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Red Wheelbarrow - Maine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow

Educational use only; do not reuse.

117 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 912
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 23.17%
Wants: 35
Gots: 164 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States | website

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: 117 | Hads: 912
Photo of woemad
4.18/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

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...

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Photo of Cjett
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

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Photo of Roguer
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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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Photo of WunderLlama
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Bomber poured into a pilsner glass. Bottled 6.10.14

Copper colored translucent liquid with a steady stream of carbonation. Thick, bountiful, frothy three finger taupe foam cap.

Aroma of floral hops, brown sugar, fig, raisins and a whisper of pine.

Hop bitterness on the middle of the tongue, malt with hoppiness, good balance.slight bitter aftertaste.

Smooth, well crafted beer, medium body, very little carbonation.

Another fine Maine beer company beer. Enjoy

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Five hundred milliliter bottle shared by Andrew - thanks. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a clear dark red almost amber under a quarter-inch thick off-white head which fades to the rim and leaves spotty lace.

N: Citrusy (orange, tangerine) hops, rosewater, malts.

T: Grainy malts well balanced with citrusy hops along with dates or raisins.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes semi-dry and mildly sweet grains and citrusy.

O: Interesting style, another change-up, and enjoyed.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 4/22/14

Appearance: pours with three fingers of light reddish head. Color is ruby red with plenty of active carbonation, on par for the style. Sticky lacing left behind at each level.

Smell: Bitter resinous pine jumps out on the front. Lots of caramelized malts with some bitter amber malt as well. Plentiful amounts of semi-sweet toffee on the body with linger hops.

Taste: Dark bitter pine with toffee and heavier malts greet the drinker. Hops, figs, dried fruits, and some sweeter malt notes open up on the body. Finish is some fading toffee and caramel with lingering hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Potent hoppy front with a creamy malt texture riding into the body. Carbonation could be a touch brighter.

Overall: Really enjoyed this red ale, would certainly try it again if I could get a fresher bottle. I often overlook this style, but this brew makes me want to explore a bit more.

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Photo of popery
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, jlindros. Pours a nice bright, reddish, copper-ish amber color. It seems to be fairly hazy, though it is a bit hard to tell. The head is cream colored and puffs up quite nicely. Easy to swirl back up, as well. Lots of little bubbles. Good lacing and retention. Lots of hops in the aroma. I’m getting earthy and fruity flavors: berries, citrus, grass, pine, spice. The hops dominate, but there’s a solid malt character underneath. Toasty caramel and brown sugar. Mild bready sweetness. Good dose of nutty flavor. Mild vanilla. The taste is dry, particularly for the style, and medium bitter. Dried out crystal malt caramel backbone with that spicy, earthy, fruity hoppiness on top. Starts off with honey and caramel before the grapefruit rind and pine resin bitterness takes over, bringing with it all of the more delicate hop notes, as well. Lots of hop flavor in finish, which hits with a nice shot of bitterness and lingering fruit. Prickly carbonation. Seems a touch higher than most Ambers. Light feel for a 7% abv beer, not really surprising since it’s rather dry. I don’t love the style, but this is an excellent example and a very well made beer. It’s dry and bitter with good flavor. Easy to drink. Seems like it would go great with pizza.

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark red, copperish look. Light brown egg head with lacing

S: Raisiny malt; citrus hop nose--orange rind. Some floral aspects too.

T: Grapefruit and orange citrus notes; pine needles; slightest sweet malt notes--raisin? not picking up the fig that the description notes. Definitely more hops than malt. Slightest alcoholic tingle on the aftertaste, but alcohol is hardly detectable.

M: Medium bodied. Drinks more like an IPA and that's fine by me.

Overall: A fine red ale. I like hoppier red ales, and this is definitely on the hoppy side.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a. Reddish brown color with super carbonation. Poured into a pint glass with 3 - 4 finger head. Head shrinks to 2 fingers but remains for the duration of the beer as a good amount of carbonation form the body continues to rise.

s. Grapefruit - maybe pine + other citrus, but comes across as grapefruit to me. Unexpected based on the color of the beer, the name, and the fact that it is an ale.

T. Hops, passion fruit, pine, citrus nicely blended. Really good tasting beer.

m. Outstanding. Wow - so smooth like the other Maine Beer Company beers I have tried.

o. Debated long and hard between 4 and 4.25, but I always go with taste in the end - and this beer is complex and balanced and I would visit it again anytime.

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Photo of LeRose
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The half liter bottle - I did not record the date. Poured into a tulip.

