Visit #90! Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

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Our third stop on our most recent trip through Portland with Jason and Maureen was Allagash Brewing. They are right across the street from Bissel Brothers, Foundation, and Austin Street Brewing or should we say they all moved in right across the street from Allagash.

 

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If you want to go for a tour, you need to book it ahead of time. The tours book up quickly, and they try to keep them a fair size- so everyone can see and hear the tour guide. The tour is free, but you have to plan ahead. We booked our tour about two weeks in advance, and booked it for four people- not yet knowing who the other two people would be! We booked for the only time slot that had spots for four people, knowing we would have company. We didn’t want the others to not be able to go. The tour includes a private tasting as well.

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Cool bar in the tap room

 

If you find that you aren’t able to book a tour, you can go to their tasting room and try some there! We were unaware that they had a tap room prior to our visit, but now know we can go anytime we are in the area!

 

Our tour guide was Thadius, a local college student, which he reminded us of several times. His fun loving personality made the tour entertaining but he was also quite knowledgeable about the brewery and was able to answer questions people had.

 

We learned a lot about Allagash while on the tour. They told us what makes them special and different, not just the typical story on how beer is made, so we liked that. We learned that 80% of what they produce is Allagash White. They are the 32nd largest brewery in the US, and still a craft brewery. Their biggest markets are LA, then Chicago and Boston.

 

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They operate a 70 barrel system right now. They expanded 2 years ago, and now they are planning to add more fermenters.

This is inside of the newest part of the brewery. This was the old exterior wall, and they left the old Allagash Brewing Company sign up.

They have a custom BrauKon system for producing as much White and Saison as they can.

 

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This newer system is more computerized, but you still need the brewer to check on things and know how to work the system. They brew 5 days a week, 24 hours a day. They have 15 brewers and over 80 employees.
How are they working to be even more eco-friendly?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
*Their spent grain goes to a local farmer, Norm, to feed to his cows.
*They also use steam energy.
*Just last year, they added a beehive on premise to use the honey in the beer. They are using the most local honey they can, and are helping the honey bee population! Another cool fact about the honey- their Accountant is the bee keeper!
*They have the least water usage of breweries, and use local water coming from Sebago Lake (just over 10miles away)

 

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Old system with Thadius

 

They still use an old 15 barrel system that Rob Tod started with back in 1995. They use this older system for their more experimental brews.

 

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They use Microstar kegs, a co-op program so when they ship full kegs to somewhere like LA, a local brewery reuses instead of shipping empty kegs back to Maine, which not only makes it easier for them, but also is more eco-friendly.

Fun fact- about 60% of their production is put into kegs. This is a lot for a brewery of this size.

 

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barrels in their barrel room. Each has the beer’s name or a code name on it.

 

An interesting sounding beer we heard about in the barrel room was the Koelschip series. The Koelschip series are sour and/or funky beers. They use wild yeast to get the sour flavor, and it takes 3-4 years to actively ferment. Megan really likes sour beers, so we will be on the lookout for any Koelschip series releases!

 

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The oldest barrel we saw.

 

These barrels were in a separate temperature controlled building to age.

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large barrels and fermenting beer

 

Allagash has a pilot system in which employees can submit recipes for brewing. Like their Saison? You can thank an employee for that! The Saison is not their first new year round beer in just about twelve years.

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a little view into how large they actually are…

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empty barrels, ready to be filled

 

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the private tasting area in the barrel room

 

Our tasting:

White – 5.2%
The first Allagash beer. We have all had this before and we have liked it. Maureen thought it was light, Megan and Mark order it out at the bar sometimes.

 

Saison – 6.1%
Recommended to have with spicy food. Light and citrusy with orange and coriander taste. Maureen said it was a titch spicy on the back of the tongue. We all liked this as well.

 

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the Saison mmmmmm

 

 

Four – Quad – 10%
Takes four months to make, uses 4 yeast and is complicated to make. Smooth and very flavorful, we all liked it. Jason liked it so much he bought a bottle there, and has bought 2 more since then.

