Today’s been a beer day for me for some reason. That may be because last night I discovered that Netflix had the cancelled Discover Channel show “Brew Masters” available for streaming. The show, released in 2010 only had a 6 episode run before being cancelled. Some say that the show was cancelled because in following around Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, the network had brought down the sound and the fury of the big brewers. Regardless of what happened it was a decent show, and I binge watched the whole series today. That made me thirsty. Fortunately, stashed away for such a thirst is a bottle of Maine Beer Companies “Peeper Ale” APA, which brings me to today’s post.
This beer came to be in my fridge because my dad had purchased it based on some scuttle-butt about how great it was, and being the generous man he is, he bought it for me. What first struck me about the bout is the very simple aesthetic. From Riverhorse’s awesome hippos to the Ralph Steadman work on Flying Dog’s label and beyond it seems that craft beer marketing has brought label art to great new places, and I think that Maine Beer’s understated label for Peeper Ale, clean typography and a little stick frog, is just as striking. It reminds me of Picasso’s drawing of Don Quixote. Perhaps I’m going too far into this, but I think the label is a metaphor for what lies behind it: a clean and simple beauty. Peeper pours a hazy lemon yellow with a beautiful head that leaves an equally elegant lacing. The flavors are crisp and light, a bit of biscuit from the malts and a very balanced hop profile that starts out with a tiny bit of lemon and finishes with a slightly bitter floral taste reminiscent of lavender. This is a perfect beer for a summer day, or a summer night when the peeper’s it draws its name from chirps out its brief bliss. This is a simple, elegant APA that will wipe the sweat from your brow. Weighing in at 5.5% this would make a fine session beer to get you through a hot day, if you afford to do that. Unfortunately, this review probably comes at the wrong time as the brisk winds just blew into New England warning us that winter is coming with a vengeance, and with it the season of porters and stouts, but with the woodstove cranked up I still need refreshment. So tonight Peeper Ale is my last nod to the mild beginnings of fall, and I couldn’t have picked a finer beer to do it with.