The Bruery

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Pale Ale - Belgian
4 | pDev: 7.75%
The Bruery
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: The Bruery and Maine Beer Company collaboration. It’s a hoppy Belgian-style ale that brings aspects of both breweries to the table: fruity, Belgian yeast esters, a crisp, bready backbone, citrus and piney hop characteristics, and a dry, hop-forward finish.
Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 192 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review #4600. Had this July 22, 2016.

Pours an amber orange color despite calling itself a blonde ale. Big frothy white head 4/5". I thought there might be more of a hop angle going on here, but it seems the belgian yeast is the champion here, pushing all that clove and spice rack over any mild grapefruit/pine hop note.

Taste continues in the same vein. Yeast clove plastic largely envelopes the rest of the beer. Mild citrus rind underneath it that provides more in the way of bitterness than it does a flavor descriptor. Significant carbonation to this beer, within style guidelines. Pulls out a little hit of pepper as it warms and continues to get more dry throughout. I didn't pull any kind of tropical fruit notes out of this, and the citrus ones were more on par with the rind, not the fleshy part of any fruit.

I still liked it, but also probably wouldn't become a repeat purchase if they made it again. A tick is one thing, a rotating purchase is another.

Jun 17, 2020
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, brilliant orange with a one-finger, white head. A little carbonation. Good lacing.
Not a big smell, just some citrus hop and malt.
Nice hop taste with malt and a little yeast. Not a bad combo, but wished both sides a little more powerful. I love an overly bready Belgian. Crisp and refreshing.

Sep 18, 2016
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braker649er from Washington

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first beer involving Maine Beer Co., so I was excited.

I found this collaboration very enjoyable. For me, the smell accentuated the Belgian influence of spiciness, clove and yeast, and the taste spotlighted hops (subtly citrusy and crisp, not resinous or overbearing). Yet there was balance in both smell and taste. And the word that came through for me was "clean." This was crisp and well-executed. Very flavorful and nothing off at all. Maybe not my standout pinnacle example for either Belgian or pale ale, but as a collaboration/blend, it succeeded--a satisfying blend of both. My expectations were high--and were met.

Jun 25, 2016
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a tulip. The brew appears a clear pale golden yellow color with a huge white cap 4 fingers strong that fades leaving soapy lace.

The aroma is herbal and lightly fruity with plenty of belgian yeastiness like clove and a hint of bubblegum.

It tastes grassy with herbal/pithy bitterness lightly fruity with a dry yeastiness and clove spiced aspect. A slight straw grain feel to the finish.

This is light in body with moderate carbonation. A crisp and interesting brew.

May 09, 2016
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kitch from Hong Kong

4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle from batch #280, bottled on 9th December 2015 and poured into an oversized wine glass.

Appearance: It poured a hazy golden orange colour with a one finger slightly off white head with decent retention and very nice lacing.

Aroma: Mandarin orange, pine, candied malt, grass and light grapefruit pith.

Taste: Light citrusy candy orange, bready malt, pound cake, light bitter herby pine and grass with a light peppery finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry, medium bodied with medium prickly carbonation.

Overall: This was nice. Medium bodied but very light crisp easy drinking. Wish I could have tried this earlier for a fresher point of view.

May 04, 2016
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Hazy golden-orange color. Creamy off-white head retains at an inch in height. Jagged and we by lacing.

S: Broken pine needles and floral hops, gentle resins, slight citrus pith. Tropical esters. Juicy apricot. Apple blossoms. Hint of soft cloves phenols. Pleasantly musty yeast and bready grain.

T: Flashes of pithy citrus up front. Orange peel. Juicy apricot. Floral tones. Pear. Hops build on the mid-palate as earthy and piney flavors come to the forefront. Firm but gentle bitterness and some bracing hop oils. Touch of tartness. Yeasty. Bread and dough at its core. Earthy hop flavors close things.

M: Medium bodied. Exquisite soft and velvety texture. Airy and whipped in feel. Bit of bracing hop astringency. Stiff, prickling carbonation.

