PORTLAND, ME – While it wasn’t the highly-publicized, $26.6M expansion announced by Stone Brewing Company last week, a craft brewer on the eastern seaboard quietly made the decision to double their fermentation capacity and add a kegging machine.
Maine Beer Company, who until last week only produced three styles of beer, added not only another style to their growing family of beers, but also a new 30 barrel fermenter and kegging machine. And according to Co-Founder David Kleban, it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The plan is to dedicate one 30-barrel fermenter just for our Peeper Ale and use the other for Zoe and Lunch,” he said.
Lunch? Kleban is referring to is their newest beer, and IPA, that hit shelves in Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont last week.
The beer is named after a female fin whale that Allied Whale, a marine mammal laboratory at the College of the Atlantic, has spotted since 1982.
“She has a chunk taken out of her fin and it kind of looks like a bite, so the organization named her lunch,” said Kleban.
Allied Whale is just one of the non-profit organizations that Maine Beer company dedicates 1 percent of their sales to, as part of their “1 percent for the planet” commitment.
Kleban admits, the Lunch IPA was created a bit selfishly.
“We just built an IPA that we would want to drink all the time,” he laughed. “Our preference is to drink a beer that is not too bitter on the back end.”
To do so, brothers David and Daniel aggressively dry-hopped the beer, going for a bright aroma rather bitterness.
“A lot of what people taste is what they smell,” said Kleban. “You can dry hop a beer well, give somebody a nice nose and keep the bitterness down.”
While all 476 cases have already been shipped (30 barrels), Kleban hopes that they can make another batch in mid-to-late July.
Their new kegging machine has allowed them to add roughly 30 new accounts and keep Peeper (their best-selling beer) on draught across the state of Maine.