Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Brewery: Maine Brewing Company
Their Take: Our “East Coast” version of a West Coast-style IPA. Intense hop flavors and aromas of tropical and citrus fruits and pine dominate. A subtle malt sweetness brings the beer into balance.
I had heard stories of the fabled Lunch from Maine Beer Company, so when I happened across this one in a store other than my usual haunts, I had to pick it up. The hop profile is a laundry list of my favorite variaties, using Warrior, Amarillo, Centennial, and Simcoe, which really surprised me since IPAs from the east seem to focus more on the malt and a piney or woodsy taste. Maine does say they are going for an east coast spin on a west coast style though, and I’d say they succeeded and then some.
Lunch pours a pale, hazy yellow orange with a marshmallow fluff type white head that lingers nicely as you enjoy your glass. The aroma is a straight up hop punch to the nose, full of citrus and grapefruit with a hint of pine coming in from the Simcoe. It’s a very nice blend of scents, and has a bit of malt to back it up, though the hops are the focal point (as they should be in an IPA).
Now for the taste. Oh, the wonderful taste. Lunch is very light on the tongue, and the carbonation makes the flavors dance around your mouth. It starts with a resiny pine, followed by grapefruit that slowly fades into a lingering, enjoyable slightly citrusy bitterness. There is very little malt to cover up the hops, though it’s there, but that’s the goal of this beer. The hops coat your mouth, but not in anyway so that it ruins the experience and makes you want to stop. It more makes your mind say “hey, you should drink some more of this.”
This is a phenomenal beer, living up to the hype it has on rating sites. And as the bottle says, drink it fresh. You want to get the most potent experience possible with this one.