Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

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We visited Bar Harbor Brewing Company on a recent trip to visit our friend Amanda, up in the Bangor, ME area. They are located in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, right in the middle of all the shops.

 

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Amanda, Meg and Mark

They have a pretty decent sized tasting room and gift shop for a downtown location. They have been making beer since 1990. In 2008, Atlantic Brewing acquired the Bar Harbor Brewing brands after the original owners retired.  They still brew the award-winning Thunder Hole Ale and Cadillac Mountain Stout with their original recipes. Bar Harbor is a line of Atlantic Brewing.

 

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can’t find them and are in Bar Harbor? Look for this sign!

 

 

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All three of us purchased a flight, for $5 a piece. Amanda and Megan were going to split one but decided against it due to the size of the pours. For $5 a person, we each received cute keepsake glass and a 2 ounce taste of the 4 beers they had on tap. They also offer larger pours of the beer as well as wine from Bar Harbor Cellars (another sister location).

 

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Mark and Amanda are ready to taste some beers!

Our tasting:

True Blue
A light wheat ale, light in body, strong blueberry smell, slightly lighter blueberry taste. Megan said it was a good balance of flavors. Brewed as a wheat ale with blueberries added while conditioning in the brite tank.

 

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True Blue

 

 

Thunder Hole
A brown ale with a sweeter malt forward taste, light in body with a good flavor. Amanda said, wow, toasty. We all liked this beer.

 

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thunder hole

 

 

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Cadillac Mountain Stout – 7%
Smokey taste up front, hints of coffee, medium to heavy body. There was no dry finish like with a typical stout. Mark liked this.

 

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Cadillac mountain stout

 

New Guy IPA
Smells of grapefruit, but taste was more of a piney IPA. Made with pale malt and Columbus hops. It was ok, not Mark’s favorite style of IPA, and too hoppy for Amanda and Megan.

 

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new guy ipa

 

 

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Amanda’s ‘too hoppy for me’ face

 

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Atlantic Brewing makes Blueberry and Root Beer.

 

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Swag

 

 

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and plenty of beer.

 

Our beertender was friendly, as were the other staff members working there.

 

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Meg and Mark=brewwinefun 🙂

 

Want to visit?

Hours of operation:
Monday-Sunday 10a-7pm
As always, check before going especially in the winter!

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603 Brewery, Londonderry, NH

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We stopped at 603 Brewery recently while in the Londonderry area. We had a group with us, Mark’s brother Jason and wife Maureen, friends Taylor and Lance and friends Ian and Stephanie.

 

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603 Brewery was formed in 2012 by three longtime friends. They started in a smaller space in Campton, NH. They became well known and liked locally. It wasn’t long before they realized they needed more space. They found their space in Londonderry and was able to quadruple their output. They keg, bottle, and can their beer and distribute all over NH.

 

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Ian checking out the brewery.

 

Each couple chose a few beers to enjoy, with most deciding on the “Brewery Tasting Tour,” a placemat tour and a pint glass. Walking tours were available earlier that day.

 

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Our tastings:

18 Mile Ale – Rye Pale Ale 6.6%
Made with rye malt and pilsner malt. A fairly easy drinking beer, but Mark wasn’t a big fan, the main taste being the rye malt. The beer was named after the 18 miles of coastline New Hampshire has, with Rye being one of the coastal towns.

 

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Ian double fisting his samples and Jason getting ready to sample.

 

Winnie Ale – Amber Ale 6.6%
Basic, easy drinking amber ale with a sweet malty base. It’s their best selling beer, because it’s easy drinking. Named after Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake. This was 603’s first beer.

 

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our placemat tour, with a couple of extras we added

 

White Peaks – White IPA 6.6%
Light, describe by Jason as ‘crushable’ IPA. Light and crisp, it is made to be drinkable but still has good flavor to it. Named after New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the first IPA released by 603.

 

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Mark and Megan. A little tired after so many stops!

