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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Saco River Brewing, Fryeburg, ME

While we were up camping and tubing on the Saco River, we decided to visit Saco River Brewing Company, what a surprise! They opened just over a year ago, in July 2016, in Fryeburg, ME. They are located in a building or two out behind a restaurant with a decent amount of parking.

They do 4 oz pours and full pints. We ordered a 4oz pour of each beer so we could try all 7 beers they had on tap.

D.O.T. Special – Czech Pilsner     5%
Has a strong pilsner/lager taste. Strong additional flavors added by the spicy saaz hops. Not bad for a pilsner, which is neither of our favorite styles. 

Driftwood IPA – American IPA     6.5%
Pours super clear. Does have a malt presence but the hops balance that well and add a good amount of hop flavor to it. Good, not Marks favor style IPA but it’s pretty good and worth a try for IPA drinkers. 

Clearwater Pale Ale     4.8%
Pours pretty hazy. Flavor matches description ‘Easy drinking, silky mouthfeel and citrus hop character’, we agree. Nice overall hop profile (citrus) for a pale ale. 

Flip Flop IPA      6.7%
Marks immediate reaction “oohhh this is good”. Pours super hazy, you can’t see through it, a definite  New England style IPA. No malt character, all hops, on the herbal/grassy but still super tasty.

Sweet Fern Saison     4.5%
Good, easy to drink Saison while still having flavor, spicy and citrus notes. On the lighter side for a saison.

Buck Brown Ale     5.4%
Megan said it had an almost a dull coffee flavor, but in a good way, not an overly bitter coffee taste. 

Mark said pretty light overall, not very roasty, more sweet caramel with citrus. 

Old Colony Porter     6.5%
Sweet and roasty. Light body for the style, but more roasted here than the Buck Brown Ale. 

We sat outside to have our samples, it was a pretty nice day. They have several picnic tables with umbrellas and pop up tents for shade.

They have a fairly small bar area, but another decent sized room off of that with a ping pong table, shown above, and their outdoor space, so they have plenty of seating.

Mark at the bar. There is a whole wall of glass behind the bar so you can see everything happening in the brewery, shown below, not much happening on a Sunday afternoon though.

They have a cool, custom made cement bar with
the river built into it, cool details.

This was a nice visit. They are doing well for only being open a year.  It was better than we expected, as we went in assuming it was a “tourist trap.” However, it seems to be a nice combo of tourists and locals based on the amount of growlers we saw being filled.

Check Facebook for hours, we assume
they change with the seasons.

Orono Brewing Company, Orono, ME

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This was the last place we visited on our recent Maine trip with Amanda. Orono Brewing Company is located right in downtown Orono, ME. They have not been open that long, only since late in late 2014. They have an intriguing tap list, and a nice little place to visit and taste some beers.

 

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We ordered 2 sample paddles to share between
the 3 of us, they were $7 for five 5oz beers.

 

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White Nitro Cream Ale (nitro) – 5%
Definite cream taste and mouthfeel. Light, easy drinking, with a light malt flavor. Nothing stands out, but a good beer.

 

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Megan and Amanda

 

Golden Grave Witbier – 5.1%
Classic Belgian flavor, citrus and chamomile stand out with hints of coriander. Amanda thought it was ‘aromatic tasting’, Megan thought it was a really good witbier.

 

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Tap Into Summer Blonde Ale – 5%
Smells of grapefruit, light in body. Mark liked it, nice balance of hops, slightly fruity, really good for a summer beer. Megan thought it was too hoppy. El dorado, Citra and Mosaic in the dry hop. A collaboration beer with Geaghans Brew Pub, Black Bear, and Penobscot Bay Brewing.

 

Dream Job Session Pale – 4.7%
Fairly light in body, more malty than expected, a touch bitter. In collaboration with Central Street Farmhouse.

 

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Lightning Tree IPA – 6.8%
Really good, piney and citrus with a bitter aftertaste. Mark really liked it, too hoppy for Megan and Amanda.

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Amanda’s ‘too hoppy for me’ face

 

Woodmans Red Ale (nitro) – 6.1%
‘Smooth, mellow and nicely malty. Great creamy mouthfeel’. Yup, they said it best. Megan thought it had a malty taste, Amanda said roasty or toasty, they described it as ‘distinctly biscuity malt’, so they were both kind of right.

 

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Existential Crisis Hibiscus Saison – 5%
Interesting, flavorful taste upfront with saisony second taste, ‘spicy and dry’ from the yeast strains. Megan’s favorite.

 

Siberia Farms Saison – 5.8%
Much lighter, less complex saison flavor, spicy and dry, but not as much as the previous beer, spicy aftertaste.

 

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Habanero Lemon IPA – 6.5%
Lemon, IPA, Habenero sequence. IPA dominates, surprisingly well balanced for the ingredients involved. Drinkable, hoppy, hint of spice is tamed down by lemon and hops.

