Lunch is both a whale and a beer, but not a whale beer. Lunch, the finback whale, has visited the Gulf of Maine since 1982 and is a celebrity of sorts in the coastal towns. When the first batch of Maine Brewing Company’s West Coast IPA was finished, it earned the same name. Released occasionally throughout the year, Lunch is not so much one of beer’s white whales as it is a limited-run IPA.
The beer, whether poured from a fresh bottle or on draft, has a bright orange hue and is completely opaque. The fat white head on top regresses only slightly, as bubbles stream to the surface. The head sticks to the edge of the glass with legs like a lighter red wine.
Lean in and take a deep breath. There’s a ton of grapefruit in this beer—a blend of both the bitter concentrate of the oils from the zest and the juicy fruit inside. Subtle notes of pine avail themselves, cutting through the citrus.
If you have a chance to pick up a fresh bottle when they are available or can find it on draft, it’s worth savoring every drop.”
Bright citrus flavors of grapefruit, lemon and orange open this beer. It’s refreshing and causes the mouth to water almost immediately. The malt bill—a curious blend of American two-row, Carapils, caramel, Munich and red wheat—evens out the fruit flavor, adding a hint of sweetness in the bridge. It transitions quickly to the intense grapefruit bitterness found in the nose and dries out at the end.
The beer has an intense carbonation that tickles the palate and livens up the citrus. The medium body and moderate feel are overwhelmed by the forcefulness of the Amarillo, Centennial and Simcoe hops. This is an assertive beer with well-defined, robust flavors from start to finish. If you have a chance to pick up a fresh bottle when they are available or can find it on draft, it’s worth savoring every drop.