Monthly Archives: August 2015

Andrew’s Brewing

IMG_3015Andrew’s BrewingLincolnville, ME
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Upon my arrival in Maine my brother informed me he found two more breweries for us to visit Andrew’s Brewing and Liberty Craft Brewing. I hadn’t heard of either but was certainly up for trying them. First up was Andy’s. This brewery has been around since 1992 and was one of the early pioneers in the Maine Craft Beer industry. The brewery recently moved into a small building attached to The Lobster Pound Restaurant. It’s an interesting arrangement,  the brewpub is in the restaurant and they are the same but different. Sort of two in one thing.  You can also view the brewery from a glass window in the bar area of The Lobster Pound.

Upon arrival we took a look at the small, but mighty, brewery set up and introduced ourselves to Ben, one of the brewers, who was friendly and welcoming. I say mighty because they had 11 beers on tap which is a hefty number considering the small size of the brewing area.

The brewpub/restaurant wasn’t as exciting. The decor, well it’s lacking something. The wood work is very rustic and beautiful (as in mulled tree truck bar) but the feel of the place is missing something. More color on the walls perhaps. It just doesn’t have that “I want to kick back for a while and hang out” feel that this Gal looks for. It was more of eat, drink and go sort of feel. However, the view is breathtaking and does beg for attention.

The brewpub sits right on the water’s edge of Licolnville. I recommend sitting outside and taking in the view – that’ll help with the kicking back part. Plus, the staff and locals are very friendly and it’s easy to strike up a conversation.

Although, the atmosphere wasn’t necessarily for me the beer was with 11 house beers on tap plus 2 guest taps. The beers are brewed English style and a tasting round consist of 4 4oz pours(pints & growlers are also available). At first I was concerned when I saw pint glasses being pulled from a refrigerator – frosted pints NO! – but upon inquiry I was relieved to hear none refrigerated pints glasses were also available. The breweries preference for serving their english style ales but some locals prefer refrigerated glasses and they’re happy to accommodate everyone – very understandable.

 Of course, this Gal and her hop head brother had to go for taster rounds. We decided to do 3 rounds so we could try all the beer and the guest tap of mead.
Here we go:
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IPA 5.6% The standard citrus & hops combo taken down a notch. Enjoyable but not outstanding.

English Pale Ale 5.5% Very enjoyable with the usual combo of malt, hops and caramel toasted to EPA goodness.
Shandy 4.5% Shandies are one of my least favorite styles but this was a nice balance of lemon and good summer beverage.

Gold 4.1% Really good! Normally neither my bro or I are a fan of this style but this ended up being one of the favorites for both of us. Excellent!

Red 6.5%  Yay a red! Malts, toffee and a slight bitter finish made this another winner. At first my brother was so so about it but tried it with a piece of toffee which complimented the beer nicely and brought the toffee goodness out of the beer. Remember food can really alter your perception of a beer. If in doubt pair it up.

IMG_2933Stout 7.8% This was a lighter body stout but, than again, they’re brewing English style beer. Overall the flavor was good it’s just that this Gal’s prefers a bit more chewiness to her stouts.

Porter 6.1% A lighter body porter but still tasty with bitter after notes that this Gal enjoys.

Brown 4.4% – Woohoo a brown! By now you know how this Gal’s feels about browns – always happy to see them represented and this one represented in a good way with baked bread earthiness, toasted malts and accents of fruit.

Scottish 5.8% If I see a Scottish Ale on a menu I will pretty always add it to my taster round. I just love trying out this style. This particular one was very well done and ended up being one of this Gal’s favorites for the day! Just the right amount of malt, herbs and subtle smokiness to it.

Blueberry– This was blueberry beginning to end from the time it hits your nose and has the follow threw. I’m not a fruit beer Gal (Lambic exceptions) but for those looking for a fruit beer look no further this is everything you hope for and more.

Black & Tan 6%
So happy to see a black & tan on the menu and this one was a good combo of their porter and pale ale. I later mixed this with some blueberry which helped balanced out the fruit for me. Yup, it’s ok to exterminate with your beers. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Mead the mead was from Michigan on the guest tap and ummm, nope still not a mead Gal.

