This is the third installment of Maine Beer Company’s Collaboration Time Series; brewed in partnership with Kjetil Jikiun of Nøgne ø. The bottle notes that the aim of this beer was to use a blend of house Maine yeasts and create a sessionable beer that incorporates elements of a saison and a hoppy American ale.
The result is this “mixed breed” beer – both a rye saison and a pale ale. I feel like this beer pairs very well with a painting I just picked up. Gracefully combining elements of both horse and robot, we are presented with this stoic chrome stallion – a stranger in a strange land or finally finding serenity in the sun-dappled meadow, I can’t say.
What I do know is that Collabo III pours a very hazy, deep amber/yellow color. A large white head that reminds me of beaten egg whites, begins to settle into a dense, thick layer – really clinging to the beer like it’s shielding it from danger – as I’m sure my robo-horse would guard me.
Lately I’ve been having a slight fruit fly problem in my house. Opening this beer was not the remedy. Tons of sweet fruits called the winged hordes until I had to cover the bottle with a DVD. Along with the fruit, there’s a pleasant spicy rye, some musty saison yeast, and light hoppy citrus notes.
Right off the bat, you get a very firm rye presence. This is a total rye beer. Then you get this bright hop bitterness in the middle (Saaz, Falconer’s Flight, Cascade). It’s spicy, sweet, and citrus all at the same time. The bitterness lingers for a while into the finish, perfectly accentuated by the spicy rye. Add into all of this a soft saison funk and a musty yeast character, and you have a well-played out complexity.
It’s full and creamy, reminiscent of a wheat beer, with a medium-light body and prickly carbonation, finishing with a slightly chalky and dry quality. On paper, it seemed like this beer was going to end up confused with jarring taste components, but really, it comes off almost simple and so incredibly drinkable.
Collaboration III is only available for a limited time at the Maine Beer Company tasting room and in small quantities at certain bottle shops throughout ME, MA, NY, and VT. I found mine for a very reasonable price at Carl’s Meat Market in Kittery, ME.
Maine Beer Company
525 Route 1
Freeport, ME, 04032