About five years ago, a trend began in craft brewing where brewers were beginning to offer beers that were unfiltered—beers where the yeast is intentionally left in the beer. The appeal of these unfiltered, or hazy, beers went beyond the change in appearance of the beer; the unfiltered yeast particles added new, interesting and fascinating flavors to the beer. These last five years have meant a massive surge in the development of hazy beer recipes, most notably what are often referred to as New England IPAs.
The hazy concept has now become so popular that the Brewers Association of America added another beer style to its list: hazy, juicy IPA. And there are some incredibly delicious and interesting hazy, juicy IPAs!
But way before this welcome change in brewing, Boston’s Harpoon Brewery began brewing and releasing unfiltered, hazy beers under the UFO name. It was 1998 when members of the Harpoon team discovered this style on a visit to the Pacific Northwest and brought the concept back East. The first UFO beer was a cloudy Hefeweizen simply called UFO, for Un-Filtered-Offering. Their hazy beers became so popular—all well before the current haze craze—that Harpoon gave UFO its own unique brand, separate from Harpoon.
UFO constantly explores new recipes and styles resulting in both regular releases and a changing line-up of new, fresh releases. One of their newest limited release beers is UFO Maine Blueberry, a refreshing and light blueberry ale. Unlike so many of the fruit infused beers that are available now, UFO Maine Blueberry is not a Sour. It’s a slightly sweet and crisp ale with very distinct and wonderful blueberry flavors and aromas.
I’ve had a number of blueberry ales in my craft beer adventure and far too many of them were mediocre, or even bad, because instead of using actual blueberries, the beers were made with blueberry flavoring. But UFO Maine Blueberry is the real deal, brewed with real, Maine blueberries and making any summer day a little fresher because of its welcome blueberry flavor.
This is a very drinkable beer—not too sweet, not too blueberry—but absolutely having a subtle sweetness and a delicious blueberry aroma and flavor. It’s golden in color, light in carbonation—especially after a good hard pour into a glass—light in haze and a flat-out fantastic for the Summer!
While this weekend might be a little cooler than a typical Spring day, enjoying a UFO Maine Blueberry ale will make Spring turn into Summer on the first taste!
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy