Over 100 craft brewers poured their wares at the Portland stop of Sierra Nevada's epic beer festival. We dove deep into the local Portland beers and found that, with a few exceptions, our favorites tended to fall into one of two categories: rustic, low alcohol quaffers, and massively hoppy pale ales and IPAs. Here are 10 that stood out from the pack.
Bissell Brothers' The Substance Ale: Portland, Maine
The Brewery: Bissell Brothers, a brewery in Portland, Maine. Everywhere we went in Portland locals insisted that we needed to try the beers being brewed by the Bissell Brothers. We found them pouring their beers at the festival and went back to their brewery the next day for another taste.
Credit: Peter Bissell
The Beer: The Substance Ale
Tasting Notes: The Substance in question is hop oils and the Bissell Brothers use them for maximum flavor in this highly drinkable beer that falls smack in the middle of the pale ale and IPA range. Maximum flavor means that the alcohol doesn't creep up too far and the bitterness doesn't get ridiculous. Classic american hop flavors of citrus and resin carry the beer to a dry finish.