Maine Beer Company, Freeport, ME

We visited Maine Beer Company for the first time this summer. We were camping in the area and just had to stop in. It was a rainy day and pretty crowded, they do have tents set up out front for additional space and seating.

 

 

Maine Beer Company opened in 2009 in the legendary IndustriALE Way across the street from Allagash. They moved and expanded to Freeport in 2013. They are again working on expanding and are part way through a  2 part expansion.

 

Addition added to the back of the current
building where the brewing is taking place.

 

Additional construction happening. They are expanding the tasting room, and they are also upgrading their system from
a 15 barrel system to a 60 barrel system, with additional 120 and 240 barrel fermentors. That will be a huge expansion.

 

 

We ordered a flight of 8 beers, 5oz each for $18.

 

Post Ride Snack – session ipa     4.9%
A flavorful beer for a session ipa, with a bit of a lingering bitterness on the finish.

 

Peeper – pale ale     5.5%
Light, grassy hop flavoring. A good, light pale ale. Mark got more ‘pine’ than the berry flavors described.

 

 

Woods and Waters – ipa     6.2%
A little bitter with a very mild hop fruitiness.

 

Lunch – ipa     7%
This beer seemed to get more bitter as Mark drank it, not much tropical fruit notes as described, some sweetness from the malts.

 

 

We enjoyed a pretzel for a snack as well

 

Thank You – ipa     7%
Smells fruitier and taste fruitier than the other ipa’s. A good, strong hop flavor, fruity and/or floral. This was a very tasty, hoppy and ‘fruity’ ipa.

 

Pilot 18 – pilot dipa     8%
Brewed in collaboration with Novare Res Beer Cafe. First thing Mark noticed was some ‘heat’ on the end, you could taste the alcohol. Malty, red, bitter, trying to be fruity but didn’t quite get there, only a pilot batch though.

 

 

Zoe – amber ale     7.2%
Better than the average amber. More flavorful, dark raisin notes – their term but we agree, on the nose and taste, and a tiny bit roasty.

 

Mean Old Tom – stout     6.5%
Smells super roasty. Nice chocolate flavor and not too bitter, smooth and creamy, we both agreed. Subtle vanilla flavor, we noticed that after reading the description.

 

All of their beers are bottle conditioned. That means they carbonate naturally in the bottle and are not ‘force carbonated’ like most beers. That is interesting, most beers that are bottle conditioned today are usually sours or heavy dark beers, you don’t see a lot of ipa’s being bottle conditioned.

 

 

“Do what’s right” is there motto. They have
lot’s of solar panels outside, see below.

 

 

 

They also donate 1% of all their gross annual sales to charity. They donate to a lot of different charities and operate as green of a business as possible.

 

 

Hours

Monday – Saturday: 11:00 – 8:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 5:00

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Foundation Brewing Company, Portland, ME

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We visited Foundation Brewing Company on our recent trip to Portland with Maureen and Jason. They too are located in the legendary 1 IndustriALE Way, in the same building as Bissel Brothers and Austin Street Brewing, right across the street from Allagash.

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They had been open for almost a year when when we visited. We have heard good things about them, they have been creating a bit of a buzz. Jason and Maureen tried some of their beer at a festival in Boston. When we visited, they had 4 beers on tap to try, samples were $1 each.

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Eddy – 5.7% Traditional saison, fairly light in body and flavor, not a
whole lot of flavor though.

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Infused Saison – 5.7% A brewery only option, infused with cardamom and orange. This had a much better taste, more interesting and complex, a lot of the orange flavor. Mark, Megan, Maureen and Jason all liked this.

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Burnside – 5.17% English brown ale, really good flavor, hint of caramel, one of the best brown ales we have had recently.

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Infused Burnside – 5.17% Infused with coffee, the smell of coffee is intense. The balance of coffee and brown ale flavor is good. Between this one and the Infused Saison, Megan didn’t know which to sample again! They did not have any Blaze available to taste, but we liked the beers we did taste so Mark figured it was worth a shot, and this was the only bottle available while we were there. IMG_1656

 

Blaze – 6.2% Comes in a 750 mL bottle, which is a little different for a beer. A farmhouse style ale, good taste, fairly hoppy flavor but light in body, good balance. We ‘tasted’ this at home.

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Jason and Mark enjoying their samples

 

They are in a pretty small place, we hung around the bar area. When they are open to the public you can take your samples into the back brewing area to spread out. Customer’s were playing cornhole in the back when we were there. This was one of Megan and Maureen’s favorites- because of the atmosphere and conversation. Two couples run the brewery together, and they started with
a love of Farmhouse beers.

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Growlers. glasses, and limited bottles for sale

 

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Merch for sale

 

Update August 2015:


Epiphany glass

 

Three important updates from when we visited about 6 months ago.

First is:

Epihany – Maine IPA 8%
This beer is described as a Maine IPA by Foundation, pictured above. It is a super hop-fruity IPA with little to no bitterness. Mark really likes it, and it is different than most other IPA’s, maybe that’s why they call it a Maine IPA. It was a little too fruity for Jason, and he tasted it because I actually got my hands on some cans.

 

Epiphany Cans

 

Update number 2. They can beers and distribute now! This is good news for us. Although we did just drive by Portland and stop in for a growler full of Epiphany, we don’t frequent Portland too often. They do have a small area roped off outside, for the nicer weather, which doubles the amount of people they can have tasting. Occasionally some cans make it down near the NH border, so hopefully we can get some. Which brings us to the 3rd update:

More capacity! They added a third 30 barrel fermentation tank somewhat recently. Then in the past week they added 2 more 45 barrel tanks. Hopefully that means we will see even more beer distributed and making it outside of the Portland area.

 

Want to Visit?

Thursday 3:00 – 6:00
Friday 12:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 7:00

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Bissell Brothers Brewery, Portland, ME

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Bissell Brothers Brewery is in Portland, ME, outside of the downtown area. This was our second stop on our most recent trip to Portland, after New England Distillery a mile or so down the road.

 

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They are in the same industrial building as Austin Street Brewery and Foundation Brewing Company, and right across the street from Allagash.

 

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They have only been open since 2013, but have been creating a lot of buzz. So much so that there is a limit on how much you can buy, and people wait in line for some of their special release beers. They are beginning to offer more and more beer as time allows.

 

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The beers on tap during our visit…

Substance Ale
Flagship IPA – 6.6%
Mark thought this had a really good flavor, not a hard bite of hops, but still quite flavorful with a slightly more floral taste. Jason agreed, not too bitter, good taste.

 

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Single Hop Pale Ale
Lemondrop – 5%
Smooth, fairly light flavor, especially after Substance. Only a hint of lemon, all 4 of us expected more lemon. Good overall taste.

 

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The tap room is a little small, especially since they are so popular, but certainly not the smallest we’ve been in. It has a cool feeling though, people talking, having fun, music playing, a pinball machine you can play.

 

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Graffiti style artwork cover the walls

 

 

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Steel barrels with wooden tops for tables

 

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They usually have a limit for the beer they are selling, and most people in there had purchased their limit of four 4 packs. They recently expanded their brewing capacity by 66% and are just starting to see that extra capacity coming out.

 

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The 4 packs of Substance sell for $13, which is on the expensive side. It is good beer, but we won’t be buying too much of it at that price.

 

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They have a small area for merch and swag.

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The disappointing thing was there were only 2 beers on tap for us to try. Looking at facebook this past week, they have three in cans this weekend- so we expect more to come!

Want to visit?
Check out their facebook before heading out for special releases. It is good to know, in case you want the special release or want to avoid the crowds. We have heard of over one hour waits on a release day!