 

Tripel – 9%
Aged in Jim Beam barrels. Light for being aged in Jim barrels. Maureen said she tasted fruit right on the tongue. Good balance of beer, flavor and fruit. Mark bought a bottle of this.

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Cooler full of brewery only beers as well as beers you will find elsewhere!

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Special Release! Midnight Brett Ale

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Midnight Brett Ale:
Megan opted to purchase this one, despite having not tried it. She understood that Brett Ales can be on the tart side, and loves trying beers like that. It had the flavor and aroma of berries and sour cherries. She was very happy to have bought two bottles. Mark had hoped for a bit more tartness.

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the tap room bar, inside the retail store

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t-shirts galore!

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have a kegerator at home?

 

We enjoyed our visit to Allagash, and liked how the tour was- it wasn’t just the “here’s how we make beer,” but what actually makes them who they are. We will certainly be back, especially to see what special releases they have!

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Want to visit?
HOURS: Monday – Saturday: 10am-5pm.
Last tour at 4pm, taps close at 4:45pm

Check their website or their facebook for any changes.

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In the area? Besides going across the street to Bissel Brothers,
Foundation and Austin Street, take the drive to:
Urban Farm Fermentory
Shipyard Brewing Co.

Powder Keg Beer and Chili Festival, Exeter NH

100_0876This weekend, Mark and I went to the Powder Keg Beer and Chili Festival, located in Exeter NH. Outside the festival, was a small fall festival with a lot of children’s activities. It was nice to walk through to get to the Powder Keg.  Before entering the Powder Keg, we had our IDs checked, and received an “over 21” wristband. We were also given a map and list of what breweries were there. We then had our tickets ripped and entered. We were told to hang on to our tickets so we could come and go as we pleased. After we walked through the gate, we realized that we hadn’t been given glasses or tickets and realized the table to pick them up was to our right. We both received our glasses from a volunteer and started to walk away. We hadn’t walked too far when I realized my glass didn’t have tickets in it, but Mark’s did. I went back to the table, and at first they were uncertain what to do, but trusted that I was not given tickets and I received them. Thank goodness! We received 8 beer tickets and 5 food/chili tickets to start with; more were available for purchase.

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The beer notes will not be very detailed, as most are places we will go to or have gone to already.

The beers we tried:

Angry Orchard, Boston Beer Company

  • Cinnful- Good flavor, 1st sip reminded me of redhots. Tart apples and cinnamon, good combo

Tuckerman Brewing Company, Conway NH

  • ALTitude- a double bock. Mark thought it was “pretty good.” I agreed

Sixpoint Brewery, New York100_0878 100_0877

  • Sweet Action- A hopy cream ale.  Mark tried and enjoyed!
  • The Crisp- I tried, good!

Great Rhythm Brewing Company, Portsmouth

  • We were in line to try their beer, but noticed that they only had a pale ale (which I am not a huge fan of the style typically)

North Coast Brewing Company, Ft Bragg California

  • Le Merle- a Saison Belgian style Farmhouse Ale. Really good! Would be a drink I could have if I was going to sit back and enjoy one.
  • Pranqster- Belgian style unfiltered golden ale. Mark enjoyed

Prodigal Brewery, Effingham NH

  • Effinghamburgherbrau- a German lager. Mark liked, said it was very smooth. I didn’t like it- 1st sip nope! 2nd sip- not cold enough.

Berkshire Brewing Company,  South Deefield MA

  • Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, a good light (Mark had)
  • Drayman’s Porter, yum good porter! Nice coffee notes.

Woodchuck

  • Woodchuck Pumpkin- not amazing, but definitely drinkable. Started to really enjoy it ½ way through
  • Woodchuck Dry Hop Cellar Series- hops infused cider. Tastes like a beer-cider combo. Not bad.
  • ******Woodchuck’s tasting room is scheduled to open in May!!!!

