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Red Wheelbarrow - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

113 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 885
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 23.23%
Wants: 29
Gots: 141 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sleestak12 on 10-23-2013

Like many of our beers, Red Wheelbarrow (which started out as a pilot batch brewed by Brewer Dan Roberts) doesn’t fit neatly into a style category — think of it as a stronger, more hop-forward interpretation of a traditional red ale. Red Wheelbarrow is not, however, a “red IPA” — there is robust malt character (think raisin and fig) on both the nose and palate that temper the abundant hop presence (think citrus fruit).
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 113 | Hads: 885
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up a few weeks back at the Whole Foods on Houston St in New York City, as this was the last bottle once again. I wasn't sure if this would be a typical American Amber/Red Ale and once I gave it a go, it turned out that the flavors were more in line with a Belgian IPA. More aggressive than other Maine beers that I've had, this was a slow sipper that became better as it warmed up and the flavors came out more and more.

Whoever below said that this looked like tea was correct and the aroma was even like that as well. Par for (Maine) course, this had a massive head that took a while to settle down as the last of it lasted throughout my session. Great web of lacing left by this and the malt really stuck out in the nose. The dark fruit flavors and slight caramel tone meshed well with the subtle citrus rind and tea-like spice that were prevalent in the taste. The tone was musty, slick, and lively with a bit of burnt orange and stickiness left in the aftertaste and for such a wide range of flavors, everything meshed well together.

This tasted a lot stronger than it was in actuality but the alcohol reinforced the notion of what kind of beer this was. The yeast, dark fruits, and booze gave this a European feel but the outlandishness of everything characterized this as an American beer. A solid Amber that carries a great level of balance as an added bonus, and a dryness that could only be quenched by another sop of this wonderful brew.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. Label says 082515.

A- Pours a light reddish brown color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large side patch of bubbly surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Grassy, earthy hop aroma with a heavy crystal malt presence. Slight alcohol tinge.

T- Pretty assertive bitterness to start things out, then the toasty, slightly sweet malt comes in to round things out. More of that earthy hop flavor.

M- Lingering hop bite with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- The hops don't let up in this one but, overall, there's a nice balance between that and the large accompanying malt presence. A rustic hoppy red.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours murky and rusty orange in color with a sandstone colored, fluffy looking finger width head. Excellent retention that simply refuses to die, even down to the last few ounces. Big, thick chunks of lace are left on the side of the glass.

Smell - Caramel malt with a strong earthy and slightly metallic undertone. Lesser hints of citrus and biscuit.

Taste - Follows the nose. Subdued caramel malts that are backed by earth and hints of biscuit. Moderate citrus hop bite hits mid-taste and adds a nice zing. Hop character strengthens in the finish and leaves a bitter orange pith finish. There's a faint chocolate note that lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with low, bitey carbonation. Slick, silky texture delivers a smooth drink and a semi-dry finish,

Overall - Excellent brew. Probably a bit too hoppy for your traditional amber, otherwise I may have graded higher, but I can dig it. As with many of Maine Beer's brews, it features world class presentation and an enjoyable drinking experience. Think Arrogant Bastard with less hop aggressiveness and you've got an idea for this.

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Photo of VetsPackage
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maine are the zen masters of balance when it comes to bringing together every component of their beers and this is no exception. Pours a beautiful burnt copper beneath 2 fingers of head that slowly disappates with heavy lacing. Toasted malt body with no syrupy sweetness thaI'm t works brilliantly with the citrus hop character. Just sweet enough with almost no bitterness, my only real complaint is the over carbonation. Prevents the beer from really interacting with the palate.

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Photo of teromous
2.94/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label has a date code of 08252015 so this was bottled just over 3 weeks ago.

Appearance: It has a medium hazy brown color that resembles a dark tea. The head is a short eggshell white color but it has a nice creamy appearance. It leaves good lacing on the glass. Hints of burnt orange and auburn as light passes through the glass. This beer is very sensitive to temperature. Subsequent pours while left at room temperature greatly improved the head formation over a short time-frame.

Aroma: I get a strong alcohol presence which is very odd given that it is only 7%. It has the aroma of a dusty room with overtones of catty hop aroma. There is a deep caramel malt aroma that is not sweet smelling but obvious. The combination of aromas is not overly flattering, notably the marriage of catty scent and the old dusty room smell.