 

Amorica American Stout – 7.3%
Mark thought it was a really good stout. Dark, roasty, full bodied. Roasted malt smell and taste, creamy mouthfeel. Megan said it was not bitter so it made it feel lighter.

 

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They have a small Draught Room menu, we ordered Brewery Grain Soft pretzels that came with a spicy IPA mustard, they were pretty tasty.

 

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If you want a full meal, they have either a close association or partnership with Woodman’s Bar and Grill, which is right across the street. They usually have all of Orono Brewing Company’s beer on tap. They open at 4pm for dinner and stay open late for drinks.

 

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They have a nice little Draught Room, as they call it. There are a hand full of tables and some space at the bar for tasting beers.

 

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The place has a nice feel to it. A lot of wood and metal, sort of mixing
rustic and modern design, we liked it.

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This was probably our favorite place we have visited up in the Bangor/ Orono area. We liked most of the beers, they had plenty of new and unique styles and were really experimenting with flavors and taste combo’s.

 

 

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Want to visit?
Hours of operation

Monday – Wednesday: 3pm-10pm
Thursday and Friday: 3pm-12am
Saturday: 12pm-12am
Sunday: 12pm-7pm

As always, check their website or Facebook for the
most up to date information about them.

Geaghan Brothers Pub and Craft Brewery, Bangor, ME

Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor Cellars, Bar Harbor, ME

Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

Geaghan Brothers Pub and Craft Brewery, Bangor, ME

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After spending the day drinking around Maine with Amanda, we decided to finish the night off with apps and beers at Geaghan Brothers Pub and Craft Brewery in Bangor, Maine. It is connected to a small hotel, and next door to the casino and appears to be at the beginning of the downtown Bangor area.

We ended up getting a table in the bar area because it was still crowded at 8:30pm on a Saturday night.

 

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From looking around on their website, it looks like Geaghans Pub has been family owned since 1975. They started brewing their own beer in 2011, and they are still owned and operated by members of the Geaghan family.

 

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Our beers:

Refueler – american style wheat – 5.25%
Definite wheat beer taste, has a slight hoppy taste. Megan didn’t like it, Mark and Amanda did.

 

Linemen – pale ale – 5.4%
Fairly standard pale ale, Mark thought it was just ok, light, with a touch of sweetness. It is ‘designed for the domestic beer drinker’ so it doesn’t have as much flavor or hops as we would like, made for the brew pub drinker who doesn’t really like craft beer.

 

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Presque Isle – honey blonde ale – 5.5%
Light blonde ale, very subtle sweetness, has a dry malty body. Megan and Amanda liked it, Mark thought it was ok.

 

Smiling Irish Bastard – american pale ale – 6%
Very strong hop smell, tastes strong, like and IPA. Mark likes it, strong hop flavor, not much of malt profile, but does have a little bit of a hop bite. Dry hopped with Cascade and Columbus hops.

 

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Higgins Irish Red Ale – 5.9%
A malt forward flavor, but light in body, good overall taste, pretty solid red ale.

 

Bangor Tiger – IPA – 7%
Strong IPA, citrusy and lime, a little bitter. Not Mark’s favorite IPA combo, but it was pretty good. Megan and Amanda did not like it.

 

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sometimes, after a day of drinking, water is a great beverage

 

Bangor Brown Ale – 5.11%
A light, malt forward brown ale, light chocolate taste with a bitter hop taste, a ‘true american style brown ale’. Mark liked the strong and complex flavor, Amanda and Megan not so much.

 

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Dad’s Oatmeal Stout – 5.5%
A strong and roasty flavor, definite dark coffee taste with a slight bitterness.

 

 

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Pub Cheese

 

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Irish Nachos

 

Want to visit?
Hours of Operation

Sunday – Thursday 11:00am – 11:00pm (Kitchen closes at 10pm)
Friday – Saturday 11:00am – 1:00am  (Kitchen closes at 12am)

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And a giant statue of Paul Bunyan next door, because, ya know, it’s Maine.

Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor, ME

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Our 3rd stop in Bar Harbor was at Atlantic Brewing Company, Amanda was with us. They have a whole compound with the brewing facility, tasting room and store, as well as Mainely Meat BBQ. We did not take the tour, but were able to taste all the beers on tap.

 

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Atlantic Brewing Company was started in 1990, as Acadia Brewing. They have moved and upgraded several times, and now run a 15 barrel system that they use for everything. Atlantic Brewing actually bought out Bar Harbor Brewing, the owners of Bar Harbor Brewing were ready to retire and sell. Atlantic Brewing Company now owns and still operates out of both facilities.

 

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They are just starting to run small batch brews on a small 7 barrel system to experiment with new styles and flavors on a smaller scale. They don’t want to tie their bigger system up with large amounts of test or experimental beers.

