October 13, 2016 by Cody
I was there the day Austin Street opened it’s doors at One Industrial Way a couple of years ago. Back then, Bissell Brothers and Foundation were still mere upstarts attempting to live up to the expectation that goes with brewing on such hallowed ground. Austin Street was another kid brother joining the fray, and with food truck, families and growlers a plenty, this brewery was born. That day I discovered Patina Pale Ale, one of Portland’s best pale ales, and one that has still maintained it’s status as a local favorite, without becoming the absolute juggernaut that others would become. This is not to say that Austin Street isn’t successful, they are in fact indelibly linked to Portland’s scene, and are becoming a stalwart visit for all beer aficionados who come looking for beer glory. Much like Allagash though from my previous entry, I had to stop by the Austin Street to see what they were up to, and to jot down my official thoughts on some damn tasty beers.
Patina Pale Ale
american pale ale (5.3%)
Yes indeed. The pale ale that isn’t quite an india pale ale. I mean, the hops are there a plenty, so if one were to make an argument that this was a straight up IPA, who would I be to contest that. Still, in my opinion, Patina is just hoppy enough without it being ALL hop. For instance, when I take a sip of Patina, I can still taste the grains just as much as the hops. And even more so, I can drink a Patina without it destroying my tongue with bitters and citruses. This is a pale ale with the perfect amount of hops to just provide sustenance. It fits right in with the scene’s hoppiest of hop bombs, but it stands on it’s own as Portland’s premiere straight up pale ale. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Double Dry Hopped Patina Pale Ale
american ipa (5.3%)
So remember that whole spiel I just wrote about the premier pale ale? Well that goes out the window with this one. Dry hopping Patina in this manner makes the brew more aromatic and more dank. In addition, there is far more of a spicy hop bite than the regular Patina. This mother is a straight up American IPA, no doubt. And it’s still delicious as all hell. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Six Grain Milk Stout
american stout (6.7%)
Excellent, full bodied, full flavored stout here. Less currant, and more chocolate and coffee forward. There’s an underlining booziness to this beer, almost like a bourbon barrel aged variety. An interesting grape flavor on the back of the tongue half way through the taster. What a great example of a milk stout. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Rally Session IPA
american ipa (3.8%)
When these guys say session IPA, they don’t screw around. At 3.8%, you’d be hard pressed to find a more sessionable IPA in Maine. Perhaps surprisingly is the amount of hop forward flavor this brew has, despite it have such little gravity. This guy is overflowing with floral , citrus and piney hop notes. Not to mention it’s spicy as hell! So far my standard bearer for sessions is Maine Island Trail Ale; I need to put these two up against one another, to see which one can rip the other one’s face off first! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
My visit to Austin Street was all I could hope for, and continues to live up to the hype I’ve placed on it in my head. All the beers were fantastic, and I hope they continue to climb into the stratosphere of success, yet a part of me hopes, as selfish as it may be, that they don’t quite reach the upper echelon, so that us localites can have a glass of Patina without wading through the masses to get it.