Boothbay Craft Brewery, Boothbay, ME

 

 

We went up to visit Megan’s Aunt Terri, Uncle Steve and cousin Jennifer in the Boothbay Harbor area. They were excited for us to try some of the local beer and liquor offerings. They had visited Boothbay Craft Brewery before and had their beers on tap, but this was our first time here.

 

 

Boothbay Craft Brewery offer flights of 4, 6 or 10 beers, as well as full pours of any beer. You check off the beers you want for a flight on the menu and drop it of at the bar. We sat outside so they brought the flights out to us. It was a little expensive at $3 a taster.

 

 

10 Lewis Ale – session ipa     5%
Light body, but a good amount of hops for a session ale, on the citrusy side.

 

Ken Brown – brown ale     5.6%
A mild caramel flavor with a light body, pretty mild overall for a brown ale. Made to be a drinkable beer, we assume. Aunt Terri likes this beer, easy to drink but has a good flavor she said.

 

Aunt Terri with her pint of Ken Brown

 

633 – flagship pale ale     6.33%
Mild body, a touch of sweetness, maybe from the vienna and caramel malts. It was not overly malty, but there was some sweetness. Citrus hop flavor with a touch of bitterness. This was actualy a well balanced beer, in a good way, a good pale overall. Mark bought a 4 pack.

 

Fear Not – belgian inspired blonde ale     6.5%
An interesting beer. Belgian yeast flavor is present, typical spice and clove flavors, but not over powering, with a fairly light body.

 

 

Southporter – vanilla porter     6.5%
Mild porter body, dark in color but not that heavy, with a nice vanilla flavor to it. This was a good beer, everyone liked this one. The vanilla came from a ‘house made vanilla extract made from spiced rum’. We bought some of this as well.

 

Black Rocks – nitro stout     6.7%
A dark and bitter beer. A decent stout, smooth from the nitro, but just ok overall, not a stand out to us.

Uncle Steve with his flight of 4 dark beers

 

Bread and Buttercup – spiced squash beer     6.8%
This is their fall seasonal beer. Too much though. Spicy, medium body, maybe taste too much liked spiced squash for a beer? Uncle Steve said too much clove flavor.

 

Thirsty Botanist – juicy NEIPA     7%
Fairly clear for a New England IPA. Has the typical light body and juicy hop flavor Mark has come to expect when it is described as a juicy NEIPA. Definitely taste like a good amount of dry hopping was done, menu mentions Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo. This beer was a little bit of a surprise, it was a really good NEIPA. Mark bought a 4 pack of this, too.

 

Cryptos – triple IPA     11.2%
This was a seasonal summer release, interesting choice for a summer, an 11.2% beer! Hoppy, with a decently strong body to it. For 11.2% it was pretty smooth, but a strong and flavorful beer overall.

 

 

Steganos – barrel aged imperial stout     12%
A seasonal, July release. Strong – bourbon, coffee/ cocoa bitterness. A decent beer, but definitely a strong barrel aged flavor to it.

 

Look at the colors in Megans flight

 

 

 

They have a porch off to the side with outdoor furniture
and umbrella’s. We sat outside because it was a nice day.

 

 

 

They have a bocce court as well, which is fun and unique.

 

 

Chickens! They got pretty close to us.

 

 

We also ran into the owners and publishers of Edible Maine.  We
might have run into them at our next visit … or 2.

 

A peak inside the brewery.

 

 

Seating in the restaurant

 

Overall, the beer and the atmosphere was pretty nice. They also have RV packages listed on their website. They must have some RV spots out behind the brewery and restaurant.

The Watershed Tavern is the name of the restaurant that is attached to the brewery. It looked fairly small inside but pretty nice. Their hours are a little strange though. We were there at the  end of the summer, we got there around 3:30 and got our flights, then were told they close at 4:00. Seemed strange for a restaurant/ brewpub to close at 4:00 on a Saturday. We were able to stay and finish our flights, so that was good. Now on their website hours are listed as 4:30 – 8:00 Wednesday – Saturday. It looks like you can stop by and buy beer from the brewers, retail hours listed as 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday.

 

 

Check their website for updated, seasonal hours.

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Far From the Tree Cider, Salem, MA

We visited Far From the Tree Cider in Salem, MA with a group of friends. Far From the Tree is owned by a couple with a background and interest in wine making. It dawned on them that in New England making cider makes a lot more sense if you want to grow your own ingredients. Apples grow great in New England, grapes not as much.

 

They released their first cider in 2014, and opened the tasting room in 2015. They started with a limited variety of ciders released in bottles, but now have a wide variety of styles and seasonal releases in bottles and cans.

