Red Wheelbarrow
Maine Beer Company

Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #7
Ranked #4,537
4.07 | pDev: 8.11%
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States
Red WheelbarrowRed Wheelbarrow
Notes: 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).
Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 988 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Profundobaso
Profundobaso from New York

4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look - poured into a stemmed glass. Amber/deep red in color, slightly cloudy, with a generous foamy head that still has ~2 fingers lacing retention. Beer looks quite excellent.
Smell - an abundance of hops, mostly pine/woodsy, dried fruits, with malts presence as well. Definitely hoppier than a usual red ale, and approaching IPAs.
Taste - surprisingly largely dominated by malts. it is the first thing I detect, and lingers all the way into the finish. hop flavor creeps in after the malts, and grows stronger. the finish is long, bringing in some of the fruity flavor into the mix, adding a bit of refreshing taste to the palate.
Feel - medium bodied, high carbonation, and respectable ABV at 7%.
Overall - phenomenal red ales are not as common as IPAs, so I am giving this beer the benefit of the doubt. One word to describe it is bold: the flavors of malts and hops are equally accented in this beer, and the smell and taste are quite complex. Fans of red ale should find this one a real treat.

Jan 26, 2020
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philbe311 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I always love trying new Maine Beer Company offerings... An eventful swirling pour yields two plus fingers of lush creamy medium khaki colored froth... Solid Retention... Surprise, surprise - This red ale is red in color... The nose is fairly muted but reminiscent of a strong ale... Slightly medicinal and herbal with a pungent hoppiness sitting atop a load of cereal scented malts... Simple and straight-forward on the palate but quite effective... Nothing dominates, but there is good balance and subtle complexities abound... On the fuller side of medium bodied with a good bit of prickly carbonation... Overall a slightly understated, but rather enjoyable and well executed red ale... Now I remember why I really enjoy trying new Maine Beer Company offerings...

Jan 25, 2020
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PSanger from Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on draft. Delicious, great coloring and nice drinking not heavy for the somewhat high ABV. Beautiful color and Really complex. Definitely recommend.

Nov 10, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt.9oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled 10/8/19, so not even 4 weeks old yet.

Looks very good in the glass. Deep amber body with hints of red big foamy cream colored head which maintains throughout leaving excellent lacing. Many fast streams of carbonation.

Not much on the nose, maybe a faint malty aroma.

Initially it's sharp and bitey on the tongue, though this smooths out later in the drink. There is a sour bitterness which maintains throughout. Lightly sweet towards the end.

Mouth closer to full than medium, finish that sour bitterness.

Overall, a decent drink, can't help but wonder if a few more weeks in the bottle would balance it out a bit more.

Nov 02, 2019
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Lucular from Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5 oz pour on tap at Lures Bar & Grille. Looks like a red IPA. Aroma features citrus and pine with some woodsiness. Taste is similar but a little too sweet. Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated with some alcohol burn. Overall not as clean of a beer as I expect from Maine.

Oct 31, 2019
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Ronl12 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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

Jan 22, 2019
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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Dec 30, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Jun 05, 2017
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Jan 22, 2017
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illpass78 from Maine

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Nov 13, 2016
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njcraftguy from New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +13%
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.

Sep 12, 2016
Photo of Trevor11
Trevor11 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Jul 06, 2016
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larryarms847 from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

May 07, 2016
Photo of dee4maine
dee4maine from Maine

4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Mar 07, 2016
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Mar 02, 2016
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Beers-es from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Feb 23, 2016
Photo of Hyptochrons
Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1%
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

Feb 15, 2016
Photo of Newbeergeek1
Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Feb 03, 2016
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crotharagain from Rhode Island

4.79/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

Jan 15, 2016
Photo of JayQue
JayQue from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Jan 08, 2016
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MonkeyBread from Nevada

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Dec 06, 2015
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Nov 24, 2015
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Nov 02, 2015
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TheSixthRing from California

4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Oct 22, 2015
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VetsPackage from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev 0%
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.

Oct 20, 2015
Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 988 ratings