So, definitely the best part about having friends join you on the Beer Trail is that you can try so much more beer! And, it doesn’t hurt that one of them is willing to drive you. Safety first!
For the past 3 years, I have kicked off Summer Break with a weekend in Old Orchard Beach. You need that first sunburn to really usher in the season. This year, I added a brewery visit to my weekend and boy am I glad I did! This place is awesome!
If you haven’t heard of Barreled Souls yet, it may be because it’s only been open for about a year. Childhood friends and Maine natives, Chris Schofield and Matt Mills started as home brewers and decided to open a brewery. Chris, the head brewer, began with a home brewing kit and went on to refine his craft at a couple of breweries before starting his own. Matt has worked in the hospitality industry for years in Southern Maine. Both wanted a brewery that they would want to spend time at. And after visiting, I think it’s a place lots of people would want to spend time at.
Barreled Souls uses a fermentation system called Burton Union. This technically challenging system is not commonly used and was developed in England in the 1800’s. And, to be quite honest, after reading about this system I still can’t really explain what it is. It has something to do with yeast distribution. Bottom line, it helps with the flavor and aroma of the beer.
They have about 12 draft lines and I wanted to try every one of them. They have very unique flavor combinations and quite a bit of variety. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try them all. But I gave it the ole college try! So, let’s get to it!
Irish Twin – Blonde Ale (5.1% ABV) brewed with watermelon and mint.
Don’t let past flavored beers scare you away. The watermelon and mint are so subtle this makes for a refreshing and easy-drinking beer on a summer afternoon.
Space Gose – Leipziger Gose (4.0% ABV)
What’s a gose? In short, a gose-style beer is salty and sour. This particular brew is made with Maine sea salt, lemon and coriander. I didn’t find it overly salty, however it was right on the cusp of being too sour for me. But, as I have said before, I dislike sour beers. (Except for that one in Liberty)
Rosalita – Blonde Ale (4% ABV)
Blonde?! Isn’t that red?! What type of filter are you using? Nope, no filter. This blonde is brewed with agave and hibiscus flowers. Light and flowery. I have quite a few girlfriends that “don’t like beer”. I would give them this one to try and not tell them it was beer until after they were done enjoying it. It tastes nothing like beer and is so refreshing.
Confucius Says – IPA (7.8% ABV)
Made with green tea with tropical fruit hints. The green tea definitely stood out on this one. I found the hop amount was just right, but my company who does not like “bittah beeahs” found it way too hoppy. If you like IPA’s, I think you’ll enjoy this one that has that relaxing green tea character.
Quaker State – Oatmeal Stout (5.5% ABV)
Very rich, flavorful stout with strong coffee and vanilla elements happening here. This was a kick-off to some really rich, flavor-filled and power-packed brews. Some of the best dark beers I’ve ever had.
Stay Puft – Imperial Stout (9.2% ABV)
Now we’re kicking it up a notch! When I saw this on the menu, it was the first one I wanted to try. Brewed with marshmallow, graham crackers and dark chocolate. And it tastes exactly like a liquid s’more. Chocolatey, that burnt sugary flavor and nutty graham cracker. Lord have mercy!
Cookie Monster – Imperial Porter (9.8% ABV)
Do you like oatmeal raisin cookies? If you do, this is the beer for you.
And last, but certainly not least…
Dark Energy – ??? (13.2% ABV)
The description on the menu said “Accelerating the expansion of the universe. This is a bigger version of Dark Matter.” Dark Matter is another beer they make, and the only description is “We are much more certain what Dark Matter is not then we are what it is.” -NASA
I do know Dark Energy tastes like chocolate covered cherries. Very, very boozy, chocolate covered cherries. And did I mention I did have a DD?
Barreled Souls is a great stop if you’re in the Saco area. I wanted to bring home a growler of the Stay Puft, but knew it wouldn’t survive the trip home with the integrity it deserved. I have other breweries to stop at in this area and know I will return to this one along the way.