O: I wouldn't want to miss a collaborative effort between these two awesome breweries, and this lives up to the expectations. Texturally delightful and crisp. The hops bring a countering bitterness and earthy dimension. Also a touch of extra dryness. It's a charming and easily drinkable brew.

Apr 28, 2016
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flagmantho from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light-to-moderate haze. Head is a couple fingers of frothy ivory foam that leave rather a nice lace on the glass as it dissipates.

Smell: sweet, chalky malt with some noble, herbal hop character. It's very well balanced and I really like it.

Taste: earthy, herbal hops along with a sweet malt that has a bit of toasty character. There's also a dash of alcohol sweetness/heat that works well here. Floral and just a bit soapy, but that's never a problem for me.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big carbonation and a huge creaminess. Great!

Overall: I like this beer a lot. I could see myself buying more of this.

Apr 17, 2016
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bnes09 from Illinois

4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer. Pours a luscious, hazy, golden yellow. Ample head forms and coats the glass in delicate, shapely, soap like lacing. Bright, floral, funky, earthy, herbal aroma. Delicate bready malt. Assertive floral, citric hop. Mild, balanced funk. Medium body. Smooth texture. Ample carbonation. Crisp, dry finish. Awesome Belgian pale.

Apr 04, 2016
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/9/15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of Belgian yeast, citrus zest, pine needle, floral, and earthy hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, tropical fruit, pine needle, earth, and Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mix of Belgian yeast and different hop qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

Mar 24, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold color with an off white head. There is a decent amount of lacing left behind. The nose is banana ,clove and floral hops. The taste is the same with a nice malt sweetness. Quite a nice collaboration beer.

Mar 23, 2016
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a pale light gold with a three finger dense white head that retains well and leaves decent lacing
S: Smells of fruity esters, spicy hops, a little citrus and some dry malty sweetness
T: Taste is juicy hops with notes of citrus and pine with some nice spicy character as well, fruity esters are also very prominent and there's a nice malt backbone to provide some balance with a slight breadyness. Swallow is spicy hops with a little more citrus and some lingering fruity esters.
M: This beer is on the lighter side of medium in body with slightly prickly carbonation and a semi-dry finish.
O: Overall this is one tasty beer. It almost makes its way into the Belgian IPA column with the hops but this one is very well put together and a nice collaboration. Definitely best enjoyed fresh. I'm not sure if the base beer can sustain things without the hop punch. I'm sad this is likely a one time thing because I could see drinking a lot of these over the summer.

Mar 23, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

two of my all time favorites teaming up for this one, i have to say i had somewhat higher hopes. the beer is excellent, first and foremost. a bright golden belgian single type, juicy on the hops and reserved but distinct on the yeast, its well honed and delicious, an excellent compliment to grilled steak skewers, herbed sweet potatoes, and fresh berries. it has seasonal versatility, a wonderfully expansive mouthfeel, and a rather original hop profile, especially for the style. however, these two breweries are some of the best in the country, and i wanted and expected a somewhat more innovative and mind blowing brew from their collective efforts. the style is very common, even if they have tweaked it to make it unique in this beer, it definitely doesnt seem adventurous or exploratory, and as good as the execution is, it leaves me wishing for something more. i suppose thats collabs in general though, and i should be thankful they made such a delicious and affordable brew. table beer kind of thing, real drinkable and versatile, but always secondary to the food being served, or something like that. we all enjoyed the bottle, but i hope they get together again and aim a little higher...

Mar 21, 2016
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a beautiful light golden amber color with a head that disappears quickly.

Lots of Belgian yeast aroma on the nose, mixed with a floral earthy hops.

The taste is intense Belgian yeast flavor lots of spicy notes on the palate. Matched with a thin malt and flowery hops.

Good beer.

Mar 13, 2016
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vfgccp from New York

3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dec 9th 2015 bottle, opened Mar 12th 2016

A - Nice apricot gold body with 2 fingers of pure white head. Nice retention and great lace.

