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

Barrel House Z, Weymouth, MA

We visited Barrel House Z a little while back, for our 150th visit! We went with all of Megan’s sisters as well two significant others. We have actually been back again since our first visit.

 

They are located in an industrial park In Weymouth, MA not too far from Megan’s family. They use old barrels for decoration everywhere, outside, leading into the tap room, and all over the walls. They have a decent size patio area, but since our visit was in the winter time, we stayed indoors.

 

Barrel House Z is a fairly new brewery that focuses on small batch, and mostly barrel aged beers. The brewery is run by the original head brewer of Harpoon. They have a partnership with Harpoon that we’ll get into a little more later.

 

 

They have 5 oz, 10 oz, and 16 oz pours of most of their beers. Some of the higher ABV beers are not available for 16 oz pours. A few of the beers they had two options- either barrel aged or ITB, ‘in the buff’ (not barrel aged). Others were just one or the other.  We tried a variety of pours of most of the stuff available, all barrel aged versions when available.

 

Bamboozled By Hops – IPA     6%
Not much aroma, light in body and not very hoppy with and odd, bitter finish. Grassy and bitter, not great, not barrel aged.

 

 

Townie – Irish Ale     8.4%
Aged 1 month in Bully Boy Whiskey Barrels
Smells like whiskey, pretty boozy in flavor but that flavor is complimented well by the base beer. This was a good beer, a pretty perfect blending of flavors, better than Mark expected it to be, and he took some home.

 

Zelato – coffee stout     8.8%
Aged 10 months in Rum Barrel
Kind of thin for a barrel aged stout. It had a good amount of rum flavor that blended well with the coffee flavor. Mark thought the coffee was strong on the nose but subtle in the flavoring at first, the rum dominated at first but you tasted more coffee as you drank it.

 

 

Quaker State – american oatmeal stout     10%
Aged 10 months in Double Oak Bourbon Barrels
This seemed a little thin as well, boozy with a lot of bourbon and oak flavors.

 

Dustin enjoying his beers

 

Adeline – stout     8.8%
Aged 1 month in American Whiskey Barrels
A good stout with the right about of barrel aging character, this was everyone’s favorite stout, and Mark’s, he bought some of this as well.

 

 

Sunny & 79 – ginned pilsner     6.2%
Aged in Tequila Barrels
The tequila flavor dominates this beer, but in a good way, not overwhelming.

 

 

Jess got the Sunny Radler, the Sunny & 79 pilsner mixed with Spindrift sparkling lemon seltzer. Jess just thought it was ok, she’s not much of a beer drinker and didn’t want anything else. Mark thought it was decent for what it was, a Radler.

 

 

Macanadas – mac and cheese filled empanadas

 

Mark was curious about the brewery set up and just had to ask. They have a very small 2 barrel system to brew most of their beer on. They have some 5 barrel fermenters so they can double batch into those. They also have some 20 barrel fermenters that they use. Harpoon will brew up a batch of beer for them and ship it over so Barrel House Z can ferment it. That’s how they achieve some of the volume so they can distribute while still being able to make fun, small batch, one off beers.

 

Visit #150!

 

 

They have a pretty good sized tap room. A couple picnic tables on 1 side, a big long bar in the middle with several more big tables on the other side.

 

 

Hours

Wednesday – Friday 4:00 – 10:00
Saturday – 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday – 12:00 – 5:00

 

 

 

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

Garrison City Beerworks, Dover, NH

 

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Garrison City Beerworks is a new nanobrewery in Dover, NH. They opened in December of 2014. They operate on a 3 barrel system and make “batches of original, hop-forward beers, with a focus on uniqueness and quality over quantity.” We have heard a good buzz about this place, and they have not disappointed. We waited to finish writing this after a second visit, knowing we would be back again.

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First Visit Beers:

Citra – American Pale Ale – 5.1%
Smells fruity – citrusy and tropical, as well as hoppy. Citrus flavor forward taste, hoppy second taste, dry finish. Citrus flavor is balanced nicely by the hops, we both liked, Mark got a Crowler to go, more on that later.

