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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
Reviews by farrago:
Photo of farrago
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dense head of minimally three fingers, very even surface, light brown in hue, very impressive looking, slides immediately down the side of the tilted glass, only a rare streak of lacing to be found, the overall retention is excellent. Filmy amber red in color with a healthy glow, you have to get really close to see the active bubbles within, overall the color may be closer to brown than orange, on the dark side. The nose mixes cocoa. floral water, orange peels, baking spice and a stiffening amount of bright hops and hard crust baguette, while there’s little that is bitter it never feels too sweet, the peach, apricot, red cherry, pear fruit scents are much more complementary than the star of the show. Medium-bodied, creamy mouth feel with close to zero softness, has an understated muscularity. Not a lot of roast, dryness comes from the grassiness, dark chocolate powder, bread grains and bare touch of black pepper. Caramel, spiced oranges, chamomile, basil and oregano, the breadiness is not sweet but is a steadying cornerstone. Peach, apricot, nectarine fruit with a touch of pineapple. It has a slimmed down fluidity which you don’t find often these days in this beer category. Goes on and on at the end, entirely unforced.

 1,256 characters

More User Reviews:
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.

 1,629 characters

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.

 2,425 characters

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.

 1,191 characters

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.

 1,583 characters

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.

 905 characters

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of woodchipper
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of AshlandNacho
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/22/13.
In a MBC pint glass this beer was a hazy rust color. There as a thick tan head, and a moderate amount of sticky lace.

Mostly a citrus aroma. Some grassy hops and caramel malt.

Grapefruit taste up front, followed by the grassy hops. Sweet caramel background.

A hop-forward beer, easy to drink.

 313 characters

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ImFlyerThanYou
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of ccurrid
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of virinow
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of PressFastF0rward
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of sourdog
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of far333
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey colroed with a half inch head of oatmeal colored foam that lingers long, and leaves big webs and pinwheels of lace on the insides of the glass as it's drained.

Inviting aroma of toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar, and grapefruit.

Bright and pungent hoppy flavors upfront, full of pine and grapefruit, assertive bitterness. A subtle malt backbone rides beneath, but hops fully overpowers.

Full mouthfeel, puckers the cheeks, finishes with a carbonation tingle. Great beer.

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Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of BranfordBound
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jtladner
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

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