When one walks into the Maple Meadows tasting room, it appears to be a standard, if entirely boring, John Q Tasting Room that could have come flat-packed from IKEA for all the character and individuality it has. The large picture window that takes up the bulk of the storefront does let in a fair amount of natural light, but save for that one redeeming characteristic, the word which singularly describes Maple Meadows actual space is an underwhelmed “Meh” echoing indifferently into the void.
And then things start to go downhill.
Sadly, the all-too-unimpressive front of house belied some competency in the brewing of beer (it did look like a taproom, after all) that was not reflected in the quality of the beverages.
This is a new brewery, one struggling to get its craft down to a science, but it has a long way to go, as the beers were on par with those of your greenhorn homebrewer. The most rudimentary principles of beermaking, such as “Don’t make your beer taste like pepper and dust,” appear to have not made their way into the toolkit of the Maple Meadows crew.
This is not to denigrate the ambition or potential of the outfit – their Mocha Stout was interesting, and the Mexican Lager was passable, but the brewery needs to step up its game if it’s going to climb out of the bottom reaches. After all, they built a brewery, have the equipment and are producing beer that can be said to be drinkable. There is potential at the bottom of the barrel – the only way to go is up.
Quality: 7.5/20 (40th)
Standout: 1.9/5 (39rd)
Diversity: 4.5/10 (36th)
Innovation: 2.3/5 (30th)
Experience: 4.2/10 (42nd)
TOTAL: 20.33 (40th)