Allagash Brewing Company keeps innovating, experimenting with new combinations of yeasts, malts, hops, and more (reviews of other recent innovations can be seen here, here, and here ). Their newest offering, Two Lights, is designed to be a summer beer: “brewed with sauvignon blanc must fermented with lager and champagne yeast.” The name, “Two Lights,” comes from the state park that is a Maine landmark located right on the coast of Cape Elizabeth.
To make this distinctive beer, the juice from sauvignon blanc grapes is added to the whirlpool before the yeast is added. As a result, the beer has characteristics of the tart sauvignon blanc grape, but also shows a very dry profile.
Poured aggressively into a glass, Two Lights shows a slightly cloudy, straw color and presents a small head that dissipates fairly quickly. On the nose, Two Lights offers the musty wheat smell of a farmhouse beer or saison, but the champagne yeast is also noticeably present, along with just a bit of citrus. Saison notes follow into the palate but they are muted a bit by the more restrained flavor of the lager yeast. The finish is clean, and the champagne yeast lends the beer very fine bubbles that contribute to its summery character. But be careful. While the beer is refreshing and very drinkable, it has a rather high alcohol content and should not be mistaken for a session beer.
B+ / $12 per 4-pack / allagash.com