July 6, 2013

Maine Beer Company's Lunch: The Soulmate of Beer?

I visited Maine Beer Company’s (new) digs in Freeport, Maine, over the long holiday weekend and I will say that it didn’t surprise me that the brewery, which includes a bustling little tasting room, lives up to the growing reputation of its product.  Before I go too far, I should mention that I only know about craft beer by way of reading about it and taking sips from my husband’s glass.  Being the curious cat that I am, however, I find myself intrigued by the craft beer movement.

What’s intrigued me about Maine Beer Company is its entire approach to its product.  From the bottle, which is taller and more slender than a standard beer bottle and therefore more akin to a wine bottle, to the crisp and clean-like-linen label, to the slogan “Do what’s right”, Maine Beer Company is all about quality over quantity, with nothing – from taste to image -- being sacrificed.  It's apparent that the product, the beer, sells itself, which is suggested on the label as being consumed within 90 days of the "stamped born date" as "[h]oppy beers do not age well."  Lunch, Maine Beer Company’s perhaps most sought-after American IPA, receives a world-class rating of a 97 by Beer Advocate, emits a delightful aroma of citrus and pine.  And though I’m no connoisseur, it is the most delicious-smelling beer I’ve ever set my nose on.  No exaggeration. 

After visiting the birthplace of Lunch, the tasting room of which is situated in a light and airy space where you can order all MBC’s offerings as well as some interesting mashups off a chalkboard, I was struck by how the space itself was a continued reflection of the company’s product with its white-washed walls, hand-carved taps, and large picture window where you can watch beer being made as you sip an IPA born yesterday and play a little game of Jenga with your friends.  All of this is comfortably flanked between a pastoral farmhouse setting and Coastal Route 1.  Ah, Maine - the way life should be.

Like Maine Beer Company, I am a quality over quantity person.  Take a look at my friends and you will see what I mean.  They can be easily counted on two hands and are all equally incredible people: smart, interesting, wonderful, and wise.  They all happen to have superior qualities to me, which I'm well aware of, and hope that through immersion their greatness will eventually rub off on me.   

Maine Beer Company is kind of like that knock-your-socks-off person you meet who’s almost too good to be true:  Smart.  Interesting.  Deep and also funny.  Humble.  Wise.  Attractive.  Fun to be around.  Refined but not snobby.  Can be found uptown or upta camp.  And bonus!  (Also happens to be quite sexy.)  As you probably know, this is a next-to-impossible combination, though of course it does exist.  Hey, just take a look at Lunch!  But when it comes down to it, many of us are a little intimidated by that knock-your-socks-off beer, person, or thing, and instead settle for what is easy, cheap, and ubiquitous.  Though my good friends aren't easy, cheap, and ubiquitous, I happen to go for this combination in my mascara (which is usually L'Oreal Voluminous, if you really want to know.) 

Sometimes, people will go for what’s a little below them because it has the dual effect of temporarily boosting their egos while also expending no intellectual or emotional energy on their part, which is not always a bad thing, though it is usually accompanied with temporary gratification and ultimately leaves them kind of bored and under-stimulated in the end.  To get to the thing that knocks your socks off typically takes a little extra work, a bit of effort, some hustle and flow.  Take MBC’s Lunch, for example.  It can be hard to find at your typical corner store, is rather pricy at $6 a bottle, and might be confusing to the palate at first, which is why many of us go for the easy-to-get and often underwhelming Budweiser; the overrated and oversweet Pumpkinhead Ale (just because it's seasonal doesn't make it better); or PBR, the beer that everyone knows and everyone makes fun of, but will still hook up with, because hell, cheap ass is still ass.   

Though my friends would receive similar ratings to MBC’s, I actually happen to have a beer palate of a five year old, which is why you will likely find me sipping on any sudsy low-end light beer, if my preferred drink of choice -- a vodka tonic -- is not available (though if you know me really well my ultimate preference would be chocolate cake).  So, let's be real here -- who am I to write about Maine Beer Company's Lunch?  All I can say is that I know a good thing when I see it. 

No comments: