Black Bear – Hop Harvest IPA

Name: Hop Harvest IPA

64oz Growler available for $10, $8 Refills

Brewery: Black Bear Microbrewery

Style: Wet Hop IPA

Bottle/Draft: Growler

Purchased: Black Bear Microbrewery Taproom

The Black Bear Microbrewery is an independently owned and operated family brewery, located in Downtown Orono, Maine. The brewery sells growlers and kegs out of their newly opened Taproom and can be found in bars and restaurants across Maine.

It was Friday night, and it had been one of those weeks, which was the perfect reason to head over to Orono for some Pat’s Pizza. What better way to spend the 20 minutes I had to wait for the pizza than to stop into the Black Bear Microbrewery and have a chat with the Head Brewer Tim Gallon who happened to be pouring pints and pick up a growler to compliment that bacon pizza I had ordered. If you haven’t made your way to Orono to check the new Taproom I would strongly suggest it. Have a sampler, maybe a pint of something you enjoyed and bring home a growler, because there is nothing better than beer fresh from the brewery.

Brewery & Taproom Sign

The Hop Harvest pours hazy in the glass; it has a light copper color and a thick white head that quickly settles to a thin white ring around the glass.

This beer has a nice floral, citrusy aroma, it definitely smells of fresh hops, but is not overpowering. There are hints of caramel and malt mixed into the nose.

The flavor is very hop forward; there is a nice burst of bitterness but not overdone. The malt profile is toasty, with just a hint of caramel sweetness. There is a really nice subtle citrusy flavor that lingers on your tongue. This is a really nicely balanced harvest IPA compared to others that I’ve tried.

This is very clean and crisp ale with a nice pop of bitterness, it tastes very fresh.

Overall it’s a really well done Hop Harvest ale. This is a once a year release as the hops are thrown into the brew just hours after being harvested. If really flavorful but balanced fresh hop ale is your kind of thing, I think it’s time you got in the car and headed to Orono for a pint, I’m pretty sure you’ll be convinced a growler is in order after you try it. Taproom hours are available on the brewery website.




Website: Black Bear Microbrewery

Twitter: @BlackBearBrew


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Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.