Earth Eagle Brewings

  • Puca- curry, pumpkin porter. Nice flavor. Curry adds something different to it. Mark said it was a heavier pumpkin than we are used to- really good, a different flavor.
  • We were able to catch up with Butch, one of the brewers while we were there

Lagunitas, California

  • Little sumpin sumpin- Mark had, thought it would be more like a pale ale but it was more like an IPA

603 Brewery, Campton (soon to be Londonderry)

  • 18 Mile Ale- a rye. good balanced beer
  • 19th State- a red IPA.  Mark tried. When I asked him how it was, he said “I don’t know. Gone?!”

Woodstock Inn Brewery, North Woodstock, NH

  • Autumn Ale- Really really good! Different, nice spices. Mark said it reminded him of an Oktoberfest, only because he has nothing else to compare it to.

Uinta Brewing, Utah

  • Pumk’n Harvest- typical pumpkin beer

 

The Chili we tried:

The Meat House, Exeter NH100_0879

  • Good amount of meat, not too spicy but a nice after spice. Mark- not anything crazy, a classic chili. Well balanced

Fast Eddies, Hampton NH

  • Good amount of meat. Good flavor, but either too watery or too oily, hard to tell

Stone Church, Newmarket NH100_0882

  • Good! Best so far! They add chips to the cup. Chili is a regular menu item. Option to add cheese, sour cream and other options. Spicy!

Tuckaway Tavern, Raymond NH100_0886

  • Topped with smoked cheddar. Nice smoked, almost BBQ flavor. It had a wicked spice to it, more of an after burn. After burn was ok because it meant they didn’t just add hot sauce to it, but a little too spicy for me! Needed some chips to eat it with or more cheese. Mark said it seemed almost pureed, it wasn’t chunky like many others. Most flavorful. If it was slightly less spicy it would be the best one yet!

WHYM, Portsmouth, NH 100_0891 100_0890

  • Hatch Green Chili- more of a stew. Made in a traditional New Mexico style, with chili’s directly from New Mexico. Even had potatoes in it! Same type of spices, but different style. Really good!

On the Vine Marketplace, Exeter NH100_0892

  • Mark tried, he enjoyed it. Good consistency. Good be a bit spicier, but it was also at the end of the day

McKinnon’s making their chili (Portsmouth)

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By 3pm, at least two of the vendors were out of chili. At least 2 vendors were out of beer. At 3:20, almost all of the vendors were out of chili. Point? Come early! It is a short day, only from 12-4, but you need to arrive early to enjoy all of the chili.

This is an event to go to. Just plan on eating your chili early!

 

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Powder Keg this weekend!

Although I have looked at the beer/brewery page for the Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili festival before, I just took another glance and am very excited to try some new beers! The event is this weekend, from 12-4pm, Swasey Parkway, Exeter, NH. View the beer list here or read on!

A sampling of what I saw on the website:

Blue Hill Brewery

Blue Hills Brewery

India Pale Ale

6.6% ABV

Black Hops

6.75% ABV

Comet Tail Pale Ale

5.4% ABV

Watermelon Wheat

4.8% ABV

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Henniker Brewing

Amber Apparition

5.2% ABV

Hop Slinger IPA

6.5% ABV

Whipple’s Wheat

4.8% ABV

Working Man’s Porter

6% ABV

Wells & Young

Wells & Young’s Brewery

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

5.20% ABV

Well’s Banana Bread Beer

5.2% ABV

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St. Ambroise

St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat

5% ABV

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Green Goblin Cider

Green Goblin Cider

6.0% ABV

xingu-gold-

Xingu Beer

Gold Beer

4.7% ABV

wychwood1

Wychwood Brewery

Hobgoblin Dark English Ale

4.9% ABV

rince-cocho

Rince Cochon

Belgian Blonde

8.5% ABV

Angry Orchard

Angry Orchard Hard Cider

Crisp Apple

5% ABV

Cinnful Cider

5% ABV

Apple Ginger

5% ABV

Green Apple

5% ABV

Omission Logo

Omission Beer

Omission Lager

4.6% ABV

Omission Pale Ale

5.8% ABV

Gritty'sLogo_HR

Gritty McDuff’s

Halloween Ale

6.0% ABV

Best Bitter

5.0% ABV

Black Fly Stout

4.1% ABV

Maine’s Best IPA

6.8% ABV

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Sebago Brewing Co.