 

Cogway IPA – American IPA 6.5%
Heavier, malty IPA with medium body. Hoppy bitterness and a malty sweetness dominate this beers flavor profile. Named after the World’s first mountain cog railway which reached the summit of NH’s Mount Washington in 1869.

 

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Jason and Maureen, enjoying their samples?

 

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There we go, enjoying samples.

 

Anniversary Ale- pale ale 5.2%
This beer was brewed in honor of the brewery’s anniversary, as well as the state of New Hampshire. Hoppy and smooth, with a slight citrus flavor.

 

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Lance drinking his sample.

 

Summatime Ale – summer seasonal 4.5%
Megan and Steph tried this and liked it. Good flavor, light but flavorful, a good amount of ‘sunshine’ , which is a spiced wheat beer, with fruit flavors and malt.

 

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Taylor, Maureen, and Stephanie

 

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Swag for sale.

 

 

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Lance is sad, or mad, that there is no beer in his free glass.

 

Want to visit? Hours.

Thursday and Friday – 4:00 – 7:00

Saturday – 1:00 – 5:00

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Other Breweries in the Londonderry/ Derry area

Kelsen Brewing Company, Derry, NH

From the Barrel, Londonderry, NH

Rockingham Brewing Company, Derry, NH

Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry, NH

Rapscallion Table and Tap, Acton, MA

We recently stopped at Rapscallion Table and Tap in Acton, MA on the way back up to NH. We found them in a recent issue of Yankee Brew News. We thought we were going to a brewpub, but they technically are not a brewpub, more of a satellite location. The brewery and taproom are located in Fiskdale, MA and that is where all the beer is made. They don’t actually brew on location at the Table and Tap in Acton.

 

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We weren’t quite sure where to go when we got there. We went through the patio and into the bar and needed to wait to be seated. Once we did the service was good, and they brought over some ice water right when we sat down.

 

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We ordered 2 sampler trays so we could try all 8 beers that they had on tap. It was $6 for each sample tray which had four 4oz pours.

 

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Rapscallion Honey – 4.5%
Megan liked it, better than expected, not a typical extra pale ale. Wildflower and honey added nice flavors. Mark thought it was smooth and light with subtle flavors, not an overly sweet honey flavor. This is their flagship beer made with honey sourced from local farms and Sturbridge Village.

 

Lager – 5.1%
Megan thought it was crisp and refreshing, although it still taste like a lager which she is not a big fan of. Mark thought it was better than expected with a good flavor and balance, fairly straight forward lager. Made from the recipe originally developed by Harvard Brewing Company in 1898.

 

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Acton Ale – 3.8%
Made specifically for Table and Tap, a light bodied ale with a light hoppy flavor, on the flowery side.

 

Rapscallion Blonde – 7%
Belgian flavor, though not that strong of a taste. A heavy bodied ale with subtle flavors of coriander and orange.

 

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Pale – 6%
Mark liked it, good flavor and good balance of flavors, hoppy and bitter but neither dominate, a touch sweet.

 

Rye IPA – 6%
A red ale made with 30% rye malt and 5 hops. A red taste, bitter overall, a bitter taste and a bitter after taste. Megan did not like it.

 

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Oyster Stout
Heavy and strong flavor with medium body. Definite stout taste, with a touch of sweetness.

 

Belgium IPA
Belgium flavor a little more pronounced, good flavor, with a hint of hoppy undertones. Good beer, we both liked this.

 

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We sat outside to eat, it was a nice Sunday afternoon. They have a nice patio with a handful of tables and umbrellas. Nice atmosphere outside, it looked kind of a small inside, but we didn’t see too much in there.

 

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Mark ordered the meatloaf sandwich. It was tasty, on a nice roll, and fries were good.

 

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Megan got the classic cheeseburger

 

 

Want to visit?

