Sea Dog Brewing Company, South Portland, ME

 

We went on a little brewery hopping trip in Portland, Maine near the end of the summer. We were with Megan’s sister Sam and her boyfriend Dustin. We went to some places we hadn’t been before, and Sam and Dustin wanted to visit Sea Dog. We visited the South Portland location, which is definitely outside the downtown Portland are.

 

 

Sea Dog opened in 1993 with a single location in Camden, Maine. Sea Dog is now owned by the two men who own Shipyard Brewing Company. We thought this was an interesting description, not owned by Shipyard but owned by the owners of Shipyard.

There are Sea Dog “Brewpub” locations in Camden, Bangor, Topsham and South Portland, Maine. Also in North Conway, New Hampshire as well as Clearwater and Orlando, Florida.

 

 

On their website they say: Our beers are brewed in a traditional English style using only the highest quality ingredients like English two-row malted barley and British top-fermenting Ringwood yeast. Our English brewing results in brews with a distinctive, refreshing taste and crisp finish.

 

Each couple got a flight of beers to share, you can pick
your own. Either 6 or 10 beers, we both got 6.

 

Bluepaw Wild Blueberry Ale     4.6%
Very, very light beer with a blueberry flavor. A wheat ale base, we all agreed it had a good blueberry flavor, natural and not syrupy.

 

Raspberry Ale     4.5%
Not quite as good as the blueberry but pretty decent. A light wheat ale with raspberry flavor.

 

 

Sunfish Wheat Ale     4.6%
Megan, Sam and Dustin really liked this. Flavorful, good mix of peach and grapefruit flavors. More peach on the nose and grapefruit on the finish. Mark did not really like this because of the grapefruit flavor, just personal preference.

 

Summer Ale
Mildly fruity, a light summer ale, basic but decent. Megan thought it was citrusy.

 

 

Old Gollywobbler Brown Ale     4%
Clear but copper colored. The sweetness stands out the most, described as ‘rich and malty’ but we didn’t get that, a mild, sessionable, sweet brown ale.

 

Hazelnut Porter     5.6%
Bitter barley flavor, dark, a little roasty, not much nuttiness. Did not quite match the description or what we were hoping for.

 

 

We were actually impressed with most of the beers. They do a good job
with the light, fruity beers. It was better than we were expecting.

 

 

 

Hours

Monday – Friday: 11:00 – 1:00
Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 – 1:00

 

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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

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

 

Lithermans Limited Brewery, Concord, NH

We recently visited Litherman’s Limited Brewery in Concord, NH. They opened in April of 2016 and have been busy ever since. We had heard good things about their Saisons, but they had quite a few ipa’s on tap as well.

 

They are located in the back of an industrial park, luckily they had a sign out front with directions, very helpful!

 

 

The owners met and bonded over music, and ended up recording hip hop tracks together. Somehow that transitioned into making beer, and the tasting room has a definite music feel too it, and so do a lot of their beer names.

 

                        

 

The stools have records on them, and they have posters of their beer labels up on the wall which is fun.

 

And classic albums mounted on the walls.

 

They had 10 beers on tap, so Mark and Megan split a flight, so did Sammie and Dustin.

 

Misguided Angel – traditional New England style ipa
Pretty good version of a New England style ipa, hoppy, not quite as ‘juicy’ as some of the best though.

Little Miss Strange – dipa
Dry, more subtle flavors than the description, mild orange and pineapple, not quite a juice bomb, but pretty good.

 

Mark pondering the flavors

 

Simply Red Ale
Described as ‘big, chewy, malty, slightly sweet’ and that was right on. Not Mark’s favorite style of beer but they did a good job with this beer, Megan liked it.

Hall Street and Oats – dry hopped New England style pale
Tasty pale ale, dry hopped with Mandarin Bavarian hops, Megan and Mark both liked this beer.

 

Megan enjoying her beer

 

Orange Crushable – belgian orange ipa
An ipa with a super orange flavor too it, interesting (in a good way).

Chakra Khan – saison with lotus root
This was a pretty tasty saison, all 4 of us liked it, dry hopped with Citra.

 

Sammie tasting some beer

 

Tangled Up in Bruges – ever evolving saison
They use seasonal ingredients in this saison. Strong saison flavor with a little bit of funk.

Foolish Lovers Game – Berliner Weisse
A pretty drinkable Berliner Weisse, not that sour with a mild  apricot flavor.

 

 

Milli Banilli – banana vanilla porter
A porter with banana, and interesting mix of flavor and style.

