The featured beer painting of the day is if Monkey Fist IPA from Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. Everything I know about Maine I learned from doing a report about it in fifth grade. I learned that there’s skiing and sailing, as well as a smaller population compared to other east coast states, and I can thank the World Book Encyclopedia for that information. This was pre world wide web, and nobody was Googling things yet. Today Wikipedia tells me that Maine has 1.3 million people, and ~200,000 live in the Portland area. Maine is the fifth best state for microbreweries in the USA. Rocky coastlines, forested interior, and seafood is the description in a nutshell from Wikipedia — the new people’s encyclopedia.
Shipyard has been brewing since 1994, so this year is the 20th anniversary! Next year the brew kettle can go out drinking on its own. My particular bottle of Monkey Fist wasn’t as fresh as I hoped it would be. When a brewery from the other side of the country distributes its product all the way to Alaska, its beer probably won’t be the best example of freshness. But now I get to check Maine off the list (the goal is to paint a beer from all 50 states). This beer was very good despite it’s age. I don’t know if I would suggest cellaring it, but IPA was originally designed to ship all the way from England to India, so this may be in-line with the traditional flavor. It was hoppy, but the hops were offset by a unique flavor that I could only describe as a caramel malt flavor — citrusy, but sweet, this was a unique beer. The Monkey Fist is a sailing knot that sailors used to throw ropes around. It’s heavy, so it helps prevent tangling.
Cheers to Monkey Fist IPA making it all the way to Alaska!