Table and Tap Hours

Wednesday – Sunday 11:30 AM to Close
Monday and Tuesday – Closed

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Garrison City Beerworks, Dover, NH

 

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Garrison City Beerworks is a new nanobrewery in Dover, NH. They opened in December of 2014. They operate on a 3 barrel system and make “batches of original, hop-forward beers, with a focus on uniqueness and quality over quantity.” We have heard a good buzz about this place, and they have not disappointed. We waited to finish writing this after a second visit, knowing we would be back again.

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First Visit Beers:

Citra – American Pale Ale – 5.1%
Smells fruity – citrusy and tropical, as well as hoppy. Citrus flavor forward taste, hoppy second taste, dry finish. Citrus flavor is balanced nicely by the hops, we both liked, Mark got a Crowler to go, more on that later.

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tasting paddle

Balefire – American IPA – 7%
Somewhat standard IPA taste, though a little more malty than hoppy, a hint of piney taste, fairly easy to drink. Hoppiness was not overbearing.

 

Tropic Rage – American Double IPA – 8.4%
Malty flavor, more robust than Balefire, Mark liked this better. Good balance of malty flavor and hops. Not what Megan was expecting from a DIPA, better taste and easier to drink than she anticipated.

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Crowbar – Porter – 5.8%
Dark color, chocolaty, slightly roasted taste, easy to drink. Easy to drink enjoyable.

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We came in and ordered at the bar, they told us we could take a seat and they would bring the sample trays over to us, which was nice. It was a good touch

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Megan sipping some Crowbar.

 

 

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The Crowler

 

The Crowler is in place of the traditional glass growler. It is a 32oz can that they will fill up for you, fresh that day. There is no charge for the Crowler and you just recycle it. This is refreshing, because at many breweries we visit, we have to buy a growler (can’t use another brewery’s growler due to the law), so to be able to leave without paying a deposit on the container…
They had a few they had filled up earlier when it was slow, so we didn’t get to see them fill it and seal the top on, but we know it was fresh that day.

 

Second Visit:

We had a similar experience the second time we visited. The service was good, people were nice and friendly, and the beers were good.

 

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Jenaya and Ryan

 

On this visit we brought our friends Ryan and Jenaya. They enjoyed trying all the beers that were on tap, as did we.

 

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full paddle!

 

 

They had 6 beers on tap this time, several different from our last trip.

 

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Enamored – 4.6%
Chocolatey, really good flavor with notes of coffee. This stout was somewhat light in body but good and flavorful. This was most people’s favorite.

 

Anomalous – 7.5%
Really good Double IPA, says Mark. In this new style of northern New England IPA’s, it is a bright and slightly fruity IPA with a low and bitterness but lots of hop flavor. Mark got a Crowler of it to go.

 

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Citra was on again as well, this seems like one of their flagship beers. Everyone enjoyed this beer, citrus and hoppy pale ale.

 

Mosaic – 5.1%
Hoppy, piney pale ale, a powerful taste. We enjoyed this, but not as much as some of the other beers, Megan was not a big fan. Exclusively dry hopped with Mosaic hops.

 

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Crowbar was on again as well. Everyone enjoyed this beer as well. Smooth and a bit roasty, fairly standard porter, not quite as flavorful as Enamored.

 

Balefire on again as well. Again, we all enjoyed this. Seemed slightly more favorable than Mosaic. Flavorful IPA, piney and hopped with Simcoe and Centennial.

 

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We generally liked all the beers. Mark is excited to have a place like this close by. Jenaya usually doesn’t like IPA’s, but she did like these. Ryan agreed none of the beers were terrible, quite a compliment from him.

 

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They have 3 tables that can seat 6 people and a bar that seats about 12.

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You can see some of the tanks and brewing equipment through the windows

 

 

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Shirts for sale

 

Update Spring 2016:

We have visited quite a few more times since this original post. The bad news is they have pretty much phased out the 32 oz Crowler can to go, which is too bad, Mark liked those. The good news is they have been canning all their beers in 16oz cans, so you can still get every beer they make to go in cans, 4 packs or single cans.

