Peak Brewing

PEAK ORGANIC BREWING COMPANY

Based out of Portland, Maine, Peak Organic Brewing Company “is a small craft brewing company dedicated to making delicious, handcrafted ales using only the finest artisanal ingredients.” Obviously, they use only organic raw materials in their brewing process  and try to purchase local.

www.peakbrewing.com

Year-Round/Seasonals:

HOP NOIR: 83 Points

Black body, grapefruit hops

This Black IPA has an IBU of 98 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt.”

My Description: This is an enjoyable Black IPA but it has a few negatives that prevents it from being an elite brew. However, the head is big and bountiful with a nice, dark beige color. The retention is great with a good amount of lacing. The aroma is basically a grapefruit hop explosion with some notes of pine hops and burnt caramel. Normally, this would smell amazing but it turned out to be slightly unpleasant because it had an unusual funk, almost egg-like fragrance that turned me away. However, that only pops up here and there and does not hurt the beer too badly. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. The flavor profile consists of roasted malt notes that taste a little harsh but the grapefruit hop flavor balanced it out nicely. The alcohol was nicely hidden though, I couldn’t pick it out at all. Overall, there is nothing great about this beer but at the same time nothing too bad either. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with Mushroom Swiss burgers, BBQ chicken, or a grilled flank steak with chipotle sauce.

ABV: 8.2% Color: Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 6/10

NUT BROWN ALE: 87 Points

Nutty Goodness

This Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Nut Brown Ale starts out very smooth, like an English-style Brown Ale. The use of Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt, and Hallartau Hops give this beer a crisp, nutty finish.”

My Description: This beer tastes good and the quality is nice but it felt just a little too light and airy to fully satisfy my craving for a Nut Brown Ale. It has a good sized, light tan colored head with good lacing and a decent retention. The aroma is welcoming with fragrant notes of nuttiness, caramel, and a slight roastiness. It is light to medium in body with a moderate carbonation level and a slightly dry finish. The beer is nicely balanced with a semi-sweet malty flavor up front followed by a moderate bitter aftertaste with a lingering caramel note. There is also a modest roasted flavor in the beer with a touch of earth hops but the nuttiness flavor fades quickly. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted pork, beef stew, or smoked Gouda.

ABV: 4.7% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 4/10

PALE ALE: 83 Points

Average Pale Ale

This Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles and on tap.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Pale Ale is a complex hybrid between a West-Coast Pale Ale and a British-Style Pale Ale. An abundance of Cascade Hops gives this beer a citrusy, floral nose. We use a high percentage of Caramel Malt to provide a stark contrast to the hoppy front palate.”

My Description: This Pale Ale just seemed okay to me; it almost felt like the hops didn’t taste as clean and smooth as I had hoped for but it is still a good brew.  It has a good sized, off-white colored head with a good retention and average lacing. The aroma was slightly complex with fragrant notes of earth hops and citrus hops accompanied by some crystal malt and a touch of nuttiness. It is medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a semi-dry finish. There was a definite presence of a citrus/lemon bite throughout the beer, which most likely came from the West Coast hops. There is also a touch of caramel malt up front to give it just a touch of sweetness. The aftertaste was only slightly bitter but the bitterness felt too sharp and not as smooth as it should be. Overall, the pale ale was just okay, it could have been better. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with chicken sandwiches, buffalo wings, or a pepperoni pizza.

ABV: 5.1%  Color: Orange/Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

POMEGRANATE WHEAT: 92 Points

Pomegranate done right

This Fruit Wheat Ale has IBU of 19 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Peak Pomegranate Wheat is a refreshing, yet intricate ale brewed with locally grown organic wheat, organic coriander and a touch of organic Pomegranate and Acai juice.”

My Description: Considering the fruit levels in this beer, it is not overly sweet and the flavors taste fresh and clean. This is a great fruit beer. It has a nice and bubbly, white colored head that leaves some good lacing and the retention is great. The aroma is sweet with fragrant note of berries, açai, and a touch of coriander. It is roughly medium bodied with an average carbonation level and a slightly dry finish. This beer is smooth and crisp with flavor notes of sweet berries like pomegranate and açai accompanied by a nice balance of coriander and a touch of spice. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with caprese salads, fruit desserts, or grilled fish.

ABV: 5.9% Color: Reddish Gold Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 1/10

SUMMER SESSION ALE: 90 Points

Great summer quencher

This American Style Wheat Ale is available seasonally in the summer in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A traditional summer wheat beer marries a West Coast pale ale. Locally grown wheat provides a complex mouthfeel and Amarillo® dry hopping gives a citrusy aroma.”

My Description: I am liking just about everything that is going on in this beer; it is refreshing, it has a clean bitterness, and it is easy drinking. It has a decent white colored head that retains nicely and produces a good amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with the fragrance of citrus hops accompanied by a touch of grassiness and lemon. It is roughly medium bodied with a slightly higher carbonation level and a smooth dry finish. With a fresh wheat background, you will taste some floral and citrus notes upfront followed by a moderate bitter aftertaste that hits the spot. This beer is crisp and it is a great session ale. It is best served around 42°F and pairs nicely with grilled seafood, jambalaya, or a burger.

ABV: 5%  Color: Pale Yellow  Sweetness: 1.5/10  Bitterness: 4.5/10

THE MAPLE COLLABORATION: 80 Points

Needs a bit more collaborating

This Amber Style Ale is brewed with organic maple syrup and is available in limited quantities in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The Maple Collaboration is a copper-colored brew with a dynamic mouth feel from the organic oats and a subtle richness in the finish from the organic maple syrup.”

My Description: Some beers acquire a subtle maple flavor note that comes naturally from the special malts used and/or certain brewing methods. I was not expecting a subtle maple flavor in this beer because it is brewed with maple syrup and the word maple is on the label. However, this beer has only the faintest hint of maple; perhaps the label was a marketing ploy.  It has an average sized, tan colored head with a sub-par retention level and a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is on the malty sweet side with some fragrant notes of caramel and a hint of maple as the beer warms up. It is roughly medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a smooth, dry finish. Up front the taste of malt dominates the palate accompanied by some flavor notes of tobacco, toffee, and the shiest hint of maple. The aftertaste is moderately bitter with no alcohol flavor. Even if the maple was more present, the flavors don’t taste fresh and clean. I think this beer needed a little more love. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with duck in raspberry sauce, grilled salmon, or bratwurst.

ABV: 6.2%  Color: Light Amber  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 4/10