Red Wheelbarrow | Maine Beer Company

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Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow
Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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).

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 130 | Ratings: 975
Photo of Ronl12
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pint 9 oz into IPA glass. dated 11/27/18.
Look is nice cloudy mahogany red. Smell is balanced hops and malt. Taste follows and is a nice. Feel is light. Overall nice change of pace

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle dated 11/28/18, poured into Teku glass.

L: Deep cordovan color. 2F+ head, slightly off-white, leaves heavy lacing and a cap and ring.

S: Real battle between the malts and hops here. Citrus in the form of orange and grapefruit vies with dried fruits and yeastiness.

F: Citrus more pronounced here, but moderated quickly by the malts. Dark dried fruit and earthiness, very earthy. Pretty good.

O: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, flavors a bit all over the place, though.

O: One definitely thinks of a fall day in Maine when drinking this. It's a good red ale.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a two finger white foamy rocky head that dissipated in about a minute and a half. Light stringy lacing sticks in a semi-thick sort of fashion. The smell starts off with a citrus zest with the citrus rind running over top of a light caramel presence. Its there for the style but doesn’t show a whole lot of depth. The taste is mainly bitter through the citrus zest and rind. Sweet is only there to balance in the caramel, but even that isn’t exactly balanced once again. Bitter citrus aftertaste that leads into a sliding bitter citrus finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Carbonation packs enough sharpness but still allows the bitterness to display most of the sharpness. Overall, for an American Red/Amber ale, this one is a bit more hoppier than others. Might not necessarily be a session beer, but more likely one just to enjoy as is.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated 11/08/16

Pours amber dark red with a dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like fig, raisins, plum, red grapefruit, orange, dark berries, caramel, roasty toasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like figs, raisins, plum, red grapefruit, orange citrus, dark berries, caramel, roasty toasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice amber red ale.

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Photo of illpass78
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasting glass on tap at brewery.

Appearance: Cloudy amber with a short cream head.

Aroma. Very earthy. Some biscuit. Some grass.

Taste: Follows nose. Very pleasant. Kind of an earthy, hoppy red.

Mouthfeel: Sturdy but drinkable.

Overall: Good stuff. Sad it's going to be discontinued.

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Photo of njcraftguy
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Luv this brew - I feel ins under rated by many. Could be my favorite from MBC and yes I've had both lunch n dinner. Super smooth and tasty. Easy to drink with nice mouth feel. Just wish I could get more.

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Photo of Trevor11
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite my cup of tea, but Red Wheelbarrow is very interesting. It's dark auburn, has a funky wine-like smell. It's hazy, tastes of licorice, fermented plum, maybe my beer was sitting on the shelves too long but I would not buy this again, despite its novelty. Maine Beer is very exceptional but this was not their greatest offering.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber red with a finger of off-white foam.

Biscuits, toasted malts, subtle citrus, caramel, and slightly piney/grassy notes.

Biscuity toasted malts, caramel, toffee, lemongrass, orange, and pine.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, crisp.

Overall, Maine Beer Company is putting out some truly outstanding brews. Nothing bad to say about this. Damn good for a subtle style.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of my favorite Red ale. strong hops and pine notes along with tropical notes too. the malt is strong (unlike most MBC offerings) and just well suited for this style.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle was poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that eventually reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper amber color with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Citrus, floral, herbal, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, toasted, biscuity, and bready malts.

Taste: Nice citrus hop flavor followed by toasted, biscuity, caramel, bready, and chocolate malts. Light bitterness and chewy notes in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, light to medium bodied, light bitterness, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Got to admit that this is one hoppy red/amber ale. I'll revisit this again in the future.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle dated 2/2/16 (just under 3 weeks old), pours a deep, rich ruby-amber with 3 fingers of sandstone-colored head that takes quite a while to recede. Scads of lacing. Gorgeous looking beer.

Smells of toffee/caramel malt and piney hops in about equal measures. As it warms, some notes of dark dried fruits like you get from a stout, though far subtler. Hints of orange citrus.

On the taste the hops outweigh the malt to a surprising degree based on smell, though there is a slightly sweet malt foundation. But the decently bitter, piney hops carry the day, ending in a grapefruit pith finish (interesting, because I get no grapefruit on the nose).

Feel is just shy of medium, and lighter than I expected. This is a masterfully made, easy-drinking beer that has loads of interesting character, somehow straddling both an IPA and an amber. I'd happily drink again.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 2/2/16
Poured to 40 cl in a stella glass, reddish with a copper hue. two fingers of off white head leaves some lacing behind

Nose is a nice blend of floral scents and earthy pine with some malt. Excited to give this a try!

Taste is a bit muddled, but getting a clear piney note on the finish… but otherwise the malts and hop flavors seem like they are clashing, getting a somewhat unpleasant hint of nail polish/alcohol.

Overall it’s a decent beer but for me it doesn’t live up the high standard set by other mbc beers.

** for me, this beer improved significantly with temperature

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Was at the brewery to get beers to take to Florida to share with friends and saw some of this in the cooler. Got a few and didn't open until we got to Fl. I am so glad I got this. Really a nice beer and it got me some serious bragging rights with my friends along with Lunch and Another One. Maine Brewing ROCKS! I will get more when we come back home to Maine in the spring.

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Photo of crotharagain
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Maine Beer Company never disappoints. Tried this for the first time and was amazed by all aspects. Poured perfectly with just the right amount of carbonation. The taste is delightfully complex. Smell of cinnamon and citrus blends nicely with the strong hop combination. I'm also picking up complex yeasts, much like an American wild ale. Simply superb!

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Photo of JayQue
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Probably the best Red Ale I have had. Got it in a growler at Grape and Gourmet in Virginia Beach. Pours a reddish amber color with a big off-white frothy head. Head retention is excellent and thick bands of frothy lacing remain on the glass after the beer is finished. Aroma is citrus hops and caramel malt, more hoppy a smell than is usual in a Red/Amber Ale. Taste is excellent. The problem with many Red Ales is that they are too sweet. The strong citrus hops take care of any excess sweetness. The balance between hops and malt is still there, though. This is not a malty IPA, the malt character is strong, the way it should be in a Red/Amber Ale.
There is just more hops than would be expected and there is also a nice yeast-like presence too that adds a bit of complexity. Mouthfeel is crisp and rich. The hops and caramel malt balance each other well. A great choice by Grape and Gourmet for their growler fill.

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Photo of MonkeyBread
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Little over 2 month old bottle so not sure how much the aromatics and hops may have dropped off. Instantly this reminds me of Blazing World from modern times. A big tropical hops amber ale.

Looks fantastic out of bottle with a rustic red color and white head. Smell is muted: tropical fruits, little farmhouse funkiness. Taste is gushing with unique flavor. On the front is a burst of tropical fruits like papaya, passion fruit, figs, lychee then followed by a robust maltiness of caramel, toffee, rustic barnyard flavors with a dry finish. Excellently done beer. This is a beer that defies a style. A big, red ale loaded with tropical hops, flavorful malt and a smidge of funk.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +4.7%
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 -1.2%
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 +0.2%
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 -27.6%
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 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 +6.9%
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 -1.7%
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 -4.9%
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 +6.4%
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 of my favorite styles. A perfect blend of malty, hoppy and bitter.

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Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 975 ratings