Brewery: Maine Beer Company
Style: Pale Ale
As you can probably tell from both my Untappd profile and also these reviews, we’re pretty stocked up on some good Maine beers right now. I have some other stories brewing but this week’s focus is on Maine Beer Company’s A Tiny Beautiful Something. I’m putting this pale ale in the spotlight for a second because man, it deserves it. Around 3 years ago during my first trip to Maine we made a stop at Maine Beer Company. This was following an afternoon of beer tours (we started at Allagash, then Foundation, then Austin Street) and at the time I was not a big IPA drinker, which is what Maine Beer Company is best known for. I was mostly into Belgian style ales and pale ales at the time, and after a day at Allagash, I was hard-pressed to want to change things up. Setting that aside, I stepped in with my boyfriend, Michael, and we ordered a flight of each beer on the list. IPAs definitely dominated the samplers, the name of each written in chalk on the tray of samplers we ordered. I remember not being able to distinguish too many of the distinctions in flavor between each brew, but even through the hoppy haze, there was one that stood out to me: A Tiny Beautiful Something. This pale ale was just that, tiny in its little four ounce pour but beautiful. It was light, refreshing, and not very hoppy. It easily was my favorite of the flight that day.
Fast-forward 3 years and my distaste for IPAs is nonexistent, in fact I usually prefer a good IPA over most beverages offered to me now. I’ve been back to Maine Beer Company (multiple times) since and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of their IPAs, and other diverse beers, but have failed to get A Tiny Beautiful Something on draft again.
Since Michael and his family are from New England, they’ll check occasionally to see if A Tiny Beautiful Something is available in cases at the brewery. Just two months ago, they had a successful visit. Michael surprised me bringing home a case of A Tiny Beautiful Something and I was so excited I didn’t even open it for a month because I wanted to drink it sparingly. I was worried I had hyped it up too much. Quickly after realizing how silly this all was I finally popped a bottle in the fridge to enjoy this past weekend.
We opened up the bottle and poured into our Maine Beer Company glasses (we’ve developed quite the collection of glasses from breweries we like) noticing how light and golden it poured. The head was thick and it smelled slightly of citrus and vanilla. Then I tasted it.
It’s silky, it’s smooth, it dances around your palate as you take your first and subsequent sips. As I embraced the flavors I noticed a vanilla-y note to the initial body of this pale ale. Following that it rounded out into an orange white tea flavor, before the silkiness cleaned it out and left my taste buds to take it all in. I noticed later when I looked over the bottle that Maine Beer Company highlights Anise as a tasting note. It clicked with me that the vanilla I tasted reminded me of my favorite Italian cookie, the pizzelle, which in my family, features a lot of anise. In a pale ale, this flavor adds unexpected depth.
Tiny is different than I remember it from when I tried it years ago, but it is incredible. It may just be that I’m noticing more flavors now and mindful of the subtleties in each brew, but regardless this beer is a special one. It is indeed beautiful and I am so glad we have the rest of the case to enjoy now. So Maine Beer Company, I salute you for this magnificent pale ale that can be enjoyed by any and all beer lovers. I can’t wait to indulge again soon.