Bissell Brothers has always had a special place in my heart, my liver, and my taste buds. Beer drinkers from out of state whisper about Bissell’s hoppy delights. Their American-style hoppy beers have swept the Maine craft beer market by storm. I want to start off 2015 with a sort of beer review from Bissell Brothers.
Bissell imagery is very simple. The triple B logo was seen everywhere a year and a half before the brewery every opened their doors or brewed a beer. Brothers Peter and Noah Bissell both started the grassroots marketing efforts with friends and family way before the first commercial substance was being poured at The Thirsty Pig. People were questioning me about the black and white trucker hat with the triple B on it. The logo itself without any text accompanying it looks similar to skateboard or snowboard branding, simple and alluring.
Peter was a professional photographer and businessman while Noah was and still is the creative developer of the beer itself. I find that many breweries as well as businesses in general in Maine have that same dynamic duo: the creative mind and the business mind. Peter knew that Noah had a talent that could translate to commercial brewing. The substance in homebrewing form was just as much of a tasty beverage as it is today, confirming Pete’s intuition a few years ago.
They started with The Substance, a hoppy American pale ale with Falconer’s Flight, Centennial, Apollo, Summit, and Chinook hops. The beer is a juicy hop bomb that’s surprisingly approachable and easy to drink. The Substance has grown an almost heady-topper-like following and interest amongst beer geeks of the northeast. Although The Substance is similar to Heady in the fact that it’s hoppy and delicious, they are still different in overall taste.
After the success of The Substance, the Bissell Brothers decided to commercially brew their second beer called Baby Genius (a hoppy session ale) last summer and Bucolia (a hoppy amber ale) last fall. Each beer was a different style than the Substance yet had that Bissell American hoppy signature all over the taste.
The Bissell Brothers have decided from day one to be self distributed. They drive a van that’s painted lime green with beer stickers on it, don’t get it mixed up with The Maine Brew Bus. They call it The Green Bastard. The Green Bastard can be seen dropping fresh supplies of kegs and cans all over the state of Maine.
I almost forgot! I’m here to review one of their beers today. The beer I’ve brought to today’s digital table is Angels With Filthy Souls. The name came from the VHS gangster-style movie that Kevin McCallister in Home Alone used to get free pizza with. This beer is another hoppy rendition of a traditional style of porter. This lactose sugar laced hoppy porter is very different from most porters out there. The Amarillo comes out in spades yet those dark, roasty, and chocolate/coffee notes shine through as well. The beer is a perfect bridge between those hop lovers who are trying to find a darker beer to drink.
Now unfortunately I’ve kept my cans of Angels With Filthy Souls in my fridge too long, but I don’t mean they aren’t fresh. I kept them in there too long and now they’ve stopped brewing Angels until next time (later in 2015?). That’s the unfortunate luck with local beer like Bissell Brothers: if you don’t get it while it’s out then you’ve already missed it. The local beer in Maine moves swift and is not afraid to continue onto the next new beer.
At the moment The Bissell Brothers have just recently released commercially SWISH, a double IPA.
The Bissell Brothers just celebrated their first year anniversary last month that preceded their achievement of another 40 barrel tank for their brewery. The extra tank was built and delivered by tigpro and santa. Their next beer they just started to brew commercially is SWISH, a Double IPA. Be on the lookout for more Substance, Angels With Filthy Souls, and SWISH on tap and in 16oz. cans all over Maine ONLY.