-Ride Snack glows a bright orange/yellow, and packs a powerful grapefruit/citrus aroma. Moderate hopping and bitterness make it a quenching drink. I've enjoyed this beer many times after long bicycle rides through Freeport!
Brewery: Dirigo Brewing Company (Biddeford, ME)
Beer: Corazón del Toro
Cause: A new heart for brewer and Founder Tom Bull
Backstory: As a former brewer at Gritty's, co-founder of (now defunct) Bull Jagger Brewing, and founder of Dirigo Brewing, Tom Bull is well-known in the craft beer community. As he built a reputation as a master of lagers, Tom's congenital heart condition worsened and made every breath a challenge. Tom's wife Molly told me, “I was sitting with (Gritty's owner) Richard Pfeffer at Sebago, talking about Tom's health. Richard generously agreed to donate proceeds from Gritty's golf tournament to Tom, and we hatched the idea of brewing a collaborative beer to raise awareness of heart disease and raise funds to pay for a new heart for Tom. The first batch sold out so quickly, Dirigo just brewed another batch! Each can has a link to contribute to our fundraiser.“
Tasting Notes: Molly describes the Corazón as a “Unique lager with Saaz, Mittlefruh, Hersbrucker and Relax hops.” The Corazón pours with a “light tan color, medium body and subtle, layered flavors.”
Learn More/Give Back: Everything helps. Molly encourages you to visit their tasting room, and support Tom by enjoying all of their beers. Additionally, visit bit.ly/heartofthebull to contribute directly.
Brewery: Allagash Brewing (Portland, ME)
Beer: 16 Counties
Cause: Sustainable agriculture and family farming in Maine
Backstory: According to Brett Willis, Allagash Marketing Specialist, this beer was the germ that started a philosophy of broader giving at Allagash. “The idea behind 16 Counties was to create a beer made with 100 percent Maine-grown grains, and then dedicate a portion of the sales to supporting Maine agriculture. Since we created 16 Counties, we've significantly expand our giving. Actually, a portion of all of Allagash's proceeds go support local good causes as part of our 'give where you live' philosophy. For example, we support Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and Maine Farmland Trust (MFT). We've pledged to purchase one million pounds of Maine-grown grain by 2021.”
Tasting Notes: This golden ale has notes of grapefruit, clove and banana. It's as if the style of a NEIPA was grafted onto the soul of an Belgian Tripel!