Favorites – Golden, Red, Brown & Scottish

This Gal is certainly interested to see how Andrew’s continues to grow in the brewing world. I look forward to a return visit and taking in the view while enjoying a beer.

Yup, that's the view!
Yup, that’s the view!

 

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Maine Beer Company

This Gal first spotted Maine Beer Company, in Freeport, last year on the drive up to summer vacation. At the time I was unable to stop in but promised myself a visit the following year.

l had several breweries on my wish list for this this year’s Maine vacation. However, Maine Beer Company was at the top. After all, I waited a whole year for this moment. When I first spotted the brewery in 2014 I hadn’t heard of it before but that was no longer the case. During the past year Maine Beer Company has been making news in the beer world and time and again making the top beer lists.

From the outside there doesn’t appear to be anything special happening at 525 U.S. Route 1, Freeport, ME. The brewery is very much like it’s beer labels…Simplistic. Housed in a white farm style structure with a simple blue sign stating that’s it’s Maine Beer Company and small outside seating area.  The inside is just as simple  and tranquil with white walls, white blank canvas art, a few picnic and barrel tables and an occasional burst of color from a fresh flower sprig. Seriously, these folks let the beer do all the talking.

IMG_2900One thing this Gal did notice upon arrival were the solar panels. In fact, Maine Beer Company is incredibly eco and community friendly.  Partnering with several area business, supporting various local organizations and artist. Oh and they compost AND support a local cat rescue. My goodness this place was made for Geeky Beer Gal! That’s right this solar power on her chateau, composting, animal rescuing, beer loving hippy has found the one and only peaceful retreat known as Maine Beer Company.

IMG_2910After taking in all the beautiful simplicity of the place it was time taste their beer. Naturally, I was going for the taster round of all 8 beers on tap. 8 beers 5oz pours $18, can do individual pours or 4 pour taster. Also, pretzels and snacks are available, there’s a food truck outside and you can bring food in from elsewhere.

I was a bit perplexed that several beers on the taster round  were various styles of Pale Ales or IPA’s but no worries this Gal enjoyed them all along with the stout and amber too.

IMG_2906Now onto the beer reviews:

Pilot 7 – American Pale Lager 5.5%
A hoppy lager with hints of the tropics. Very crisp, clean and easy to drink.

Peeper Ale – American Pale Ale 5.5%
Very light in flavor with just specks of lemon, melon and floral to compliment the hops.
Lunch – IPA 7%
Brewed in the West Coast IPA style Lunch offers lots of hop flavor accented by pine and citrus which makes Lunch very refreshing. Bought a bottle to share with my Hop Head Brother who also found it very enjoyable.

Another One – IPA 7% – I think this makes a good intro IPA beer to those who may not be IPA fans. The hops are there but in subtle way that renders the beer smooth without the hops after bite. At 7% this beer can really sneak up on you.

Zoe – Amber 7.2%
Love! This beer offers the malt/hops balance that I’ve come to love.  Malt, hops, dark fruit and cocoa all add up to a delish beer. A few bottles of this beer came home with me.

Mo – American Pale Ale 6% – A lovely beer that got better with each sip. Once again there was pine (it’s Maine there should be pine) and citrus balanced by the malts.

A Tiny Beautiful Something – American Pale Ale 5.5%
There really is something beautiful about this beer. It’s so smooth, silky and clean. It’s freshness is pleasing and relaxing. This is a single hop ale using the El Dorado hops.
Mean Old Tom (nitro) – American Stout 6.5%

No worries still a stout gal at heart – pure heaven! Chicory, cocao, & dark fruits accented by vanilla combine to make a delightful stout. There’s nothing mean about this beer.  Bought a few of these to take home. This Gal showcased Mean Old Tom on the episode 7/25/15 of What’s On Tap.

Indeed Maine Beer Company was worth waiting a whole year to try and yes, I’m already planning my visit for next year.

IMG_2908Side note: This Gal had some troubles sitting down to write this review. Why?  I wanted to make sure to convey just how incredibly special Maine Beer Company and the beer they brew is.  I hope I did them justice.

 

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