Appearance - reddish brown with obviously lively carbonation! Big foamy head that was maybe 3-ish fingers, Subsided to a finger or two, but lasted and regenerated throughout consumption.

Aroma - grapefruit right up front - no doubt - then a little pine-like resin. I think there's some other tropical fruit - maybe passion fruit, but not sure. I don' find the malt coming through on the nose as expected by the description, but...

Taste - nicely balanced between the malt and hop characteristics. Still grapefruit forward, but a nice balance of malty supports the flavor. The grapefruit (and passionfruit?) subside and give way to a pleasant resinous taste - piney, but not sucking on an air freshener piney. Well blended and well balanced flavors - this is a very good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - lively carbonation, yet very smooth and almost creamy. Very good.

Overall - this was an outstanding beer and I am happy I tried it. I think it travels better than some other MBC offerings I can find in my area. Mean Old Tom is still my favorite, but this gives it a run for the money. Excellent brew.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: clear; bronze in color - lighter than I expected; with a fairly conservative pour, got a 3 finger khaki head that receded slowly to a thick cap; moderate lacing;

S: tropical fruit that gives way to notes of pine;

T: hops are still king, but the malt is balanced in nicely; there is a ripe tropical fruit sweetness that oddly blends well with a resiny bitterness from mid-palate to the dry, bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; slightly tingly carbonation;

O: MBC hasn't disappointed me yet; really enjoyable to drink;

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 5/20/14.

A - Ruby colored with a large, rocky, off-white head. Decent lacing.

S - Interesting aroma of chocolate, rye, and loads of citrus hops.

T - The hops take over and dominate. Tons of citrus bite with a heavy malt background.

M - Full bodied and harsh bitter finish.

O - My least favorite Maine Beer so far but not bad by any means. Just a bit too heavy on the hops. Would have liked to seen them dialed down a bit and the malt come through a bit more. I would buy a lot more of their beer if it was offered in 12 oz 4-packs.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've always liked trying new beers from Maine Beer Co. I'd really love to see better priced six packs as they do price everything they make at a premium.

The beer is a cloudy red amber with a thck long lasting tan head. Head is a bit creamy almost approaching Guinness. Nice lacing as well.

The scent is a slightly spicy, grainy and bready quality. Hops provide a nice floral and citrus aspect. Slightly spicy as well.

The taste is hop forward, but not overwhelmingly so. The malt provide a bready and slightly caramel sweetness backbone to the citrusy and spicy hops. No real ester or large impact from the yeast.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated with a somewhat sharp bitter finish. Moderately dry, but a very low caramel flavor lingers. Medium bodied.

Overall an enjoyable beer that would be welcomed at a lower pricepoint as it would be great to always have on hand. Somewhat reminiscent as Arrogant Bastard, but more balanced than an all on hop assault.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle stamped 042214. Sampled on June 27, 2014.

It is an attractive looking medium amber pour with reddish hues when held to the light building up to a huge off-white lingering head. Good clarity. Looks wonderful.

The roasted caramel malts are masked on the nose by the floral, earthy, and grassy hop sensations that really let their egos get in the way. A hophead's delight.

The body is about medium but smooth.

Like the aroma the roasted barley malts kick in on the first sip but the hops quickly scuttle that and take things over bringing out this piney, floral, bitter finish. Quite a hopped up version of amber red.

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Photo of Ian_B
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very dark ruby / cranberry in colour with a billowly, foamy head.

Smells like faint caramel / roasty sweetness, kind of chocolatey and a some earthiness/spice, from the hops and dark malts.

Sweet and light in flavour, this is a very complex and balanced red ale with a savory and slightly oily finish. It tastes much like it smells and remains malt forward with roasty bitterness balanced by lots of sweet, citrusy hops. The finish is sort of spicey like cracked pepper.

Smooth but drier feel with a dark roast bitterness.

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Photo of alexbutler
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Well, as advertised, this is one impressively red beer. A glazed cream head lays over a dark cherry red body... a very dignified look, if a beer ever had one.

S - Deep chocolate tones, a nice malty ale here. The smell doesn't overpower, but it's sweet and rich just the same.

T - Wow, really rounded taste. There's a nuttiness here that bends with the hops extremely well. Not too fruity, not too bitter. Just a well balanced sweet ale. Delicious.

M - With its light carbonation, this ale has just enough kick to hang with you. Every sip feels full bodied... you won't wanna rush it with this beer.

O - I really think this might be my favorite from Maine Beer Company. I've always been impressed with their output, and this is no exception. It does, however, come with a hefty price tag.... this beer is not cheap (at least in Massachusetts) Not a huge fan of that. But for that once in a awhile splurge, be sure to try this.

