Allagash Brewing | Sixteen Counties Belgian Pale Ale
It’s July in New England. The sun doesn’t set til past 8pm and the humidity comes and goes. Tonight, the humidity is at bay. And Sixteen Counties sits in my fridge, but not for long.
It’s been said before and it’ll continue to be said until the last beer on earth is brewed (scary thought, huh?): Allagash is a pioneer in the beer industry. With Allagash White, Black, Saison — the list goes on — they have helped to create the standard in American Belgian-style beer. And 20 years after their humble beginnings, they’re still going strong.
It can be easy to overlook the other beers in their lineup. Their staples are just so darn popular, and for good reason! So when I came across Sixteen Counties Belgian Pale Ale in the store, two major things stuck out to me: the label design and the fact that it was right next to White on the shelf.
Labels can be truly representative of the beer. The Sixteen Counties label design is reminiscent of older typefaces and traditional branding, not unlike something you might see on an old matchbox in an antique store. The subtle curvature and illustrated scenery add to the traditional style Allagash aimed to honor.
Brewed with grains grown exclusively in Maine, it’s hard not to respect a homegrown, back-to-roots beer like Sixteen Counties, especially as a New Englander. There’s a sense of pride that Allagash exudes in their beers, and this one is certainly no exception.
In a quest to quench my Belgian beer thirst, I brought Sixteen Counties into my life. Pouring an amber hue, you’ll notice alluring notes of honey, citrus, fruitiness, and spice as you fill your glass. At a 7.3 ABV, this beer hides its alcohol well. It’s smooth, crisp, and only subtly hoppy, creating a harmonious blend of a perfect summertime beer. Overall, it’s a well-balanced Belgian pale ale I highly recommend.
Drinking it outside on a warm summer night definitely felt fitting; however, it’s available year round so I can imagine it’ll fit in for the fall, too. Sixteen Counties has earned its spot in the year-round lineup. While I do recommend it now, I’m curious to drink it again when summer passes and fall is upon us. You can find it in 4-packs, which — given the higher-than-normal ABV — is a solid quantity. Enjoy.