Tag Archives: ME

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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Maine Part 1 – Great Lost Bear and Allagash Brewing Company

The Great Lost Bear & Allagash Brewing Company
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This Gal recently had the pleasure of spending some much needed down town in the beautiful state of Maine. Maine also happens to be home of this Gal’s favorite beer bar – The Great Lost Bear! (Please see last year’s post for a full review). Why is The Great Lost Bear my fav? Three simple reasons: 1. Great beer, 2. Great Veggie food (meat friendly too), 3. Great Music – the perfect trifecta. I’m talking kick back and relax bar atmosphere, sipping on the best of Maine beer offerings while listening to the Dead or some other great classic rock band. For this Gal it just doesn’t get any better.

Veggie Burger
Veggie Burger

On this particular visit I opted for the much loved taster round. Five 5 oz pours for $6.25. Wanted to enjoy as many beers as possible but kept in mind still had a good hour and half drive to the final destination. To help balance the intake of alcohol I enjoyed a delish house-made veggie burger that was out of this world in size and goodness!

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Order Right to Left

It perfectly complimented the Taster Round which consisted of:

Summer Weizen – Smuttynose Brewing, NH 5.6%
Well done weizen style, very refreshing with a bit of tang. Good wheat presence with hints of floral and pepper. A beer perfect for kicking back and relaxing with.

Black Fly Stout – Gritty McDuff’s 4.1%
Yes, I repeated a beer from last year’s visit to the Bear. Just goes to show how much I enjoy this particular stout. (last year’s review This stout was ridiculously smooth, light in body but packed with big roasty goodness. It runs in the Irish Stout family but enjoyed it more than the typical Irish Stout because of the full malty flavors.)

Atlantic Bar Harbor Brown 5.2%
I love Brown Ales and will tend to order one whenever I see the style represented on a beer menu which in my opinion is not often enough. This particular brown has a good roasty quality of nuts and malts while maintaining a light body. Not the best brown this Gal has had but enjoyable just the same.

Hampshire Special Ale – Geary’s 7%
Maine in a glass! Wonderfully toasted malts, caramel and toffee balanced perfectly by the hops with hints of ginger and coriander make this ale a real pleasure to sip on. The perfect ambassador for Maine beers.

Confluence – Allagash 7.5%
Wasn’t sure what to expect when I ordered this little delight but I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly smooth this ale is. All sorts of wonderfulness going on that results in a sweet and spicy harmony. One can detect hints of pepper and apricot along with the hops and malt. However, there’s no mistaking that one is drinking a Belgian style strong ale.

That was the end of my wonderful New England Sampling but I couldn’t leave without a quick taste of a little treasure I spotted on tap for the Goose Island Tap Takeover happening later that night….

Bourbon County Stout – Goose Island 14.2% (ON TAP)
Liquid Gold – Strong Liquid Gold. This style isn’t for everyone but for those of us that like the style Goose Island nailed it. Once you get past the bourbon taste you can pick out hints of vanilla, chocolate and smoke.

011Sadly it was time to wrap up what is happily becoming my yearly pilgrimage to my personal Mecca, The Great Lost Bear.

Now as much as this Gal wanted to linger at the Bear there was another quick stop that just had to be made and was only a mere 8 minutes down the road from The Great Lost Bear.

017016Allagash Brewing Company

One of this Gal’s favorite Brewery’s, so much so I once had an amazing pet I named after the brewery – Allagash.

023I had the pleasure of visiting this brewery many moons ago when Allagash was in its infancy stage. It was just a small brewery with no real tasting area and I don’t think they even offered tours then. They seemed pretty surprised when my companion and I showed up to buy some beer that day.

024 Boy, how things have changed. My jaw hit the floor when I saw the brewery, it’s huge; as is the tasting room. It’s also, very welcoming. There is a lovely outside patio area to hang out and enjoy your beers with a rustic Maine feel to it. Inside has a much more contemporary industrial look and feel with a long tasting bar and several tables for relaxing at. There is Allagash swag for sale all around the tasting room without it having an obnoxious in your face buy me feel to it. It was just there if you wanted to check it out. There was also a cold case with beer for sale. Even the bathrooms are cool! The tasting room is really set up for relaxing and hanging out.

The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable and greeted us upon entering and couldn’t believe I had been there so long ago. The other surprise besides the growth of the brewery was that the tasting round was completely FREE!

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L to R White, Saison, Dubbel, Fluxus

On this particular day the tasting round consisted of the:

White – Allagash 5%
The white has been a go to beer for me for some time. It’s just so refreshing and such a pleasure to drink. It’s a beautiful representation of a Belgian wheat beer with a good unity of wheat, coriander and orange.

Saison – Allagash 6.1%
This Gal loves a Saison! Great balance of rye, pepper and citrus with a lovely yeasty cloudy presence to it. (Four packs of the Saison and Black where purchased for later enjoyment.)

Dubbel – Allagash 7%
A classic – Hints of chocolate and nuts mixed with malty goodness that add up to a slice of Belgian heaven.

Fluxus – Allagash 8.8%
I don’t remember trying the Fluxus before and it continually changes. This year’s Fluxus is an interesting combination of malts with hints of honey and finishes with a slight earthy pine taste without any one flavor being overpowering but rather complimenting each other.

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Now it really was time to continue on thy way – great start to a great vacation. This Gal highly recommends a stop at Allagash Brewing Company next time you find yourself in Portland, Maine followed by some lunch at The Great Lost Bear.