Downtown Portland! Such a delight for a beer lover like me, and there I was in the heart of it. Of course, Portland is more than beer, much more, and before I left it this warm September evening I would do a bit of shopping (gifts for the wife) and dining (Dimillo’s Floating Restaurant) as well. For now, though, I was happily wandering the streets of Portland, breathing in the salt air and in search of beer. First stop: Sebago Brewing Company.
I had been here before when the brewery first opened about 15 years ago. I ponied up to the bar and ordered up a sampler. Not cheap here, I think it was about $12 for 7 4-ounce samples, but hey, that is a lot of beer. Sebago did have an eclectic assortment of beers on tap, and one of the more interesting beers that I tried was Sebago Hallertau Blanc Ale.
Hallertau Blanc hops are a new variety recently cross bred in 2012. Here, they're used exclusively and based on a golden/blonde ale.
From the website:
The Hallertaus Blanc hop has a unique spicy aroma that reveals its strong bell pepper and melon notes. This single hop pale ale recipe has a light and refreshing body that highlights the unique qualities of this German Hop. This hop was designed for the fruity and hoppy American IPA’s that are so popular.
Ingredients from the website:
Sebago Hallertau Blanc Ale has an alcohol content of 5.6% by volume with 61 IBUs.
My glass of Sebago Hallertau Blanc Ale arrived a bright golden color with a medium head of white bubbly foam and a crisp, dry grassy hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer had a firm, light crisp maltiness up front followed by soft hints of melon fruit. I didn't get the bell pepper notes the brewery suggests, but I did get an herbal, grassy hop aroma and a very dry bitter hop finish.
Sebago calls this a pale ale but I disagree and would style it more as a blonde ale. The exclusive use of the Hallertau Blanc hop is well-executed here with the soft crisp malt and the resulting subtle fruit and dry finish reminded me to a degree of a Sauvignon Blanc white wine.
A very interesting beer indeed, and one I'm glad I had the chance to try as I believe this is brewery only.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.