Thursday, February 23, 2012

Maine Beer Company Zoe

Hops can add three different elements to beer depending on how long it boils while brewing. Long boiling times add bitterness. Short boiling times add the flowery flavor of the hops. Extra short boiling times add aroma. Typically, brewers add hops at different times to build elements of all three in their beers.

This Zoe ale from the Maine Beer Company is a hop celebration. The tag line just below the cute smiley face on the label reads, "Our Happy, Hoppy, Amber ALE."  There is a fair amount of hoppy bitterness and aroma, but the beer is dominated by the floral notes of the hops.

You can see the thick head in the picture, which telegraphs the almost chewy mouth feel. I would prefer a slightly less sweet finish. Nonetheless, this was a delightful change of pace from the Belgian ales I've been fixated on lately.

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