99 Bottles

Review: Rising Tide Spinnaker

Rising Tide Brewing is a 15-barrel brewhouse in Portland, Maine's East Bayside neighborhood. You may have seen the beers around Boston, in places like the Kenmore Square bar The Lower Depths. Rising Tide was established in October of 2010.

You may have noticed that I have a little Maine thing, and because of that I've been meaning to review one of Rising Tide's beers. "Ishmael", a copper ale, "Zephyr", an IPA, and "Daymark", a rye pale ale, are some of the brewery's flagships. So is "Spinnaker", a Hefeweizen that is perfect for summer.

spinnaker.jpg Briefly, a Heifewiezen, or German weissbier, is the classical wheat beer of Bavaria. For a beer to be called as such in that country, it must be made with at least 50 percent malted wheat (as opposed to barley). The origins of wheat beer date back some 6,000 years.

Today, these beers are synonymous with summer. They're light and refreshing, with a high carbonation and protein level producing voluminous foam (Garret Oliver's wonderful "Oxford Companion to Beer" is helping me through this description).

Rising Tide "Spinnaker" pours energetically into a tulip glass. I smell grass and lemon peel. Nicely bubbly, the first sip of this beer is smooth. No flavors overwhelm, but there's fresh orange and a hint of spice. This is not a complex beer, but it's a good one. At 4.5 percent alcohol by volume it screams (OK maybe whispers) patio.

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