Last Mango in Concord – mango green tea blonde ale
Tea and mango, with some sweetness, stand out in this beer.

 

Dustin read us a story

 

They had cool marble tables and a marble bar

 

 

Dustin being a goof

 

 

Dustin and Sammie being goofy together

 

Favorite beer names: Bow Wow Yippie Yo and The Ol’ Dirty Dipa,  neither were on tap when we were there. They mostly fill growlers, but occasionally bottle some batches of their beer.

Current Hours

Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Friday 4:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

Framingham Beer Works, Framingham, MA

In the early Fall, we visited Framingham Beer Works in Framingham, MA. The Beer Works franchise has 7 different locations. Each location brews their own beer, while Lowell Beer Works does the bottling for all locations.

 

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The Beer Works franchise seems to focus on seasonal beers. We have tried to visit during the different seasons so we can try as many of their beers as possible, at different locations of course.

 

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We went for lunch with Megan’s sister Sam and her boyfriend Dustin.

 

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Fall Flight

Curly’s Irish Stout
Good, pretty standard stout, a hint of roastyness, from the roasted malts they use.

 

Hay-ryder
Megan said it had an ok first taste, but the aftertaste was a little funny…

 

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Oktoberfest
A very malt forward beer, decent taste, fairly light in body and not much bitterness. Megan thought it was too strong, too malty.

 

Pumpkin
Decent pumpkin beer, best beer so far. They did the brown sugar rim, which definitely added some flavor to the beer.

 

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Sam and Dustin had just been to a Beerworks the week before, they liked the Pumpkin beer so they both ordered a pint of it.

 

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Hop Flight

Lil Tasty IPL
Not the best IPL we have had, but a pretty decent attempt. More on the bitter hop spectrum for flavor.

 

Deliberation Session IPA
Fairly light, again more of a bitter hop spectrum, not that bitter, but it was a session ipa so the bitterness is the major taste that stood out.

 

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Cantander IPA
Much better IPA, has more of a tropical fruity hop flavor, not very bitter at all, Mark’s favorite beer this visit.

 

Black Sheep IPA
Bitter, with a smoky or burnt flavor that Mark didn’t like that much. Megan thought it had more of a toffee flavor.

 

Mark wanted to try another beer, so he decided to go for the:

Chapagne Du Nord – Berliner Weiss
A sour, tart taste. That’s all it really was though, just sour with nothing much else behind it.

 

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We ordered nachos as an appetizer and it was pretty good.

 

We all ordered burgers for lunch as well, and they were pretty good. We ate them too fast to take a picture!

 

Our visit this fall was not that impressive, compared to former visits. The beers were just ok, nothing we were very impressed with. When we visited Boston Beer Works, Fenway Park location, the food and service were good and the beers were pretty good. Our best visit was when we went to Lowell Beer Works a year and a half ago, over the summer. Good food, good service, good summer beers.

Is there a Beer Works near you?

Bad Martha’s Brewing Company, Edgartown – Martha’s Vineyard

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We went to Martha’s Vineyard to visit the 2 breweries on the island, Offshore Ale Company and Bad Martha’s Brewing Company. Bad Martha’s is in Edgartown, so we took the bus from Oak Bluffs.


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They have a nice set up with a barn tasting room. They had 10 beers on tap when we were there. They do tasting flights and pints, with a few food options including cheese, meat and veggie platters.

 

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Roscoe’s Brown – 5.3%
A pretty good brown, medium body, smooth, good flavor. Dustin and Pete tasted coffee notes. This was Pete’s favorite.

 

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Heather and Pete tasting.

 

Obsession Ale – 4.3%
A light IPA with a piney hop taste. Dustin and Sam agree, light in body, no real bitterness.

 

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Blasphemous Black Lager – 5.5%
Light in body for a black lager, decent flavor

 

Belgian Blonde – 5%
Really good belgian, cloudy. Megan tasted honey and flowers. This was just about everyone’s favorite. A good over all, tasty beer.

 

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Summer Ale – 4.5%
Light, crisp summer ale, light in body but not flavorless. Megan and Al thought it needed something a little more, maybe a fruit wedge. They bottle this as a seasonal beer and distribute it off the island.

 

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Dustin, Al, and Sam posing for this pic!

 

Martha’s Vineyard Ale – 5.3%
Darker, red ale taste. Medium body, decent flavor. Megan thought it had a wintery taste, nutmeg or another earthy taste. This is one of the year round beers that they bottle and distribute off the island.

