Bunker Brewing Company, Portland, ME

 

On our trip to Portland, Maine near the end of the summer we visited Bunker Brewing with Megan’s sister Sam and her boyfriend Dustin. None of us had been there before, or had any of their beers.

Bunker opened in 2011. They were in a tiny brick building and built a following. They were ready to expand and did so in 2016. They moved across town to their new facility and tripled their output of beer. They were able to keep their unique brick logo, and style, by moving into another industrial brick building.

 

They have a pretty big tasting room with a long bar
and a bunch of picnic tables inside.

 

 

 

They also have 4 picnic tables and umbrellas for outdoor seating. It was a little warm and sunny the day we were there so we sat inside.

 

They have 4oz, 8 oz, and some 16 oz pours available. Between all of us we tried most of the samples available. We went with with a flight of 4 oz beers each.

 

Bunktoberfest – marzen lager     6.4%
A good fall beer, had the festbier type of flavor, a little hard to describe, malty but easy drinking, pretty good beer for the style.

 

Nice Life – session ipa     5%
Decent for a session ipa, mild hops on the grassy side and a touch bitter.

 

Salad Daze – citra lager     4.7%
Smells super citrusy and tropical, taste is a little more bitter than the smell would lead you to believe. Has a smooth lager finish,ok but not great.

 

 

They had a whole series kettle soured beers, Colourz, available while we were there. We believe those are summer seasonal beers. Overall, we were happy with the Colourz series, as they were made with fruit instead of syrup and it was noticeable.

Colourz – raspberry
Tart with good raspberry taste.

 

Colourz – peach
Tart with subtle peach flavor. Megan and Sam wanted more peach flavor.

 

 

Colourz – blueberry
Tart with a good blueberry flavor.

 

Colourz – watermelon
Tart with a really good watermelon flavor. This is a hard flavor to get but they did really well. This was our favorite of the Colourz series.

 

 

 

They had some cool decor. There was cool (old we assume) tin panels behind the bar and on the columns. They have growlers to go as well as most of their beer canned, mostly 12 oz cans, some in 4 packs and some in 6 packs, but a few 16 oz cans in 4 packs as well.

 

Sam and Dustin near the bar, buying some beer….

 

They went with the Colourz Watermelon.

 

Hours

Monday – Thursday: 2:00 – 8:00
Friday: 2:00 – 9:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 9:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00

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Beara Irish Brewing, Portsmouth, NH

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We recently visited Beara Irish Brewing in Portsmouth, NH. They are a fairly new place, opening late summer 2004, but started out bottling right away, so they are in many local stores in the seacoast area.

 

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The owners of Beara are a husband and wife team, Michael & Louise. Louise is originally from Bere Island in Cork County Ireland. They spent time in Europe together, where Michael feel in love with European beer that wasn’t mass produced or watered down. Once they moved stateside, in 2010 they began to move towards having a brewery.
They use imported Irish barley to create their beers, and as many other locally sourced ingredients as possible, like honey and berries.

 

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They have at least four beers available at their tasting room for you to try.
Our tasting:

O’Sullivan Stout
Dry, a touch roasty. Really good flavor, light in body but plenty of flavor.

 

NH Maple Wheat
Wheat base, light flavor. You taste the maple and the sweetness. A light, sweet beer, probably good for the summer time.

 

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Rye Craic IPA
Light in color. Rye smoothness upfront, a strong, hoppy second taste. Light in body.

 

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Castletown Honey Brown Ale
Good taste, smooth. Better than most browns we have had, sweet honey flavor helps.

 

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They have a medium sized tasting room in a strip mall in Portsmouth. There are several tables as well as a small bar, and some standing room.

 

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Louise greeted us when we came in, and was friendly. They told us we could sit down and brought our flights over. They also gave us some pretzels to eat. Shortly after, Michael came out from the backroom, where he was kegging beer, to say hello.

 

 

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They are still a fairly new operation, but started out bottling right away. We have seen the bottles in many local stores, but wanted to wait to try them until we visited. This is a good move for a new place, especially in a tourist area. We visit a lot of places, and unfortunately we don’t bring beer back from a lot because they only do growlers.