 

We had wanted to visit here for a while after searching and finding a special release of theirs, Lei, a pineapple jalapeno cider that was fantastic.

 

Bre, Sammie and Megan

 

Deryl, Mark and Dustin

 

 

They had flights or full pours available, we started with flights and a few of us got full pours after.

 

Megan drinking

 

Roots – 6.9%
Original barrel aged cider. This was a very dry cider, light, not sweet at all.

 

 

Granny MacCort’s Blend – 7.5%
Still a dry cider but slightly sweeter than Roots. Made with Granny Smith, Cortland, and Mcintosh apples.

 

 

Nova
A dry hopped cider. You can smell the dry hopping, more pine on the nose but tropical flavors dominate on the pallet. A good cider, everyone liked it, Mark like the additional flavors from the dry hopping but Megan liked it as well, as the hops were not too much for her.

 

 

Gallagher’s Hammer – 7.3%
Smells and tastes like melon, more like melon than watermelon, but still pretty tasty.

 

 

Apple of My Chai – 7.5%
Smells strongly of chai, tastes like Chai with a hint of cinnamon though Mark. Bre and Megan really liked this cider, Bre went specifically looking for this one. They both bought cans to go of this.

 

 

 

Mark and Megan with cider to go

 

 

They have a pretty large patio outside with picnic tables, chairs and umbrellas. It more than doubles the space they have inside, which is great for the nice weather.

 

 

There was no door to the patio, you have to go through the building. We had a little trouble finding the door, it was hidden in a mural.

 

 

They had a food truck, The Porch, there that day so Mark and Bre got some food, mac and cheese and pulled pork sandwhichs.

 

There is not very ample  parking there, they have just a few spots and there is limited street parking. We parked down the street.

 

 

Cool murals inside.

 

 

Bre and Deryl

 

Mark and Megan

 

Sorry, no cute pic of Dustin and Sammie, just Sammie and her cider

 

 

 

 

Hours

Monday – Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 -11:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 10:00

 

Saco River Brewing, Fryeburg, ME

While we were up camping and tubing on the Saco River, we decided to visit Saco River Brewing Company, what a surprise! They opened just over a year ago, in July 2016, in Fryeburg, ME. They are located in a building or two out behind a restaurant with a decent amount of parking.

They do 4 oz pours and full pints. We ordered a 4oz pour of each beer so we could try all 7 beers they had on tap.

D.O.T. Special – Czech Pilsner     5%
Has a strong pilsner/lager taste. Strong additional flavors added by the spicy saaz hops. Not bad for a pilsner, which is neither of our favorite styles. 

Driftwood IPA – American IPA     6.5%
Pours super clear. Does have a malt presence but the hops balance that well and add a good amount of hop flavor to it. Good, not Marks favor style IPA but it’s pretty good and worth a try for IPA drinkers. 

Clearwater Pale Ale     4.8%
Pours pretty hazy. Flavor matches description ‘Easy drinking, silky mouthfeel and citrus hop character’, we agree. Nice overall hop profile (citrus) for a pale ale. 

Flip Flop IPA      6.7%
Marks immediate reaction “oohhh this is good”. Pours super hazy, you can’t see through it, a definite  New England style IPA. No malt character, all hops, on the herbal/grassy but still super tasty.

Sweet Fern Saison     4.5%
Good, easy to drink Saison while still having flavor, spicy and citrus notes. On the lighter side for a saison.

Buck Brown Ale     5.4%
Megan said it had an almost a dull coffee flavor, but in a good way, not an overly bitter coffee taste. 

Mark said pretty light overall, not very roasty, more sweet caramel with citrus. 

Old Colony Porter     6.5%
Sweet and roasty. Light body for the style, but more roasted here than the Buck Brown Ale. 

We sat outside to have our samples, it was a pretty nice day. They have several picnic tables with umbrellas and pop up tents for shade.

They have a fairly small bar area, but another decent sized room off of that with a ping pong table, shown above, and their outdoor space, so they have plenty of seating.

Mark at the bar. There is a whole wall of glass behind the bar so you can see everything happening in the brewery, shown below, not much happening on a Sunday afternoon though.

They have a cool, custom made cement bar with
the river built into it, cool details.

This was a nice visit. They are doing well for only being open a year.  It was better than we expected, as we went in assuming it was a “tourist trap.” However, it seems to be a nice combo of tourists and locals based on the amount of growlers we saw being filled.

Check Facebook for hours, we assume
they change with the seasons.