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WSU vs. Oregon basketball: Baxter's beer of the game

Baxter is back from a long hiatus, because you have to figure out something to do with such a late Sunday start.

Bax and Mo in the snow.
Bax and Mo in the snow.

It's been a while since the internet's foremost dog beer enthusiast graced the front page of CougCenter, but that doesn't mean he's taken a break from the craft beer drinking game. Baxter and I have spent the last few months trying plenty of malt beverages--from drowning our sorrows after the New Mexico Bowl to drinking in triumph after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

More Beer Bloggin'

Our recent beer journey is chronicled on Untappd, the beer-logging social media app that I avoided for a long time because I knew I would get far too obsessed with it (I did). Since joining on November 3, 2013, I've logged and rated 176 different beers (236 total). That's 176 different labels in 112 days. Baxter and I like variety.

Perhaps the greatest aid to that 176 beers in 112 days number was the opening of the Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, Vermont--a short 10-minute drive from my house. CBC specializes in just craft beer--there are no spirits and there is nothing with any variation of the word "light." Even better than that, CBC prices every single beer by the bottle, including those that come in 6-or-12 packs. That allows me to try as many different beers as possible, and encourages the practice of taking a flier on a style I wouldn't typically buy.

In the past two months, a trip to CBC has become a regular Friday occurrence for me. So much so that the employees expect me to be there, and even hold some of the latest arrivals (it's not a problem, it's a hobby, alright?). And part of that Friday ritual has been grabbing the latest from Maine Beer Co., a brewery that has quickly become one of my favorites.

MBC is a small brewery that can be found in a few spots on tap throughout Vermont, and ships a not-entirely-significant number of distinct 16.9-ounce bottles to the Green Mountain State. That leads to bottle limits (typically one per customer), because otherwise people may be buying MBC's delicious stuff off the shelves within minutes.

As my love for MBC has grown, I've become more and more impressed with its brewer's ability to use hops. Most of MBC's line is hop-driven, with the exception of a porter and a stout (which are both awesome as well). MBC are masters of the dry hop, meaning their brews are some of the best-smelling I've ever had. Additonally, the hop finishes on the beer seem to be nearly perfect every time. From MBC's hoppy "American Ale" to its hoppy amber ale, along with their many IPAs and pales, I'm always impressed with the way the hops are used.

In addition to MBC's ability to create excellent beers, it also donates one percent of profits to a variety of charities and purchases green energy credits in an effort to offset its environmental impact. All in all, this is a pretty easy business to root for.

For this week's game against Oregon, Baxter and I have decided to feature what is probably our favorite Maine Beer Company offering: Mo Pale Ale.

Mo is part of what seems like a new wave of pale ales in the U.S. Many in the PNW are familiar with Manny's Pale Ale, a more traditional American Pale using caramel malts that give the beer more of a sweetness before the bitter hop finish. MO and similar pales ales (Hill Farmstead Edward, 3 Floyds Zombie Dust) are much lighter in appearance, and feature the hops more prominently.

Craig's Review: The aroma is inviting, with plenty of citrus and pine. As I said before, the color is lighter and more golden than traditional American pale ales. The first taste is light on the sweetness and dominated by a resinous hop presence that is almost buttery in texture. Mo finishes with a good kick of citrus-y hop that isn't too bitter.

Baxter's Review: About time Craig gets me back in the bright lights of the internet! Which beer are we reviewing again? It's so hard to keep track with all the different bottles that Craig brings home. I know the ones with the plain white labels are some of the best.

So Baxter and I will be relaxing with our friend Mo as we watch the Cougs most likely lose to the Ducks. What will you be having?