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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Four Pines Brewing Company, Hampton, NH

 

We visited Four Pines Brewing Company a little while back with our friends Bre and Deryl. We went for pizza and beers. We have had The Community Oven pizza before and it was good, so we went back.

 

 

Four Pines Brewing Company opened about a year ago. They are in the old space that was occupied by Blue Lobster, they took over the space and the equipment. They are owned by the Community Oven and located right next door. They are connected by a doorway and serve pizza in the brewery and beer in the pizza shop.

 

 

Mark ordered a flight of 4 beers to try. They didn’t have very much info about the beers in the menu, just the names of the beers. We would have loved to read a little bit about the beers before ordering.

 

 

Foggy Amber
Sweet and malty, typical amber ale. Mark said it was decent for an amber, Megan said eh. They sell this in 6 packs now.

Porter
A touch sweet, toasty, pretty decent, not a bitter porter. Megan said basic, but not bad.

 

 

Stout
Dry and a bit roasty, a touch bitter as well.

Blue Dragon – dipa
Mostly hazy but still see through. This was a very malty dipa, it might be kind of hoppy but all Mark noticed was the malt, not his style, malty and sweet.

Naughty Pine IPA
Hoppier than Blue Dragon to Mark. Piney and hop bitterness up front with a strong malt backbone, not great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Sausage Pizza

 

Small special pizza, The Oven’s Meat-Za Pizza.

 

The pizza was really good, all three were. We sat on The Community Oven side, but both sides serve pizza and Four Pines beer.

 

Bre and Deryl

 

It doesn’t seem like they put a whole lot of effort into supporting the brewery. They don’t really have a presence in the brewing community or go to any events, we actually never hear anything about the place. They also haven’t update the Community Oven website with the brewery information, as they still have Blue Lobster listed on their beer list, which closed around 2 years ago and they don’t have the Four Pines beer listed on their beer menu online.

Go for the pizza, and try the beer while you are there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Colony Brewing, Whitman, MA

Old Colony Brewing is a nano brewery in Whitman, MA. We have tried a few of their beers before we actually visited them. Sam and Dustin like going there, as it’s close to them.

 

We met Megan’s sister Sam and her friend Lindsey there one evening in November. They serve 5 oz pours and full pints. They also have growlers and crowlers to go, and they just started doing limited runs of 16 oz cans as well.

 

 

Boom Shak Azacca – IPA – 6.5%
Light and easy drinking, mildly hoppy, tropical notes up front with a slightly bitter finish, just like the description says.

 

Toll House Stout – 5.5%
A milk stout brewed with chocolate and chocolate malts. Good for a milk stout, more on the bitter chocolate side than a sweet milk chocolate flavor. With the Toll House name and billed as a ‘chocolate chip cookie stout’ we expected something sweeter and for it to somehow be more cookie like somehow.

 

Little sample trays and cards with beer info

 

Thanksgiving – 4.5%
A wheat beer made with apples and cranberries. Taste like a wheat style beer with a sweeter than typical cranberry flavor, probably from the addition of the apples, pretty good.

 

Money Line IPA – 6%
Super citrusy and fruity aroma. This was a tasty new england style ipa, hazy but not opaque, a little bit sweet but a good beer, Mark’s favorite overall.

 

Mark’s pint of Money Line

 

Pumpkin – 5.5%
An ale brewed with fresh pumpkin in the mash. Megan thought it had a good balance of flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla all present but not overwhelming.

 

 

Mark went back a second time with Dustin in January and liked Money Line IPA again, and thought the Toll House Stout was pretty good.

 

 

The Dub – 7.8%
This beer was not great, thin and not very hoppy at all.

 

Snow Day – 5.9%
Interesting beer, a spiced porter. Better than Mark expected, cinnamon,  nutmeg and vanilla added some nice additional flavors to make this and interesting porter. Sam and Dustin have mentioned this beer a few times to us as well.

 

They have a short bar and a handful of tables, with plenty of extra standing room when crowded.

 

 

 

Current Hours

Thursday and Friday: 6:00 – 10:00
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen, Manchester, NH

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a fairly new brewpub in Manchester, NH. They opened in July of 2017 and have been getting pretty good reviews from what we have heard.

 

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a new venture to revitalize this very large restaurant space. The Yard restaurant was in this location since 1975. The owner wanted to modernize and update the restaurant. Two of his children are co-owners as well, they decided a brewpub was the way to go.