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tasting paddle

Balefire – American IPA – 7%
Somewhat standard IPA taste, though a little more malty than hoppy, a hint of piney taste, fairly easy to drink. Hoppiness was not overbearing.

 

Tropic Rage – American Double IPA – 8.4%
Malty flavor, more robust than Balefire, Mark liked this better. Good balance of malty flavor and hops. Not what Megan was expecting from a DIPA, better taste and easier to drink than she anticipated.

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Crowbar – Porter – 5.8%
Dark color, chocolaty, slightly roasted taste, easy to drink. Easy to drink enjoyable.

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We came in and ordered at the bar, they told us we could take a seat and they would bring the sample trays over to us, which was nice. It was a good touch

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Megan sipping some Crowbar.

 

 

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The Crowler

 

The Crowler is in place of the traditional glass growler. It is a 32oz can that they will fill up for you, fresh that day. There is no charge for the Crowler and you just recycle it. This is refreshing, because at many breweries we visit, we have to buy a growler (can’t use another brewery’s growler due to the law), so to be able to leave without paying a deposit on the container…
They had a few they had filled up earlier when it was slow, so we didn’t get to see them fill it and seal the top on, but we know it was fresh that day.

 

Second Visit:

We had a similar experience the second time we visited. The service was good, people were nice and friendly, and the beers were good.

 

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Jenaya and Ryan

 

On this visit we brought our friends Ryan and Jenaya. They enjoyed trying all the beers that were on tap, as did we.

 

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full paddle!

 

 

They had 6 beers on tap this time, several different from our last trip.

 

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Enamored – 4.6%
Chocolatey, really good flavor with notes of coffee. This stout was somewhat light in body but good and flavorful. This was most people’s favorite.

 

Anomalous – 7.5%
Really good Double IPA, says Mark. In this new style of northern New England IPA’s, it is a bright and slightly fruity IPA with a low and bitterness but lots of hop flavor. Mark got a Crowler of it to go.

 

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Citra was on again as well, this seems like one of their flagship beers. Everyone enjoyed this beer, citrus and hoppy pale ale.

 

Mosaic – 5.1%
Hoppy, piney pale ale, a powerful taste. We enjoyed this, but not as much as some of the other beers, Megan was not a big fan. Exclusively dry hopped with Mosaic hops.

 

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Crowbar was on again as well. Everyone enjoyed this beer as well. Smooth and a bit roasty, fairly standard porter, not quite as flavorful as Enamored.

 

Balefire on again as well. Again, we all enjoyed this. Seemed slightly more favorable than Mosaic. Flavorful IPA, piney and hopped with Simcoe and Centennial.

 

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We generally liked all the beers. Mark is excited to have a place like this close by. Jenaya usually doesn’t like IPA’s, but she did like these. Ryan agreed none of the beers were terrible, quite a compliment from him.

 

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They have 3 tables that can seat 6 people and a bar that seats about 12.

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You can see some of the tanks and brewing equipment through the windows

 

 

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Shirts for sale

 

Update Spring 2016:

We have visited quite a few more times since this original post. The bad news is they have pretty much phased out the 32 oz Crowler can to go, which is too bad, Mark liked those. The good news is they have been canning all their beers in 16oz cans, so you can still get every beer they make to go in cans, 4 packs or single cans.

Their strong point seems to be their hop forward, New England style IPA’s. They are currently releasing a very delicious IPA called Daybreak about once a month that Mark highly recommends. Citra is still being released regularly and is still quite tasty and flavorful. They have released a bunch of other new beers that are all worth going in to sample.

There have been several limited bottle releases in the past year. Brett Raspbeerience was a sour ale brewed with raspberry’s and brett yeast, if you couldn’t tell from the name. A good, tart beer with a raspberry flavor and light body.

Nefarious was a flavorful and strong russian imperial stout, and Authenticity was a barrel aged saison fermented with wine yeast, we still have our bottle of this. They have several more specialty bottle releases planned for this year, with varying wild yeast strains and several different barrel aged beers set to be released.

 

Want to Visit?

Right now they are opened:

Thursday 4 -7

Friday and Saturday 12 -7

Check their facebook page for the most current hours