 

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Our Tasting:

Summer Ale – 4.2%
Made with German hops, has a Pilsner taste, but not a bad Pilsner taste. Good, really light flavor. Megan and Amanda thought it was nondescript.

 

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Blueberry Ale – 5.1%
Real strong Blueberry smell, and strong Blueberry taste. Blueberries are added during fermentation with yeast, which gives it the strong blueberry taste. Better Blueberry beer than Bar Harbor Blueberry.

 

Real Ale – 4.8%
This is their lightest beer besides the Summer Ale which is just seasonal. Light in body, decent flavor, hint of caramel, from a quick malt dip??? This was Amanda’s favorite, Mark and Megan both liked it as well.

 

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040609 Double IPA – 6.8%
Good IPA, a hint of piney hops, with a touch of citrus, fairly strong flavor. Made with Columbus and Centennial hops. Not Mark’s favorite style IPA, Amanda thought it was bitter with a hint of Grapefruit.

 

Coal Porter – 5.6%
Chocolate malts gives it a chocolate flavor. Light in body, hops added to give it a dry finish, Megan and Amanda thought it was ok, Mark liked it.

 

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Ellen’s Coffee Stout – 5.4%
They used 50 gallons of cold brewed coffee in this beer. A milk stout, good body, really good flavor, we all liked it, and bought some.

 

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Extra tasting, because we saw it and asked for it:

Island Ginger – 5.7%
30lbs of crushed ginger root added to this wheat ale. Light in body, ginger bite is boiled away so it has a lighter ginger taste. Amanda thought it was too carbonated and lacking that strong ginger taste, not bad but not great.

 

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After the tasting we sat outside and ate at Mainely Meats BBQ. They have seating inside as well as outside.

 

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The food was great and we got a ton of it. Enough for dinner for the 3 of us, a late snack, and several days of lunch for Mark.

 

With dinner we tried:

Brother Adams Honey Bragget – 10.5%
Smells sweet, heavy, malty, but sweet taste. Amanda thought it had a viscous mouthfeel, we agree. It is ‘brewed in the fall, cellared over the winter, like a desert wine, made to be sipped’.

 

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Macfoochies Scottish Ale
‘Sweet and full bodied, with a low hop profile’. Mark agree’s, full bodied, touch of sweetness, he liked it for a Scottish ale, robust but not overly strong. Amanda thought it was too heavy, she was hoping for more of a Red Ale flavor.

 

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Mark tasting Mafoochies

 

 

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Megan was not a fan of Mafoochies

 

They make their own root beer, Amanda thinks it was pretty standard. Mark liked it, a good flavorful Root Beer.

 

Brewery Hours
Monday – Sunday: 
10:00 am-5:00 pm

As always, check Facebook or their website for the most up to date information.

 

Other places to visit nearby

Bar Harbor Cellars

Bar Harbor Brewing

Tree Spirits Winery and Distillery in Oakland ME

Dragonfly Farm and Winery in Stetson, ME

 

 

 

Maine Beer Trail

Yesterday, Mark and I went to a couple of Breweries in Maine. We brought along our Maine Beer Trail Passes to have signed (find yours here!). We had created a short list of ones we wanted to visit, as well as what time they were open for tastings. Along our way, I realized that my list was incomplete. Although I (thought) I had used all of my resources to create my list, I forgot to look at my Maine Beer Trail list. Please revisit my Breweries of Maine entry to see which ones are new. Also, refer to my Map of Breweries and Wineries in Maine for an updated map.

Back to the Maine Beer Trail Pass. It is a list of 25 different breweries in Maine. You bring the pass with you and have it signed and dated while on your visit. After you have been to 5 breweries, you fill out the bottom portion of it (the info section), make a photocopy, and send the photocopy to the Maine Brewers’ Guild, keeping the original so you can continue on your visits.

For visiting 5 breweries, you will be rewarded with a baseball hat from a Maine brewery. For visiting 10 breweries, you receive a T-shirt from a Maine brewery. For visiting ALL of the breweries listed, you receive a PRIZE PACK of Maine Beer Gear.

While at one of the breweries yesterday, we started talking to a woman who is on the receiving end of completed Maine Beer Trail Passes. She said to make sure that you note your T-Shirt size when sending it in. I asked her about the Maine Beer Gear Prize Pack and was told that it is whatever she can get her hands on from breweries across the state, but often times contains glasses, t-shirts, etc.  She also mentioned to make sure that everyone in your group should have a pass to have filled out, because even you and your significant other can receive prize packs at the same time. She also mentioned that since some of the breweries are seasonal, if you are able to get to a brewery, but it is not open (summer, but its at Sunday River or something), that you can take a photo of yourself outside and send that in with your pass and it will be honored.