Additional Reviews of Chuck’s Wares

While cleaning out my email tonight, I noted an email from Chuck back in November of 2012. I realized two things: 1) I need to clean out my email more regularly; 2) I forgot to review a couple of Chuck’s creations! He had sent me away in December with a beer he described as “a boring lager” and a bottle of some red wine that he had made. He wanted me to let him know what I thought. Whoops! Better late than never!

The wine was quite good. Most kit wines taste too sweet to me–like Boone’s Farm. This red wine was sweet, but not sickeningly so. I’d drink another bottle.

The “boring lager’ was aptly named. Ha!

As you can see, I drank them both to the last drop.

The not-too-sweet red wine and the boring lager

The not-too-sweet red wine and the boring lager

I’m excited to say that Chuck invited me over to do a compilation brew soon. Chuck said we can call it MCC Ale (Melonie Chuck Collaboration Ale). It’s lady’s choice, so I decided I want to brew a Märzen, otherwise known as Oktoberfest. I chose this style because I like the malty taste of Oktoberfest, it’s traditionally brewed in March (März is German for March), and requires fermentation with lager yeast. I’ve never used a lager yeast because I refuse to keep my apartment at 50 degrees. After I see Chuck’s amazing setup in action–which includes a fridge just for fermenting lagers–I might need to add to my birthday wishlist!

Look for future blog posts about MCC Ale in the future. Actually, this beer is technically a lager. MCC Lager just doesn’t sound as fun. Rats! What do you think it should be named?


Review: UFF’s Dry Hopped Cidah

Today I had the great fortune of patronizing Lion’s Pride in Brunswick, Maine (  They are open from 11:30 ’til close, seven days a week and I highly recommend trying them out.  They carry 36 beers on draft that represent a whole range styles, tastes, breweries, and crazy beer experiments.  And with samples to the tune of 25 cents a piece, you can’t go wrong!

Okay, back to the review of the goods…Of the four hard ciders I sampled, UFF’s Dry Hopped Cidah really blew my skirt up.

First and foremost, it’s a product manufactured in Portland, Maine.  I do love supporting my fellow Mainers whenever given a yummy chance.  Urban Farm Fermentory (UFF) specializes in the fermenting of foods (i.e. pickles, sauerkraut) and beverages like cider and wine.  They also produce honey and sustain a micro farm.  The vision is to operate very much like a community supported farm as they encourage involvement and sharing of skills towards the overall project at UFF.  So git yer bee keeper suit on and knock on their door; take grandpa’s mustard pickle recipe over with a case of Mason jars; lend your permaculture expertise.  Or…just buy some products from them.  Check them out at

Second reason to love the cider: it’s hopped like a beer.  In case you don’t know, hops are plants that are added to beer to impart bitterness and aroma.  There are many different hop varieties and I am unsure of the variety they use, but it is an amazing choice.  Hopped cider is definitely new to my palate and nothing I had ever heard of before today.  So let me try to describe…

The first sniffs reveal a lovely bouquet of floral, honeysuckle-type notes from the hops.  I couldn’t stop huffing it.  If they made a perfume out of it, I’d spray it on myself!  The first taste is a dry cider that finishes with a faint reminder of the sweet, floral notes.  I really enjoyed it…and you can, too!