Well… I’m writing again, which I suppose is a start. It took months of prodding, some beer and an unreasonable amount of patience on Tom and Carla’s behalf, but I picked up the computer.
So onto the beer!
Bonfire Rye by Sebago Brewing Co.
Sebago Brewing is based out of Gorham, Maine so this is really more of a beer tease unless you summer in New England.
First impressions are a deep copper color that was pouring clear until I hit a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle. It has a nice tan head with small bubbles that linger. There was also a big whiff of hops that I wasn’t expecting from a beer named “Bonfire” although in hindsight the words, “Rye Ale Stoked With Hops” on the front of the bottle probably should have had some bearing on my expectations.
It has a crisp rye aroma that is packed with citrusy hops and a hint of caramel. Hmmm… smells light and refreshing but still not quite getting “Bonfire” branding.
Big rye flavor, nice and dry, with a big citrus hop profile and a punch of roasted malt (Oh there you are Bonfire!). Usually when I’m sitting around a bonfire I’m holding a glass of a nice stout, maybe a porter, a winter warmer, or an old ale but usually the malt is the main player and the hops are often left out in the cold. The touch roasted malt plays well with the hops and give this hoppy rye beer a nice Autumnal twist.
HOMEBREWING SIDEBAR: This beer actually reminds me a lot of a beer I brewed. It was an aggressively hopped ale which was supposed to be pale but the couple ounces of chocolate malt I tossed in at the last minute turned it into a roasty American brown ale.
Over all, it’s a great beer and a good excuse (not that you really need one) to bring the hops fireside.
If it sounds good and you aren’t planning a trip to Maine anytime soon, hit up your local beer store and grab some American style brown ales to try and see if you can find some fire friendly hops.