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Belt’s Beer Garden: Belle of the Ball

Belleflower’s amazing hazy Pale Ale, Magpie, is a must try!

Belleflower Brewing Co. is a small-batch brewery in Portland, Maine owned by two families who originally met while helping Trillium Brewing get off the ground. After honing their skills at Trillium and Lone Pine Brewing, the pair reconnected and combined their efforts to open Belleflower back in 2020…so you know they can make a damn good hazy brew.

Today I have one of the very first beers they ever made, and what has become their flagship beer - Magpie.

Magpie is a New England Pale Ale brewed with Maine-grown Cascade hops as well as Centennial and Citra hops. The grain profile also keeps it local, with nearby Blue Ox Pilsner malt and Maine Malt House wheat and flaked oats. It has a lighter 5.5% ABV and a four pack of 16-ounce cans costs just over $16 on their website.

Magpie poured a hazy, yet bright, golden straw color with just over a finger of pure white head building up. The foam was rather dense and took some time fading down into a small layer across the entire top of the beer. As it disappeared, it left some solid lacing down the side of the glass.

The aroma was amazing. It was floral, and fruity, and light, with a dash of pine and bread underneath. There was a flowery and grassy softness to it but really leading the way were big notes of peach, lemon, and tangerine. When combined with the grist profile, there was a familiar cereal-like smell of Fruity Pebbles. It truly smelled wonderful and I could not wait to dive in.

My first sip mirrored the aroma almost perfectly and it was delicious from the get-go. Up front, just as with the scent, there is a perfumey floral aspect that quickly gives way to the fruitier characteristics.

Lemon, tangerine, and peach flow across my taste buds for the majority of the sip before being joined by a touch of dripping honey sweetness and some grapefruit rind pithiness later on. It’s like a bowl of Fruity Pebbles on steroids…with a much more lemon-forward quality. Towards the end of the sip the hops do also bring a touch of peppery zest to the brew that plays rather nicely with the stronger fruitier flavors.

The finish is insanely clean and light. There is no real aftertaste, no sticky resinous feeling from the early grass or later grapefruit peel flavors. All that remains is the tiniest touch of dryness that is easily combated with another swig.

Magpie is insanely crushable and absolutely delicious. If you’re in Maine, or thinking about going to Maine, make sure Belleflower is on your brewery list for this beer alone. Their flagship hazy Pale Ale is a must try.

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