Lately, the beer I've recommended to everyone is Maine Beer Company's Peeper Ale, even if people aren't looking at it. I've directed people to where it is on the shelf and passionately tell them why they should buy the beer. Everyone does.

I'm kind of a nosy beer shopper. I'll often pay attention to people in the beer section, and if they seem like they're having trouble deciding on what beer they're going to buy, I'll offer unsolicited advice.


Lately, the beer I've recommended to everyone is Maine Beer Company's Peeper Ale, even if people aren't looking at it. I've directed people to where it is on the shelf and passionately tell them why they should buy the beer. Everyone does.


The reason is simple: the aroma.


I don't use the word "perfect" that often to describe a beer, but I will for Peeper Ale. It's the most perfect-smelling beer I've ever had the joy of smelling.


You take one whiff of this pale ale-India pale ale hybrid, and you’ll want to drink it. Sure, it tastes great, but the aroma is out of this world.


Pale ales aren't supposed to have this much complex aroma. They're fairly simple beers, but this one smells citrus-y, with hints of orange, pear, honey and a sweet dough smell from the yeast.


Co-owner David Kelban, who started the Portland, Maine, brewery in 2009 with his brother Daniel, said Peeper was a beer they constantly brewed when they began home brewing.


"We've always thought of it as being between a pale ale and an IPA," said David Kelban. "I figured, let's build a beer that's not too off the wall and it would be approachable for a lot of people. It's a delicate beer, which makes it harder to make.


"I'm not that good at describing the beer, so I'd probably just tell someone to go buy it and try it," he said.


That's the best advice I can give, too. Buy it, try it and marvel at it.


Not bad for two brothers who had only been home brewing for a couple of years before opening the brewery.


Daniel Kelban, who is the brewer, was introduced to brewing while he was a law student at Boston College. He had an internship at a law firm in Maine, and one of the partners was a home brewer who hosted a "beer camp" for all the interns.


"I said, 'That sounds like fun, we should start brewing,"' David Kelban said.


Daniel Kelban eventually started working at the law firm while David Kelban worked as an independent financial adviser. Despite both of them having good jobs, the pair decided to open up the brewery, though they don't do it full time.


"This is the second job for both of us," said David Kelban. "That's why we're not at the brewery when we don't have to be. I think it helps that there are two of us. My brother is responsible for brewing the beer, and I was really into making the brewery."


They started off small. David Kelban said they brewed on a glorified home-brew system for the first year.


"We wanted to start small and see how it worked," he said. "We kind of did that small system to see if people would buy our beer. It was less of a commitment just in case everybody hated our beer."


It worked so well they've invested in a much larger brewing system, which allowed them to start selling the beer in Massachusetts. They also hope to hire a second brewer.


They also brew a second beer, Zoe. It's described as a hoppy amber ale. David Kelban said people are surprised by how it tastes compared to normal amber ales, but he and his brother don't care about particular styles.


"We're just brewing beers that we love to drink, and our hope is that others like to drink them, too," he said. "We'll never pigeonhole ourselves into not doing anything we want. We'll do whatever we like."


Maine Brewing Company has also brewed a limited release stout, called Mean Old Top. It's brewed with chocolate, coffee and vanilla.


In addition to brewing great beer, the Maine Beer Company is also a member of 1% for the Planet, a group of businesses that commit financially to help the planet.


Maine Brewing Company is 100 percent wind powered, and all of the leftover yeast, grains and grain bags are donated to local farmers while 1 percent of all sales go to environmental nonprofit organizations.


After writing this, I'm heading to the store to pick up some more Peeper Ale, and you should, too. Sit back and breathe it in.


Norman Miller is a Daily News staff writer. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, e-mail nmiller@cnc.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out The Beer Nut blog at http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut/ or follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.