September 3, 2016 by Cody
Sticking close to home, I decided to explore another South Portland arrival to the Southern Maine beer scene, Fore River Brewing. I hadn’t heard much about this unassumingly named brewery, but having a brewery I didn’t know much about in my own back yard, needed to be righted immediately.
Located right off an unassuming (yes, this is now the word of the day as it pertains to this entry) road off of Main St, sits a pleasant little, well to do refurbished, yet unassuming building with a clean and polite sign donning the brewery’s name over the quaint barn-like entry way. Before I’ve even had a taste of their beer, everything about Fore River just screams unassuming and quaint. Foulmouthed is the bold, cool and metallic SoPo brewery, while Fore River is almost the opposite, with it’s down home, unvarnished wooden mystique.
Stepping foot into the tasting room is a continuation of the initial experience. Full of naked, clean woodwork of both the structure, the bar, and the tables. It’s a pleasant room, with wide open doors letting the sunlight pour in. It’s a nice place to drink some beer.
John Henry Milk Stout
porter w/ lactose (5.2%)
A very mellow lactose infused porter. Featuring a bit of booze followed by vanilla, and a little cinnamon on the back end. Not a strong aroma here, in fact almost non-existent. A bit of a currant flavor is present, but not predominant. This is a simple milk stout, and not much more. I am admittedly not a huge fan of this style, and this is a good example of why. This is just a little too unassuming. Only the most hardcore porter fans might find value here, otherwise… NOT RECOMMENDED
John Henry Nitro
technically same damn stuff (5.2%)
Wow, nitrogen adds so much more creaminess, which really elevates this beer. The aroma of this beverage is much more apparent as well, but still lacking. The pure creamy, buttery flavor emanating from this is attractive and tasty, which puts this well above the original on my scale of beer…drinki..ness? This version, should be the go to varietal. RECOMMENDED
india pale ale (6.5%)
We are all used to drinking American IPA’s with dramatic pine, resin, and bold citrus flavors, but this version is quite different than what I’m used to. This puppy has amazing citrus flavors far more akin to clementine, than grapefruit. There is a bit of a barnyard booze that lends a sweetness factor that you often don’t pick up in American IPA’s. Very juicy, with a mellow hop bite. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My friend Jonas distracted me during this tasting, so I shall not cast judgment at this time. I know…I’m sure everyone desperately wanted to know my opinion about this one, so blame Jonas. Blame him hard. I will report back at a future date to give a proper review. Darn you Jonas, darn you.
American pale ale (5.9%)
Very smooth and sweet for a pale ale, with a dry bitternes on the backend. While there is nothing particularly special about this pale ale, it does feature lighter than normal hopping, which is actually appreciated to a certain extent, and makes this brew certainly sessionable. As maybe a nice table beer…? RECOMMENDED
Fore River for all it’s quaintness, has presented a batch of fairly unassuming beers, and in the grand landscape of Maine beer, that is not a place I’d imagine many brewers want to be. Lygonia, if presented as their flagship, would be a recommended move in my opinion, as that is clearly the best of the bunch that I had. Fore River, like all new breweries, has plenty of room for growth, but they need to be something more than unassuming.