Taste: Lots of grain husk flavor; like inhaling freshly crushed grains. A lot of bread crust. There is a pronounced hop roughness to the beer that puts an edge to the malt knife. As the beer warms up while drinking, a very faint malty sweetness lurks out of the darkness giving it a bit of caramel flavor that is still greatly overshadowed by the grain and hop character. Some coffee-like flavors come through as well.

Mouthfeel: The roughness of the grain and hop character inhibit drinkability a bit. It is slightly sticky on the mouth. Medium bodied with a greater presence given the strong grain and hop character.

Overall: So this is a very unique beer...at least I found it to be unique. I would really recommend drinking it warmer than you think you should. The appearance is like night and day when it is warm and there is this light caramel sweetness that comes through as the beer warms up a bit. The catty hop aroma does go well with the very strong grain husk flavor and the rustic bread flavors but it seems to be a bit over-the-top. It's like throwing rocket boosters on a go-kart. The lack of restraint is evident in the beer but at the same time it's hard to fault a rocket boosted go-kart because it's so cool. Perhaps this is a beer that would be better with a little bit of age on it. Unfortunately the label says "drink this beer fresh" which goes against my inclination. I wouldn't recommend it to a fan of easy drinking reds. I would recommend it to a person who likes a little over-the-top flavor or maybe a person who wants to know what two-row barley tastes like.

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Photo of k8kruk
4.34/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Carnelian, lustrous and translucent. Dense, fluffy, orange head lasted a long time with substantial lacing
S - Hoppy, bright citrus aroma
T - Heavily hopped but not overly bitter. Notes of orange peel, grapefruit and grass. Malts are well integrated and balance out the hops.
F - Medium-strong carbonation, creamy, silky body.

Excellent, well-rounded beer. All the sophistication of a good IPA with less of the bitter bite.

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Photo of Alpha309
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a nonic pint.

Appearance is a very murky copper to amber with a thick foamy head.

Very earthy a and malty on the nose.

Taste is dominated by a peppery spice with a large amount of malt on the back end. A slight smokeyness is detected.

Slightly over carbonated but barely detectable. Otherwise good mouthfeel.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint, .9oz bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A: pours a slightly hazy amber/almost brown with 1 1/2" khaki head that lingers forever. Retention & lacing are both absolutely stellar.

S: Lemon zest & candied malt notes dominate. Hints of pitted fruit & caramel. Maybe a hint of maple.

T: Comes on with a round hoppiness that features mostly citrus notes & maybe a tiny hint of resin. Mid palate is full & malty with caramel, fig & date. Finishes off-sweet with pitted fruit & bitter hops in balance.

M: Moderate-to-high carb helps to offset the dense, burly malt body. Finishes pleasantly crisp.

O: Really quite deep & expressive Red Ale here.

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Photo of FFreak
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, not sure what the price was. The bottle was a little over two months old. Poured into a teku glass and enjoyed on a warm afternoon out on the deck after a long day of homebrewing.

The beer pours a beautiful deep, dark cherry wood color, very clear, which displays a lot of red when the sun shines through it. Two to three fingers of creamy off-white, almost beige head of tight bubbles that lasts and lasts and leaves huge puffs on the glass.

Smells hoppy, maybe citrus, but honestly after homebrewing a hoppy IPA all day, anything with hops in it smells like fresh hops.

Taste is outstanding. Malty, hoppy, with perfect balance of bitterness on the finish. Caramel, brown bread crust, brown sugar, walnuts, citrus.

Mouth is just right...medium body, creamy, silky, nicely carbed, refreshing.

Overall, an excellent hoppy amber...one of my favorite styles. A perfect blend of malty, hoppy and bitter.

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Photo of CHickman
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours blood red color with a lot of bubbles racing up the brew like champagne that leads to a creamy 2 finger khaki head with tons if tiny bubbles in the head, which faded very slowly and left very good lacing coating the sides.

Smells very hoppy up front, with red grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, orange peel, pine cone/piney hops, some other tropical fruit, caramel, toffee, brad crust/toast, graham cracker, floral notes and a touch of sweetness like grains or malt which fermented. Really nice nose that's complex but has enough balance to remind me of Nugget Nectar. Every time I go to take a sip I get a fresh blast of hops as the glass approaches.