Their strong point seems to be their hop forward, New England style IPA’s. They are currently releasing a very delicious IPA called Daybreak about once a month that Mark highly recommends. Citra is still being released regularly and is still quite tasty and flavorful. They have released a bunch of other new beers that are all worth going in to sample.

There have been several limited bottle releases in the past year. Brett Raspbeerience was a sour ale brewed with raspberry’s and brett yeast, if you couldn’t tell from the name. A good, tart beer with a raspberry flavor and light body.

Nefarious was a flavorful and strong russian imperial stout, and Authenticity was a barrel aged saison fermented with wine yeast, we still have our bottle of this. They have several more specialty bottle releases planned for this year, with varying wild yeast strains and several different barrel aged beers set to be released.

 

Want to Visit?

Right now they are opened:

Thursday 4 -7

Friday and Saturday 12 -7

Check their facebook page for the most current hours

Banded Horn Brewing Company, Biddeford, ME

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We visited Banded Horn Brewing Company on a recent Sunday afternoon. They are located in Biddeford, ME in the 150 year old Pepperrell Mill complex.

From their website: No matter the style, no matter the strength or the flair, the best beers share one common virtue: balance. At Banded Horn Brewing Co. we strive for a harmony of flavors with each brew, from traditional styles to cutting-edge beers that defy classification.

 

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Pepperell Pilsner – 4.6%
German style pilsner. A light pilsner, ok taste, did have some flavor, neither of us are fans of this style of beer.

 

Veridian American IPA – 6%
Light in body, hop flavor but no bite, more of a citrusy hops aftertaste, with a touch of piney taste.

 

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Norweald American Stout – 6.5%
Good stout, robust flavor, not overly dry, good balance of flavors, nothing overpowering.

 

Jolly Woodsman – 7.5%
Coffee taste, decently heavy stout, good overall flavor. Strong coffee taste, not bitter, made with cold brewed espresso. A special blend of Norweald Stou and Mountain Stout.

 

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Eldir – 5%
A rauchbier, smoked lager. Light in body, smoky flavor. After just several sips from the taster glass, smoky flavor dissipates, leaving just a dryish taste.

 

Banded Souls DIPA – collaboration with Barrelled Souls
A slightly heavier IPA, a touch piney, not as much as the Viridian. It was dry hopped with lime zest, which we think cuts the hoppy flavor.

 

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Barchen – 2.9%
A berliner weiss, sour up front, really really light in body, sour and citrusy. Megan was hoping for a little bit  more sour, but overall a pretty good sour beer.

 

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They had The Jolly Woodsman in a 4 pack of bottles, which we bought, and Veridian in 6 pack of bottles.

 

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They have some extra open space, and fooseball table, corn hole, and a ping pong table set up for visitors to use.

 

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Want to visit? Hours are ….

Wednesday and Thursday 4 – 8pm

Friday 4 – 10pm

Saturday 1 – 9pm

Sunday 2 – 6pm

 

 

 

Hidden Cove Brewery, Wells, ME

 

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A few weeks ago we visited Fire N Brew, which is the home and tasting room to Hidden Cove Brewery. The place was formerly occupied by a steak house, owned by the same couple. They chose to change it, to focus more on the beer. They now are a full brewery, with brick oven pizza.

 

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Megan had had a long day, so Mark thought it would be a good idea to go out and try Hidden Cove. He was right! When we entered, we were greeted and asked what we like to drink typically. We were then given recommendations as well as a quick taste of two. We decided we wanted to try them all, and ordered two flights.

Harvest Bounty ISA – 4%
They grew 15 lbs of hops and locally sourced the rest. Only 4%, but good flavor for it, very drinkable, used Brett yeast to add more flavor.

 

Scally Pale Ale – 5%
‘Simple can be better’. Subtle hops flavor, hints of Brett, dry finish.

 

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A’rye IPA – 6%
Hoppy but good flavor, 50% rye, you can taste the rye. Brett adds a little something extra, good, interesting IPA. We both liked.

