“I guess I’ll need to have another one.”
That’s how my notes end on Maine Beer Company’s Another One IPA. Yes, I take notes – while drinking, as I assume most titans of industry do – in a small faux-leather bound medium-sized notebook. I feel like maybe I’ve mentioned this before, making it all the more likely to be true. Also, I have a few pages in the back where I keep every one of my internet passwords. If you were to obtain this notebook, say in a posthumous auction of my personal effects, you would be the proud owner of a majority of my beer related opinions and internet secrets – a powerful combination to say the least.
“When we expanded our brewery in 2013, the stress was something, to say the least. I ran out of creative juice for a minute so I decided to have another one for inspiration.”
That’s the quote from Maine Beer Company’s website regarding Another One IPA. Most likely, you immediately noticed the uncanny similarities between their words and my words and were astonished. However, allow me to point out the differences: At Maine Beer Company, they are having another one for inspiration, while I am simply having another one, and it is certainly not for inspiration. Also, I am specifically going to have another Another One. While at Maine, they would have been having another beer entirely and it was from the creativity brought on by having another of that other beer that Another One was born.
Diving deeper on their website, I saw that the malt bill for Another One includes red wheat, along with American 2-Row and Carapils, and the ears on my inner malt cat perked up a bit. And while a hop list of Cascade, Citra, and Simcoe doesn’t make the masses drool the way it used to, it should be common knowledge that that combination of hops rarely disappoints when done well.
This almost seems like an completely different beer at the end compared to what I thought it was at the beginning.”
The smell of citrus, mostly grapefruit and lemon, and pine as I poured Another One reminded me of all all the pleasant aspects of a freshly cleaned kitchen with sparkling linoleum, because to hell with your fancy tile. The taste has similar notes, but transported me to someplace else entirely – grapefruit and lemon zest with a surprisingly resinous pine and citrus rind finish – I’m not sure exactly where I am but it’s bright, prickly, and enjoyably bitter.
And based on those three descriptors, it sounds like I’m outside on a mid-summer’s day, sitting on decorative cacti, with my Aunt Janice. But that’s just weird, so let’s move on.
The mouthfeel is lovely and airy and substantial, matching the the white fizzy head and pale yellow of the beer, and complementing the up front flavors of every sip. But that full feel is gradually met with a building bitterness, and like layers of paint over too many years, the room starts to feel a little bit smaller with each mouthful.
As time passes, not years, but just tens of minutes, the flavors start to develop a dirty, almost funky quality, like a Czech pilsner, but on steroids, perhaps owing more to warming towards room temperature, or brought on by the secondary pour from the uniquely sized (16.9 ounce) bottle.
Give it more time and the complexity of flavors here slowly grow until they are no longer able to be recorded on the hand drawn flavor charts I started at the beginning of this beer, which is to say that these flavors are officially off the charts, which is to say that this almost seems like an completely different beer at the end compared to what I thought it was at the beginning. And now my glass is empty.
I guess I’ll need to have another one.