Tastes also starts off hoppy with citrus fruit, grapefruit, orange peel and some mild spices like coriander and pepper, but it shifts to chocolate malt, biscuit, toffee and roasted grains for a tug of war of the taste-buds. Second wave of flavor has lemongrass, dry hay, fresh cut flowers and some trailing caramel which brings out a buttery sweetness. Very mild citrus hop bitterness with hints if the piney hops and a malty backbone that lingers as the mouth dries out.

Mouthfeel is on the creamy side and almost slick with mild to average carbonation and a medium body that leans towards the chewy side with a little texture; very mild bitterness, nice balance and a slightly sweet malt/grain aftertaste that goes down very easy.

This beer completely hides the ABV and is really enjoyable, like all beers from these guys - I've come to expect great things from Maine and this is another solid beer in their arsenal. I'll definitely have this any chance I get.

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Photo of KevChiTown
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Maine Brewing Co. Seriously, it's a really good red ale. I didn't have a lot of expectations because of the style, but this is good beer plain and simple.

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Photo of mick303
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, really impressive head retention and lacing. Cloudy reddish brown appearance.

S - ruby grapefruit, caramel malt, apple, and cherry, a crisp fruitiness to it, with fig/plum notes ontop of a nice semisweet maltiness. Very enticing with a hint of spice.

T - immediate hoppy kick, citrusy grapefruit, red fruits, with fig notes, cherry dryness, dry caramel, with a drying bitter lingering flavour and some of the dry caramel comes out, woody and with some earthy hop/herbal hop notes with some malt. Woody finish.

M - moderate body, and carbonation, easily drinkable and quite satisfying, with a lingering dry bitter finish.

Very tasty, I think it is really vibrant toward the beginning with a nice hoppy blast, but then gets quite drying and heavy with some malty and drying earthy bitterness notes. All around a very tasty beer, but not up to Maine's other amazing beers,

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Photo of cfalls
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not as dry as their amber ale, Zoe. Throws a huge head. Fairly hoppy for the style. The hop flavors lean more towards citrus and floral than bitter or pine.

Pretty much what you'd expect from a red ale from MBC.

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Photo of BeerEsquire
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stately (as noted in a review by Alex___), love the look/color of the beer - each glass poured is award-winning art. Consistent deep cranberry color throughout with no overpowering notes but an exceptionally balanced red with envious yeast quality.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice looking color. It has a ruby copper hue with a tall, two finger, beige head on top. Looks clear with some haze.
The aroma as with most of MBC's beer is very fragrant. I get sweetness candied lemon, citrus notes, orange creamsicle and some tea. Lot of things going on here.
The taste is good but not as good as the nose.
The taste is balanced with malts and hops. Neither one particular aggressive.
Finishes sweet with a slightly dry and bitter finish.
Like most of MBC's beer I like this one a lot. A very good rewarding beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a BIF from ZebraCakez. 500 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/4/2014. Pours hazy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, pineapple, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, lemon/orange zest, pine, caramel, toast, brown sugar, light toffee, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of citrus/tropical hops and dark/bready malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice red ale. All around good complexity, balance, and robustness of bright citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oldmankoch
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Man I'm really digging whats going on here. The more I drink the better it gets. I'm picking up earthy hops, pineapple, lemon zest, resiny pine and grass all mixed in with ample malt, dark cocoa, fig, date and char.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle picked up @ Julio's. Bottled 04 Nov 2014.

A mildly hazy dark red with a thick, dense, long-lasting light brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this looks fantastic. The nose is a big bruising blast of hops. Resiny and pithy grapefruit, pine and preserved lemons are very noticeable, along with a moderate malt backbone, consisting of caramel and a little toffee. While the balance here is strongly in favor of the hops, there is a nice wholeness, a fullness, that comes from the tastefully designed malt bill. Caramelized grapefruit juice is how I'd describe this.

The palate opens with a big, juicy bitterness, pungent, resiny, fruity grapefruit, pine and orange peel. This is followed by a blend of caramel, a little buckwheat honey and burnt sugar before a long and brilliantly bitter finish dominated by the most gorgeously oily and resiny feel. This is by no means the oiliest beer there ever was, nor does it come close, but instead exudes great depth. This is further enhanced by a soft and supple carbonation. Fantastic stuff, Maine Beer has always impressed with the mouthfeel on their beers but this one is remarkable. Recommended for fans of Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -12%

Thanks to pjkelley82 for this beer, arriving as an extra last week. 500 ML bottle split with my wife while watching a little Justified. I think if I talk like Raylan my wife might…never mind.