 

Strumpet Wild Pale Ale
‘Wild pale’ flavor, not quite sure what that means, but it makes sense. Flavors hard to explain, complex, good. Was aged in rum barrel that previously had held Tortuga Wild Sour Pineapple. Took some of that flavor in this beer.

 

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Cutlass Brown Ale – 7%
Sweet taste, marshmallow and caramel,  smooth brown but all the extra flavors were great additions

 

Pumpkin Ale – 4.5%
Warm and cozy, nutmeg spice and vanilla taste, smooth body, subtle pumpkin taste, slight tartness at the end. This is not a leftover fall beer, but a winter beer made with actual pumpkins, that do not get harvested until mid-fall, so how do other places put out pumpkin beers in September, hmmm? #whatsreallyinthosefallpumpkinbeers

 

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Crowsfoot Black Ale – 5%
Roasty, good dark beer flavor, but light in body, really good taste. Went really well with the spicy pizza Mark had

 

Jali (apricot jalapeno) – 8.5%
Spicy, sweet, tart, a little bit of everything. Good flavor, really complex but really good. Pretty spicy, we had 8oz pours after the taster, very spicy by the end.

 

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Red pepper, sausage and jalapeno

The pizzas were also very good. The crust was light, not heavy. The pizzas themselves were great combinations.

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Gouda, mushrooms and onions

 

All the beers are made to be paired with food; most of these beers end with a dry finish.

 

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The owner is a CIA trained Chef, who owns a few establishments in the area. Since his background is food, he has great visions on what he wants his beer to be, as well as great descriptions of his beers.

We can’t wait to see what they will come out with next! Their summer line up looks amazing!

Want to visit?
Open 12p-9p Friday & Saturday
Pizza available at 4pm

 

Border Brewery, Salem, NH

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On a recent Sunday afternoon we stopped at Border Brewery in Salem, NH. They are a home brew supply store and brewery. They have a decent size tasting room considering they are inside a store. They have taken their home brewing pro and have been pouring beers since 2012.

 

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Our tasting:

PB Stout – 7.2%
A subtle peanut butter flavor, more nutty than sweat and creamy. A good smooth stout, good aroma, reminds Megan of a chocolate shop. This was Megan’s favorite.

Pecan – 5.7%
Light body, sweet, hint of caramel. Reminds Megan of pecan brittle.

 

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Porter – 5.9%
Mark thought it was a good, well made porter. Megan thought it was too plain, fairly standard.

 

Ambah – 5.9%
Just ok, not too flavorful, a little bland.

 

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West IPA – 9.2%
Fairly smooth up front, hoppy second taste. Mark thought there was a good balance of flavors, good taste for a 9.2% IPA.

 

IPA – 7.2%
Good IPA, flavorful, a little hoppier than the West IPA, but good. Megan didn’t like either IPA.

 

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Sticky Paw Brown – 6.5%
A decent brown, pretty flavorful, good for a brown.

 

Belgian Strong – 8.3%
Interesting Belgian flavor, semi heavy flavor and taste light in color but not in flavor. Mark thought it was good, Megan did not like the heavy Belgian flavor.

 

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Vanilla Bourbon Oak Stout – 7.2%
Vanilla taste is good, nice stout base, bourbon oak adds flavor but is not overpowering, as bourbon flavors often are.

 

ESB – 3.7%
Bitter taste but light in body. Ok flavor, not our favorite though.

 

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They have 3 tables made from barrels with glass tops that 3 or 4 people can sit around, a bar with space for 6 people and a standing bar along the side wall.

 

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They were friendly when we came in, we ordered 2 sample trays so we could try all 10 beers, and sat at one of the barrel tables. They didn’t interact with us much until we were done and ready to leave.

 

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Home brew supplies.

 

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Giant balloon man in the home brew side.

 

Want to Visit?

Wednesday – Friday: 12 – 6:30

Saturday and Sunday: 12 – 5

 

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