Fryes Leap IPA

6.0% ABV

Bonfire Rye

5.7% ABV

founders

Founders Brewing Co.

All Day IPA

4.7% ABV

Centennial IPA

7.2% ABV

Founders Porter

6.5% ABV

Red’s Rye IPA

6.6% ABV

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Redhook Brewery

Redhook Pumpkin Porter

5.8% ABV

Redhook Longhammer IPA

6.2% ABV

Redhook Audible

4.7% ABV

603 Brewery

603 Brewery

Winni Ale

6.5 %ABV

18 Mile Ale

5.4 %ABV

9th State Red IPA

7.1 %ABV

Cogway IPA

Woodchuck logo

Vermont Hard Cider Company

Woodchuck Hard Cider Amber

5% ABV

Woodchuck Hard Cider Limited Release Fall

5% ABV

Rising tide logo

Rising Tide Brewery

Daymark

5.5% ABV

Ishmael

4.9%

Calcutta Cutter

9.1% ABV

uinta

Uinta Brewing

Hopnotch IPA

7.3 ABV

BABA Black Lager

4.5% ABV

WYLD Pale Ale

4.0% ABV

Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

4.0% ABV

Wachusett

Wachusett Brewing Company

Blueberry Ale

4.5% ABV

Green Monsta IPA

6.1% ABV

Widmer Brothers

Widmer Brothers Brewing

Hopside Down IPL

6.7% ABV

Okto Festival Ale

5.3% ABV

Alchemy Ale

5.8% ABV

KonaBrewingLogo

Kona Brewing Company

Longboard Lager

4.6% ABV

Big Wave Ale

4.4% ABV

Pipeline Porter

5.4% ABV

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North Coast Brewing Co.

Pranqster

7.6% ABV

Le Merle

7.9% ABV

gooseisland1

Goose Island Beer Co.

