Brewery: Maine Beer Company (Freeport, ME)
Style: Pale Ale
5.5% ABV / N/A IBU
The American pale ale style resists innovation. For decades, there was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and everything else, and everything else was totally unmemorable. A good pale ale is never going to be a show-stopper – it won’t hit you in the face with any one element, because everything has to be in harmony. A good pale ale has all of its chakras aligned. A good pale ale is one with the universe, man. And Peeper is a very, very good pale ale.
This is Maine Beer Company’s flagship, and the first of its brews to be mass-produced starting in ’09. According to the company, Peeper was the process of intense scrutiny and trial and error. It seems pretty simple at first pour, but Peeper incorporates three types of super aromatic hops – Amarillo, Cascade, and Centennial – for a floral finish. I believe that it’s actually hopped 2x: once in the wort, then dry-hopped during the fermentation phase. Hops and pasteurization retard rot, so bring on the hops; the reek of putrefaction obviously slays as a Carcass album, but does not rule in a 6-pack.
One interesting thing about Peeper is that it pours with a heathy head. Foam is normally like an annoying person who won’t leave you alone at a party, but you really get a concentrated taste of hops in there. Carbonation is also on point with Peeper: the effect of tons of tiny little bubbles floating up to the surface is mesmerizing. When you’re done staring at the glass and get down to drinking it, Peeper is slightly fruity and slightly spicy, and actually reflects the character of both the hops and the yeast introduced in fermentation. It’s beautifully balanced, and offers nourishment for the body, mind, and soul. Drink for health and wellness.