The pour is more orange than red, which makes me wonder about Maine wheelbarrows. Or colors. Plenty of carbonation. The nose consists of rusty caramel, really, I can’t get any hops up my nose at all. Pretty underwhelming.

Red Wheelbarrow brings nothing glib to mind. Tons of hops coat the tongue & create third degree hop burns front to back: wow. Bitter, bitter, bitter, with secondary symptoms of orange & tangerines. Rusted caramel malts cut the anger somewhat, but the bitterness returns with a vengeance to hop up the finish, too. Half a shorty bottle is enough.

Half a hop vine clearly went into this hop bottle, making it the harshest, hoppiest red I’ve ever laid tongue on. Interesting & good.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4/5  rDev -2.2%

A- Bright red with an off white head that laces.

S- Tropical, fruity, and berry hop aroma. The malt is muted in the background.

T- A burst of tropical and funky hop flavor up front. There is a slighty grainy malt backbone in the flavor. I also get some popcorn flavor in the aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- Overall, very good and funky. The hops outshine the malt in this beer. I wish the malt made more of an appearance.

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Photo of Samp01
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a large lasting beige head, good lacing. Aroma starts with a floral citrus nose, slowly the tangy notes of grapefruit find there way thru followed by a sweet caramel flavor, some orange comes in as well on the back end. A medium to full body smooth on the palate, good carbonation and a sticky mouth feel. The finish is a combination of sweet caramel malt tones, citrus, orange and a tangy grapefruit hops bitterness flavor are left lingering on the palate and taste buds. Overall a wonderfully full flavored and tasty brew for those who dare. enjoy with caution.

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Photo of woemad
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle received via a trade with ShroudOfDoom. According to the label, this was bottled on August 12, 2014, part of Batch # 8 (at least I think that’s what the 8 means).

Poured into a large “new model” Sam Adams Boston Lager glass, this was a dark, slightly chill-hazed amber color that took on a dark shade of ruby when held up to light. There was a big, creamy “topographic” beige head with considerable staying power and lots and lots of lace.

Big, piney hop aroma at first. As it warms, there’s a bit of sweet fruit as well. Malt aromas are surprisingly muted for a "Red IPA." Smells like a great standard IPA.

Piney and fruity in the taste. The sticky, pinesap beginning is almost immediately matched up with a fruit flavor that is somewhere between pineapple and strawberry. Some grainy malt flavor stands out a little, but it’s definitely the hops’ show. There’s a dry hoppy zap to the palate at the swallow.

Big, sticky, resiny mouthfeel to this.

This one has a BIG hoppiness to it. Probably not a good idea to pare it up with a meal unless you happen to be eating something quite robust, but it’s absolutely delicious. It didn't really seem like either a Red IPA or hoppy Amber Ale. It tasted like a great IPA with a slightly dark color.

 1,280 characters

Photo of beerdedking
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Another MBC winner. Not as good as Zoe, their other Red IPA, but still good, especially as it
warmed. Citrus hops with a moderate drying bitterness. Everything MBC brews is top shelf, and Red
Wheelbarrow sits just off center of their best brews...

 250 characters

Photo of Cjett
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Bottled 9/9/14. Poured into a Waterford highball

A: Dark reddish brown

S: fruity, citrusy hops with a bit of caramel

T: Still getting the citrus hops up front, but a biscuity flavor takes over in a big way with a touch of raisin sweetness

M: medium body with a lot of carbonation

O: Maine does simple beer wonderfully and this fits that trend. Glad I was able to taste it fresh, because that seems to be key with their beers

 429 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Huge, frothy beige head, great retention and lacing. Brew is a hazy, pulpy, translucent dark reddish-brown.

Big notes of citrus (ruby red grapefruit, pith, and lemon) and pine. Biscuit and sweet toasty grains take a bit more to detect. Smells like a classic IPA.

Flavor follows the nose, mostly, with a much grainier malt presence, some honey, and a very green, leafy, herbal, earthy hop note. Citrus is more a cleansing back-end presence, while pine resin is present throughout.

Lively and smooth feel; medium; long finish with wet retention but drying alcohol. Very drinkable.

This is a very good hoppy amber that easily could be called a Red IPA (regardless of what MBC claims). It's very hoppy, but it's got a dry, grainy malt bill that comes through very strong and clean.

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Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.