S - Butter cookies, golden raisins, and pear with a light, earthy-herbal backdrop.

T - Dry / soapy cilantro, pound cake, white flour, and lemon pith.

M - Medium body with prickly carbonation.

Mar 13, 2016
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GilGarp from Colorado

4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml capped bottle. Stamped with date 12/9/15 but just recently showed up on shelves.

Served chilled into a goblet, Fourthmeal is a hazy copper-orange color with fizzy white head.

Aroma is wonderful and full of tropical fruits like mango and papaya. The Belgian yeast esters also come through he.

Flavor is sweet up front with more of those fresh fruits and a bit of honey. The hop bitterness is assertive but balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and carbonated properly for the style. Balanced and drinkable with good depth of character.

Overall an excellent collaboration between two great breweries on opposite ends of the country. I love this style and Fourthmeal is a great example.

Mar 09, 2016
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mdfb79 from New York

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 03/05/16 notes. 750ml bottle at Cloverleaf Tavern in NJ, poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy bright yellow color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate to high carbonation evident.
Very Belgian-y...tons of Belgian yeasty, with a nice hoppy taste. No bitterness, medium body and low carbonation.

Overall a nice Belgian beer, though I much prefer the normal MBC hoppy beers.

Mar 07, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a The Bruery tulip. Pours a medium golden amber with a fine one finger whiet head constantly refreshed with nice streams of carbonation. Aroma of candi malt, tropical fruit, orange citrus, spicy grassy and citrus hops, Belgian yeast and spicing. Flavor is semi-dry biscuit and saison style malt, lemon and orange citrus, light tropical fruit, Belgian yeast, coriander and clove, citrus hops, finishing with a relatively dry lingering grassy hop and coriander bitterness. Medium bodied with excellent peppery carbonation. A nicely made, semi-dry Belgian pale; the profile reminded me of moderately dry Champagne (as did the great carbonation). Flavor was not as sweet and fruity as the aroma. The finish was all hoppy ale, with a healthy hop bitterness with moderate herbal notes and boosted by the Belgian spices. I'm not getting much sweetness here, which I'd expect from this style, but a nice Belgian style from two great breweries. Nice collaboration.

Mar 04, 2016
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oberon from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/09/15.Pours into a large tulip glass a slight hazed tangerine infused golden with a large fluffy white head that settles slowly into a frothy mass.Floral and grassy hops mixed with subtle yeasty phenols and bread.Dry on the palate with the leafy/piney hops with some cracker qualities mixed with spiced phenol notes in the finish.A joy to drink really big hops but keeping the "Belgian" qualities,well done.

Mar 03, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(Note: The bottle was opened almost within the three months Maine Beer Co recommends drinking their hoppy beers; for this reason, the beer is likely not to be as hoppy as it should have been and will be reviewed accordingly. For shame on the distributors.)

The beer pours a nice, white and creamy head that dissipates fairly quickly. It look pretty nice against the pale gold beer color. The beer is fairly clear but there seems to be some particles suspended in the beer, which detracts from the appearance somewhat but not enough to ding some points off. Overall, the look is nothing to write home about but decent looking.

The smell is hoppy with a nice bread smell to it. The hop notes seem to be fairly muted compared to most other beers of the style. Other than that, the beer has a nice mixture of a pineapple and orange note that is kind of muddled and gets overpowered by the Belgian yeast notes, which gives it a sweeter smell with some very light banana. There is also this weird pepper note that does not work at all with the other notes and just completely out of place with the other notes.

The taste is good and better than the smell. It's a bit more bitter and the Belgian sugar notes also come out a bit more than they do in the smell. The hops still have the subtle pineapple and orange mixture that is good. Fortunately, that weird spice smell is nowhere to be found in the taste. However, the notes are fairly muted.

The feel is good for the style even though it is a bit on the heavy side. The beer has a medium body while the carbonation gives it a fluffy feel to it. It isn't taxing and somewhat refreshing.