Goose Island Harvest Ale

5.7% ABV

Goose Island Sofie

6.5% ABV

Goose Island Matilda

7% ABV

ommegang_logo

Brewery Ommegang

Scythe&Sickle

5.8% ABV

Hennepin

7.7% ABV

Oskar Blues

Oskar Blues

Dale’s Pale Ale

6.5%ABV

Mama’s Little Yella

5.3%ABV

holy_grail_logo_sm

The Holy Grail Restaurant and Pub

Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale

4.70% ABV

Fatty Bampkins

Fatty Bampkins

Fatty Bampkins Original

4.5% ABV

Fatty Bampkins Dry

6.8% ABV

unibroue

Unibroue Brewery

La Fin du Monde

9% ABV

Ephemere Cherry

5.5% ABV

Grande Reserve 17

10% ABV

Prodigal Brewery

The Prodigal Brewery at Misty Mountain Farm

Effinghamburgherbrau Lager

5.2% ABV

Sacopee Pils

5.4% ABV

Curse of the Rye Wolf

5.3% ABV

Blue Point Brewery

Blue Point Brewing Company

Toasted Lager

5.5% ABV

Hoptical Illusion

6.8% ABV

Pale Ale

5% ABV

Blueberry Ale

4.5% ABV

firestone-walker1

Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Union Jack

7.5%ABV

Wookey Jack

8.3%ABV

Green Flash

Green Flash Brewery

West Coast IPA

7.3% ABV

Double Stout

8.8% ABV

mayflower

Mayflower Brewing Company

Pale Ale

5.1% ABV

IPA

6.1% ABV

Porter

5.2% ABV

Autumn Wheat

5.8% ABV

MagicHatLogo

Magic Hat

#9-Not quite Pale Ale

5.1% ABV

Seance-Dark Saison

4.4% ABV

berkshire_brewing_co

Berkshire Brewing Company

Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale

5.5% ABV

Berkshire Traditional Pale Ale

6.5% ABV

Drayman’s Porter

6.5% ABV

Lost Sailor IPA

6.5% ABV

Six Point

Six Point Brewery

Righteous Rye                6.3% ABV

Resin                              9.1% ABV

Sweet Addiction              5.2% ABV

Crisp Pils                        5.2% ABV

Crazy Mountain

Crazy Mountain Brewing Company

Crazy Mountain Amber Ale           5.25% ABV

Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale                5.7% ABV

Brooklyn_Brewery_Logo

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Lager

5.2% ABV

Brooklyn Scorcher Ale

4.5% ABV

Brooklyn Oktoberfest

5.5% ABV

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

7.6% ABV

Earth Eagle Brew

Earth Eagle Brewings

Puca (Curry Pumpkin Porter)

6.3% ABV

Gruit Beer (to be announced)

5.6% ABV

Yankee Bad Ass IPA

woodstock-inn1-150x150

Woodstock Inn Brewery

Pigs Ear Brown Ale     4.3%ABV

Pemi Pale Ale             5.7%ABV

Autumn Brew Ale       4.4%ABV

4000 Footer IPA       6.5%ABV

tuckerman_logo

Tuckerman Brewing Co.

Tuckerman Pale Ale

5.5% ABV

Tuckerman Headwall Alt

4.75% ABV

Tuckerman ALTitude

7.3% abv

throwbackresized

Throwback Brewery

Spicy Bohemian

4.9% ABV

Hog Happy Hefeweizen

4.8% ABV

Campfire Smoked Porter

6.4% ABV

House of Shandy

The Traveler Beer Co.

Curious Traveler

4.4% ABV

Jack-O-Traveler

4.4% ABV

Time Traveler

4.4% ABV

smutty-web-377x299

Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Finestkind IPA

6.9% ABV

Pumpkin Ale

5.84% ABV

shipyard_brewing

Shipyard Brewing Co.

Smashed Pumpkin

9% ABV

Pumpkinhead

4.7% ABV

Monkey Fist IPA

6.9% ABV

longtrail-150x158

Long Trail Brewing Co.

Black Rye IPA

6.0% ABV

Blackbeary Wheat

4.0% ABV

Sam Adams Logo

Samuel Adams

Octoberfest

5.3% ABV

Harvest Pumpkin

5.7% ABV

Black Lager

4.9% ABV

Hazel Brown

5.2% ABV

Peak Logo 3

Peak Organic Brewing Company

Peak Fresh Cut Pilsner

4.7% ABV

Peak Fall Summit

5.7% ABV

Peak Pom Wheat

5.9% ABV

Peak Espresso Amber Ale

7% ABV

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Narragansett Beer

Narragansett Fest

5.5% ABV

Narragansett Lager

5.0% ABV

Millys-Tavern-150x75 (1)

Milly’s Tavern

Imperial IPA

7.2% ABV

Pumpkin

5.0%ABV

Bo’s Scotch Ale

9.5% ABV

Oatmeal Stout

4.9%ABV

lagunitas

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale

7.5% AbV

IPA

6.2% ABV

Harpoon-Brewery

Harpoon Brewery

Octoberfest

5.3%ABV

UFO Pumpkin

5.9% ABV

Great Rhythm Brewing Company

Great Rhythm Brewing Co.

Resonation Pale Ale

5.2% ABV

Blue Lobster

Blue Lobster Brewing Company

Red Door-Painted Black

7.0%ABV

Town Called Earth Exeter Edition

8.3%ABV

Lunatique Homard

8.4%ABV

Feeling thirsty and want to join the festivities? Buy tickets here!  I am very excited to try some of the beers that I have seen or heard of, but haven’t tried, as well as beers that are new to me!

Each full ticket includes a Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Fest souvenir tasting glass, 8 beer sample tickets, 5 chili sample tickets and live entertainment

Full Ticket $35.00

Designated Driver Ticket $12.00

Youth Ticket $12.00