Red Wheelbarrow | Maine Beer Company

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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).

Added by sleestak12 on 10-23-2013

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Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 961
Photo of cfalls
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not as dry as their amber ale, Zoe. Throws a huge head. Fairly hoppy for the style. The hop flavors lean more towards citrus and floral than bitter or pine.

Pretty much what you'd expect from a red ale from MBC.

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Photo of BeerEsquire
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stately (as noted in a review by Alex___), love the look/color of the beer - each glass poured is award-winning art. Consistent deep cranberry color throughout with no overpowering notes but an exceptionally balanced red with envious yeast quality.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice looking color. It has a ruby copper hue with a tall, two finger, beige head on top. Looks clear with some haze.
The aroma as with most of MBC's beer is very fragrant. I get sweetness candied lemon, citrus notes, orange creamsicle and some tea. Lot of things going on here.
The taste is good but not as good as the nose.
The taste is balanced with malts and hops. Neither one particular aggressive.
Finishes sweet with a slightly dry and bitter finish.
Like most of MBC's beer I like this one a lot. A very good rewarding beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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

Man I'm really digging whats going on here. The more I drink the better it gets. I'm picking up earthy hops, pineapple, lemon zest, resiny pine and grass all mixed in with ample malt, dark cocoa, fig, date and char.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%

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.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4/5  rDev -2.4%

A- Bright red with an off white head that laces.

S- Tropical, fruity, and berry hop aroma. The malt is muted in the background.

T- A burst of tropical and funky hop flavor up front. There is a slighty grainy malt backbone in the flavor. I also get some popcorn flavor in the aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- Overall, very good and funky. The hops outshine the malt in this beer. I wish the malt made more of an appearance.

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Photo of Samp01
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cloudy amber with a large lasting beige head, good lacing. Aroma starts with a floral citrus nose, slowly the tangy notes of grapefruit find there way thru followed by a sweet caramel flavor, some orange comes in as well on the back end. A medium to full body smooth on the palate, good carbonation and a sticky mouth feel. The finish is a combination of sweet caramel malt tones, citrus, orange and a tangy grapefruit hops bitterness flavor are left lingering on the palate and taste buds. Overall a wonderfully full flavored and tasty brew for those who dare. enjoy with caution.

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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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Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 961 ratings.
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