Overall, a decent collaboration but the lateness of when the beer was available in my area prevented me from getting it fresh and enjoying it at its peak. I hate doing this because these are two good breweries with strong reputations for quality but I'm going to have to say to skip this beer if you ever see it. My guess is that whatever bottles are available (or within three months of bottling) are completely unfit for consumption because the notes that would make this a good beer have completely faded away. If you can find it fresh, then go for it but, otherwise, skip.

Mar 01, 2016
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Butznutz from Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from bottle dated 2.12 into a tulip glass. Was very excited to try this brew as I love Maine Beers and have heard great things about brewery. poured a nice golden color with a light fluff had. Some tropical fruits and malt on the nose. Okay so far. The taste was just off for me. It's an IPA with a Belgium tartness that just didn't do anything special for me. it finished tart with a slight burn and that covered up the nice aroma and hop profile I picked up from the scent. Glad I tried it but not a particularly good collab IMO.

Feb 26, 2016
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SebastianOwl from Massachusetts

4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled dated 12/9/15; drank in a Belgian tulip glass on 2/18/16; this is well beyond what I would consider fresh and feel badly about reviewing and rating a beer I wished I tried 6 weeks ago at the most.

Feb 19, 2016
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ThickNStout from Georgia

3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

750mL bottle acquired through The Bruery's Society. Bottled 11/10/15. Served in fluted Hoarders stemware.

Pours a hazy pale gold with three full fingers of white head. The froth crackles away to a thick, rocky cap that imparts copious lace.

Smells of citrus peel and Belgian yeast. Simple and subdued but not bad.

Tastes of bitter overripe orange, lemon zest, apple peel, estery Belgian yeast, peppercorns and mild cracker. Admittedly the nature of ordering beer from California and having a trustee ship to Georgia every few months is not an ideal arrangement for trying hoppy beers in their prime but these hops seem to be in their twilight and not delivering the intended punch.

Semi oily, medium feel with lively carbonation. Bitter, lingering aftertaste of old citrus rinds, apple skins and stale cracker.

Fourthmeal is definitely on the right track to accurately represent a blend of The Bruery and Maine Beer Co. It would have been nice if I could have tried this 2 months ago because I fear that this is no longer drinking optimally.

Feb 18, 2016
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BeerSamurai34 from Texas

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one looked really nice and had a great nose, but the flavor was just a little too hoppy for my taste. Since it is a Belgian Pale Ale, I expected the hoppiness to be a little more subdued.

Feb 16, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

Deep brass gold body color, and a glowing lemon yellow held to the light. Small carbonation, meeting to a good three finger soft and bleach white creamy head. Real nice lacing and crown as it settles in the glass.

Real fun hop bouquet on the nose. The beer smells like pickle brine primarily, then a slight bit of tropical fruit mango follows behind it. It's a neat combination but also a bit clashing. A hint of juiced citrus warmth, and then also some lighter caramel notes. A bit out there, but otherwise solid.

Palate comes out pretty large and big. Good sensing Belgian candy like sugars, mixing with a good hop quality. Seems to flavor more in the classic pine and grapefruit realm, but also bringing excellent juice and zesty oil flavors with it. Good astringent peppery hop finish on the swallow, mixing in with some fruity estery softness and sweetness in the aftertaste as well.

A pretty decent Belgian, with quite an odd hop angle and twist. However, certainly comes off as a much bigger beer than expected and holds up real well.

Feb 13, 2016
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rudzud from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a lightly hazy golden hue with a one finger white head that fades to leave nice lacing.

S - Aromas of light citrus peel and hops, good Belgian yeast and esters. Nice malt backbone.

T - Taste is very cracker heavy, malts are rather prominent too. There is nice esters too, the hops offer good light citrus with decent floral notes.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, crisp, clean.

O - Overall this beer was a solid representation of the style. Nice esters with good floral hops.

Serving type: bottle

Feb 12, 2016
Fourthmeal from The Bruery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 192 ratings