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Photo of HopBomb515
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big tan head atop a ruby hued beer with tons of lacing left behind. Floral, spicy, and earthy hop presence with a crusty toasted bread like backdrop. Taste follows with the floral hops and perfectly balanced by that toasted malty backdrop. Taste is good but somewhat linear and one dimensional. Medium mouthfeel and bigger carbonation than I was expecting. This is a good red ale but I don't prefer it to the likes of Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of jhartley
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a stange glass. Bottled on date 052014

Appearance is definitely a red amber with the fluffy tan head that left a ton of beautiful lacing in the glass.

Aromas of floral and spicy hops.

Taste: Phenomenal! Plenty of those hops right away and then balanced out at the end. I love the way red ales have that malt toastiness to them and this one doesn't disappoint.

Mouthfeel: So smooth, so easy to drink, it's ridiculous!

Overall: Another great beer from Maine! Been wanting to try this one for a while and was totally stoked when a work friend texted me that he could pick one up! They just don't know how to disappoint at Maine Beer. If you are able to get one of these do yourself a favor and do it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a nice blend of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a hearty malt character followed by some mild caramel and citrus sweetness. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in. There’s a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice hoppy red ale to drink for a long time.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 tulip, bottled 3/25/14. Pours a dark cloudy rust color, with a 3 finger off white heads that leaves behind plenty of lace.

Smell is caramel, papaya, apricot, biscuit, tangerine, and grapefruit.

Taste follows perfect, so sweetness from the malt with a nice burst of citrus from all the delicious hops. Really nice.

Body is medium, plenty of carbonation, not dry, and easy drinking.

Overall another excellent beer from this excellent brewery. Time for them to go to four packs so the Brice can improve!

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Photo of Mises85
4.79/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a tulip at 50 or so degrees dated 052014

Appearance: Beautiful red color with a classic MBO Pillowy head that resists dissipation. 3 fingers to be exact.

Smell: IPA with big citrus and pineapple notes. I got some malty character although I couldn't tell whether it really was a dark fruit character as defined by the description. Extreme freshness.

Taste: ale taste with a strong hoppy finish. Some caramel coming through and some biscuit.

Mouthfeel: just right amount of carbonation, very bread like, with medium creaminess.

Overall: Another fantastic beer from MBO. My only gripe would be that the smell seemed the same from each of their other beers but who knows. A fantastic beer nonetheless.

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Photo of Kendo
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 4/22/14; consumed on 5/30/14, making this one about 5 weeks old. . . .

A: Poured into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is slightly hazy coppery-amber with a BIG (3-finger) ecru-colored head that retains well, settling (finally) to leave good glass-painting random splotchy lacing.

S: Very nice - caramel malt and brown sugar foundation. Followed by juicy citrusy hops.

T: Nice variety here. Solid malt foundation of caramel malt, brown sugar and toasted bread. This is followed by citrusy grapefruit and a touch of grass and pine. Nice profile of a hoppy big red ale.

M: Loses some points here, as the feel is a little . . . thin isn't the right word; it's more about the bubbly fizziness that doesn't seem right for a beer like this. Call it medium in heft, but it drinks a little lighter due to the active fizzy carbonation.

O: Good stuff. If this were priced like NN, I'd be happy to buy it regularly when NN was off-season, as it's a nice substitute.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish-orange color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A subtle aroma of hops, malt, caramel, and a bready quality.

T: Tasted of a good amount of hops, caramel, a hint of pine, and a bit of malt. Like Maine Beer Company's other offerings, the flavor here is remarkably balanced. It's not too hoppy or aggressive, with just the right amount of mildness.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A very enjoyable, well done beer. Quite focused and certainly drinkable.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - A deep hazy dark amber body with three fingers of foamy off-white head. The head recedes some what quickly, ok retention and some lacing.

S - Huge tart fruitiness, apricots and lemons, bready malt sweetness as well.

T - Lots of nice fresh citrus hops, followed by sugary cherry malts, somewhat of a medicine taste. Alcohol not too present.

M - Light body and high carbonation. Very thin and slick but slight stickiness in the aftertaste.

O - The body is just too weak for me. The flavors are all really nice, but I can't sink my teeth into the beer. With the high carbonation and thin body, it drinks more like a soda in my opinion. Worth a try and certainly not a bad beer, but it's not a beer I'd be picking up again. That said, I am a big fan of Maine Beer Company who make a lot of fantastic beers.

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Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.