Tag Archives: Freeport

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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Gritty McDuff’s

Last time this Gal visited Gritty’s was August 1998. It was one of many stops along the way to Lemonwheel. Gritty’s is a classic after all they’ve been brewing beer since 1988. Years ago they only had the one location in Portland, Maine which was small, welcoming and just a great overall hangout. They’ve grown and now have 3 locations in Maine – Portland, Auburn and Freeport. On this visit I was checking out the Freeport location.It’s extremely easy to access as it’s located on Route 1 and just a mere half mile from Maine Beer Company. By know you know I recommend making it a mini beer crawl sort of day.IMG_2895Upon arrival I couldn’t believe how big the Freeport location is. The Portland location reminds me of an old English pub but this one has more of a Maine lodge feel to it. With large rooms, wood beams and accents and lots of windows allowing the natural beauty that is Maine to shine through. Upon entry there is a dining room to the right, back patio straight  in front of you and the bar area with tables to the left. Naturally, I wanted to sit in the bar area. Although, after having just spent 6 hours in a car bar stools were not going to cut it so we opted for a table. However, I will say the tables in the bar area seemed oddly short. Still trying to figure that out.

Sampler
Sampler

Upon perusing the beer menu I immediately knew I needed to do a taster flight. However, I had another beer stop after Gritty’s plus a bit of a drive a head  (although my companion was doing the rest of the driving) so I didn’t do the full flight (10 4oz beers) and opted for making my own size up. Yup, they are super accommodating. This Gal’s flight consisted of 5 Gritty McDuff’s beers.

Best Bitter 4.8% – Of course, I had to include their flag ship beer and truth be told I do enjoy a bitter. I was happy it was served at the right temperature so the malts and hop bitterness could truly be enjoyed the way the beer gods intended. A classic bitter.

Original Pub Style 4.5%
Over all it was good beer a bit light with not much to back it up but enjoyable to drink. The hops were extremely subtle.
Black Fly Stout 4.7% – You guessed it – this Gal’s favorite of the taster flight. This stout scored a perfect 100 from Beer Advocate Magazine and I understand why. Beautiful creamy head with a rich dark body. Overall it’s a lighter body dry stout that makes for easy, smooth, and enjoyable drinking.
English Wheat – Not much going on with this beer flavor wise but would be good on a hot day after mowing the lawn.
Dark IPA – Yum, malts & hops originally thought it was going to be a Black IPA so this Gal was confused by the medium chestnut coloring. I was happy to find out it’s Dark IPA which seems to be a popular style in Maine.
Mushrooms
Mushrooms
Pork Fries
Pork Fries

My companion enjoyed a mixed drink and we opted to just have appetizers since we had a grilled dinner waiting for us upon our arrival at the Cabin later. This Gal enjoyed Mushrooms with horseradish and my companion enjoyed the Pork Fries. The food menu is both meat and vegetarian friendly offering pub food as well as the local Maine cuisine.

Gritty’s is  Maine institution and with 3 locations it’s worth trying to fit in a visit to at least one of them.