 

The restaurant is really big inside with plenty of space for functions. The bar and main restaurant area have all been updated, but one of the side rooms still has old chairs and furniture. The inside is decorated fairly rustic, with lots of fencing made to look like you are in a backyard.

 

 

Since they are a restaurant they serve 4 oz tasters, half pints and full pints as well as flights. We all ordered a flight of 4 tasters, which was only $7.

 

 

Lazy Daze IPA – New England IPA     6.2%
A very good IPA. Classic New England style IPA, hazy, fruity tropical hoppyness dominates this beer, and it is very good.

 

MONKee Bars – Belgian Dubbel    7.6%
A dark Belgian Dubbel, malty and sweet with notes of clove and pepper, a classic Belgian Dubbel.

 

Marks flight

 

A – Line IPA – Classic IPA     7.5%
Fairly clear with a reddish tint. Hoppy as well as malty, with grapefruit and pine hoppy notes. Ok for a classic style ipa, but not really what Mark and Ian are looking for.

 

Aussie Oatback – DIPA     8.6%
A good beer, you definetely get the oats on the mouthfeel and gives it that haze. Not super hoppy for a DIPA, may be the Australian and New Zealand hops they used, very smooth at 8.6%

 

Megans flight

 

Kafija Alus – Baltic Coffee Porter     8.1%
A nice bitter coffee flavor. The coffee is well balanced in this beer.

 

Oh My Gourd – Pumpkin Spice Ale     5.5%
Megan really likes this beer. Nice pumpkin spice flavoring, a good fall beer.

 

There She Gose – Gose     4.1%
It is sour but not much else to it. It has a decent base, needs more to it though, maybe make it a fruited Gose? There wasn’t that typical salty dry finish either. We thought it was lacking a little bit.

 

Novemberfest – German Festbier     6.3%
Darker than an Oktoberfest, but pretty smooth and easy drinking, malty with a decent amount of flavor. Pretty good.

 

 

 

We were there mid afternoon so we just got a few appetizers to split. The Trailer Pork Nachos, Smothered Pretzel Tots and Chicken Fingers were all good.

 

 

Hours

Monday – Wednesday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Pipe Dream Brewing Company, Londonderry, NH

We visited Pipe Dream Brewing with our friends Ian and Stephanie. Pipe Dream Brewing is in Londonderry, NH and opened in June 2016. They are veteran owned and inspired by the west coast. A lot of their beer labels and imagery relates back to the ocean, the beach, surfing, etc.

 

They have a decent sized tasting room. We were there in early fall, they had a pretty big outdoor area with tables where we sat.

 

 

They sell 4 oz, 12oz, and 16 oz pours of their beer. Flights come in a set of 5.

 

 

West to East IPA     6.8%
Hoppy, hazy with a mild bitterness and a sweet finish. This was a good ipa, Mark and Ian both agreed.

 

 

Coffee Stout     8.5%
A good coffee stout, dark with hints of coffee, did not have that bitter coffee flavor though. Stephanie thought it was a little sweet. Megan and Ian thought it was a little thin, light in body but still pretty good.

 

Single Hop Columbus     6.8%
An earthy and bitter ipa. Mark did not like this that much, maybe just not a fan of Columbus hops on their own. We like to see them experimenting though.

 

 

Ian tried the Double IPA and liked it.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout     11.1%
This was on nitro. Smells like a pb cup. Taste like peanut butter chocolate, sweet and not bitter, a very good beer. This was on nitro, probably added to the beer, the smoothness and mouthfeel of nitro.

 

Sour Brown
A dark sour beer, obviously. Sour and a little bit sweet from the malts. Pretty good sour brown.

 

 

They are technically a brewpub because they serve food. They have a variety of sandwiches, hot and cold, pizzas, nachos and a few other options. We did not eat while there, just stopped in for a quick sample of beers. We had never been here but Ian and Stephanie had visited shortly after they opened. Ian thought the beer had improved over the last year. We liked that they could do a variety of beers well.

 

Swag room

 

 

Hours

Wednesday and Thursday: 12:00 – 8:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00

 

 

 

 

 

Bone Up Brewing Company, Everett, MA

We visited Bone Up Brewing Company in Everett, Ma. They are located in the same neighborhood as Night Shift, which we went back to visit while in the area.