 

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Island IPA – 5.4%
Piney and flowery hop flavor, light in body with no real bitterness. Another beer they bottle and distribute.

 

Smokehouse Dunkel – 5.3%
Hint of smokeyness, very light in body, a touch sweet, good beer.

 

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Wasque Weizenbock – 7%
Sweet, light in body. A malty wheat beer flavor with a hint of ‘spiced darker fruit’.

 

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Cheese and meat platter- so good! Added so much to our experience

 

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They had a good size patio area outside with a bunch of tables and benches. They had a few games going outside as well, including cornhole.

 

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Cornhole

 

 

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Mark and Megan posing with Bad Martha.

 

Want to visit? You will have to wait until Summer as they are open from May through October and reopen for Christmas.

Offshore Ale Company, Oaks Bluff – Marthas Vineyard

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Near the end of the summer we made a special visit to Martha’s Vineyard to visit the 2 breweries on the island. We started at Offshore Ale Company for beers and lunch. They are the ‘only brewpub on the island’ and are ‘open year round’. We point those in quotes because that’s how they advertise themselves. The only brewery competition they have on the island is Bad Martha’s Brewing Company.

 

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We arrived right before 12:00 when they opened. We went with Megan’s immediate family and all ‘the boys’. That would be Megan’s parents, Megan and her 3 sisters, and the 4 boyfriends.

 

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The flight is chosen by them, you can not pick your own, Brewer’s Choice, which was a little disappointing. You get four 5oz samples for $10.50.

 

East Chop Lighthouse – 4.2%    8 IBU
Lighter and less flavorful than most people expected, even for the non-craft beer drinkers in the group. Megan and Mark thought it was ok for their lightest offering, a slight citrus flavor and made from 100% pilsner malt.

 

Amber Ale – 5%    25 IBU
Megan said creamy and smooth with a good flavor. Most people liked this better than the Lighthouse. Mark thought it was just ok, fairly typical amber taste but slightly lighter in body, probably made to be more ‘drinkable’.

 

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Amity Island Ale – 5%    30 IBU
Megan was hoping for a good summer ale, was stronger than she expected. Mark said it was hoppy and malty, stronger than a regular summer ale, because it was an ‘English style summer ale.’

 

Lazy Frog IPA – 7%    70 IBU
This was a much more hoppy and bitter beer, a lot of the group did not like this, especially Sam. Mark thought it was pretty good, so did Dustin and Kevin. A touch sweet with strong hop flavors, a little bitter with a sweet finish. Definite west coast influence.

 

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Pints:

Menemsha Creek Pale Ale – 5%    39 IBU
Mark said this was light for a pale ale, was described as ‘clean and approachable’ with a decent smooth hop flavor.

 

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Islander DIPA – 8.2%    90+ IBU
Strong, good hop flavor with some citrus notes. Finishes with a strong malty flavor, a little bit of a heavy flavor for Mark, but pretty good.

 

Offshore Blueberry – 4.5%    9 IBU
We had mixed reviews of this. It had a strong blueberry smell, which we think skewed peoples view of the taste. Mark said it was really, really light in body, it is only 9 IBU’s. Megan thought it had an artificial blueberry flavor, Jess didn’t taste much blueberry at all, and Marilyn thought it had a strong blueberry taste. Mixed reviews, but just ok over all.

 

Food

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Turkey Pub Sandwich with salad

 

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Mark got the Fish Sandwich. There was a lot of fish on there,
it was good, and the fries were good.

 

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Winter Salad

 

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Offshores Finest Burger w/provolone cheese and bacon

 

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Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad Over Boston Lettuce

 

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Brewhouse Pulled Pork Sandwich

 

A lot of people ordered the same sandwiches, with the
different option of a side salad, fries, or chips.

 

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They have wood fired pizza, but we didn’t try it.

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It is a small place, they have about 12 tables,
3 high top tables, and 12 or so bar seats.

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The atmosphere and service was really good. The food was pretty good, we don’t think it blew anyone away, but we ordered mostly sandwiches for lunch, and everyone was satisfied and filled. The beer was just average brew pub beer to Mark and Megan. It seems like most brew pubs (who serve food and beer) make their beer approachable for the average beer drinker. It’s not our style, they are there for tourists, so they want everyone to like their beer.

 

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Hours

Brew-Pub seating
LUNCH 11:30 am – 3:30 pm
DINNER 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm Sunday -Thursday
DINNER 5:00 pm – 9:30 pm Friday & Saturday