 

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We enjoyed our visit to Beara, and hope to see them go well. So far, they are in 120 stores/bars/restaurants in New Hampshire, and the demand is just increasing! They are about at their brewing capacity, and are looking for assistance to get to the next level. Read about that here and help them increase their brewing capacity!

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Want to Visit?

Thursday and Friday 4-8
Saturday 1-8
Sunday 1-6

 

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Blue Hills Brewery

IMG_2247[1]This weekend, in 2013, we visited the Blue Hills Brewery, located in Canton, Massachusetts. With Mark and I were: his brother Jason, sister Michelle (who had visited Flag Hill Winery with us), and their mother, Sheila. Jason and Michelle had both been to a brewery before, but this was the first experience for Sheila.

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We went Saturday around 4pm, and it was packed! Always a good sign,  because it implies the beer is good, but sometimes means you can’t have a personalized experience or an opportunity to ask many questions. When we entered the brewery, we were greeted, but were still uncertain about where to go/what to do since different brewery’s have different systems set up. We also weren’t certain that the person who had greeted us worked there, as often breweries have a very friendly following. After a minute or so, space by the bar opened up and we moved in. We were told we could try the beers in order, or go from lightest to heaviest. We chose to move across the spectrum- lightest to heaviest. IMG_2246[1] The beers, lined up on the counter to try
 IMG_2252[1]IMG_2251[1]They had a booklet listing the beers they create, with descriptions. Helpful since it was so busy!



Pomegranate Wampatuck Wheat
: German hefeweizen & unfiltered. Not overly fruity, a good balance. Slight tartness with a wheat finish. 4.8% ABV. Michelle & I both bought a bomber of this.

Blueberry Wampatuck Wheat: great blueberry flavor. Tastes like it would be perfect with either a graham cracker rim or vanilla ice cream.

Watermelon Wampatuck Wheat: German hefeweizen & unfiltered. Initial smell- jolly rancher. Tastes just like a watermelon jolly rancher. Perfect beer for those overly hot, sticky, summer days. 4.8% ABV. Michelle bought one of these in a bomber.
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Antimatter: English Mild Ale. A session beer. sort of a “plain” beer. Nothing jumped out at you.
Red Baron Ale: seemed hoppy for an Irish Red
Black Hops Beer: fun label- black opps like. Description mentioned hints of coffee and chocolate, but I didn’t really taste either. Wish it has had a stronger flavor, but it also could have been because I was using the same cup and it might have not meshed well with the Red Baron Ale. It didn’t taste as dark as it looked, which I think most in our group preferred. 6.75% ABV
At this point, another staff member started to help pour the tastings, which helped immensely. We were then given more of an opportunity to ask questions about the beer and make comments about it.  
Comet Tail: brewed with “a healthy dose of hops.” Citrus, but sweet and mellow. I really enjoyed this one, and felt like it was a great summer ale. 5.4% ABV.  I went home with a bomber of the Comet Tail.
India Pale Ale (IPA): smooth flavor. everyone with the exception of myself really liked this one. I am not a big IPA drinker, so this made sense to me. 6.6% ABV. Jason bought a bomber of IPA.
Double IPA:  I liked this one much better than the IPA. Mark bought a growler of this.
Imperial Red IPA: unfiltered beer, a combination of their red ale and IPA. The man working stated “strongest one, misleadingly smooth.” It was too much for Michelle’s taste.
I had first heard about the Blue Hills Brewery while I was working nearby, at the Blue Hills Ski Area. The Ski Area had the pleasure of inviting the Brewery to events throughout past seasons, but I was typically working and thus, unable to try the beer. I had been looking forward to going to Blue Hills Brewery for awhile, and am glad we went.
They offer many seasonal beers and we might have to go back to try some again.
For purchase, most beers are offered in six packs, bombers (24oz) and growlers (64oz). The deposit for the growler is inexpensive compared to other breweries, at only $2 a bottle. Price per fill varies depending on which beer it is. Bombers are only $3. They do not use a distributor so they are able to keep prices low for their customers.
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The brewery offers complimentary tastings: Wednesdays 5-8, Fridays 3p-7p, and Saturdays 1p-7p. Check their website or facebook before you go.
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The cups we bought to add to our growing collection.
IMG_2253[1]Pomegranate Wampatuck Wheat, Double IPA and Comet Tail