The husband-wife team of Bone Up Brewing started brewing at their location May 2016, after a long renovation process. They describe their beers as ‘American brewing with a Belgian accent’. Their tagline is ‘made from ingredients’ so their is a little bit of sass there.

 

 

It turns out the day we visited they were celebrating their 1 year anniversary of opening the tasting room. We actually had to wait in line to get in. They had the whole parking lot roped off for the party.

 

 

They serve full pours, half pours and flights of 4 beers for $8. We ordered flights, and they come with your choice of a small snack.

 

Key Lime – white ale     4.8%
A light beer with a strong key lime flavor. They were going for maximum fruit flavor and got it, might have been a touch too much key lime for Mark, but pretty good for Megan.

 

 

Jollybringer – tripel aged in triple sec barrels      8.6%
Mild Belgian taste, fairly sweet with a touch of heat on the backend. It left a little to be desired.

 

Cosmic Showers of Love – dipa     7.5%
Smells fruity, has a mild hop character, a little bit malty with a touch of sweetness. It smelled better than it tasted unfortunately.

 

 

Gnasher – grisette     4.8%
Light, a slight peppery taste to it, mild overall but true to style.

 

Megan and Mark

 

Their tasting room is pretty small, a long bar with a few small tables. It was crowded when we were there, but they did a good job serving everyone. We went outside to have our beers.

 

 

 

Dustin and Sam enjoying their beers.

 

Sam insisted on taking Megan’s phone and
taking pictures, so we used them!

 

 

Hours

Wednesday: 3:00 – 11:00
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00 – 11:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 8:00

Mystic Brewery, Chelsea, MA

We recently visited Mystic Brewery with Megan’s sister Sam and Sam’s boyfriend Dustin. We have only had 1 beer from Mystic before, it as good, and we’ll get into that later.

 

 

Mystic is located in Chelsea, MA and have their own parking lot, which is always a plus, especially in a city. According to their website:

Mystic Brewery is a brewery specializing in farmhouse-style
ales
utilizing locally sourced yeast and other ingredients. Drawing on historical methods, our increased focus on fermentation allows us to impart a sense of unique
New England terroir into all of our beer.

 

 

They have a pretty big bar and a big tasting room with picnic tables and plenty of standing room. They serve flights of 4 beers, full pours, and have bottles for consumption on premise. Mark got a flight, Sam and Dustin shared a flight, and Megan got a sample and full pour.

 

Flare – ipa     7%
Supposed to be a ‘juicy, cloudy’ ipa. It had an odd bitterness, not very juicy and not quite enough body to it.

 

Saison Renaud     6.5%
A fairly basic Saison, peppery flavor from the saison yeast.

 

 

Aperture – belgian white    5%
Light, bright, good fairly standard belgian white.

 

Mosaic Position – dipa    8.4%
Smells super hoppy, pretty smooth, cloudy, not quite as hoppy as it smells but pretty tasty.

 

Voltage – ipa     7%
The best ipa Mark thought. Cloudy, juicy, not that much body to it, maybe they don’t use as many oats in their neipa’s,  but a good beer.

 

 

Wild Field Beer – saison with Brett
Megan liked this beer, good thing because she got a full pour of it! Mark was hoping for a little more sourness from it, it had more of a funky tartness, typical of Brett.

 

 

We had a little trouble deciding what to order, with flights, full pours and bottles available. Mark wanted to try the ipa’s, but overall they were just ok. Since they focus farmhouse styles and have some other styles, maybe we should have tried some of their other beers. A lot of the bottles they had available sounded interesting, but we were both driving so we could not indulge too much.

 

 

 

There is a lot of rustic wood and some really big beams
that give the tasting room a cool vibe.

 

 

We drank this bottle of Entropy at home, Megan got it as a Christmas gift. Bottled in 2014, it is uncarbonated, on purpose, a”still” ale, aged in French and American oak, and was 14.2% !

This is the most complicated beer Mystic Brewery makes. entropy is fermented in four stages, with four different yeasts. A house Trappist strain “brings out earthiness and dark fruit, amplified and rounded by a French white wine yeast.” A six-month fermentation with Sherry yeast follows, and the beer is completed with an English barleywine yeast.

It had a definite oaky flavor, with a hint of red wine. That’s what we tasted, a very complicated flavor  with scents of vanilla, sherry and almonds.

 

Hours

Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 to 7:00