Barreled Souls, Saco, ME

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We visited Barreled Souls in the late summer. They are located in Saco, ME and as the name suggests, they make all barrel fermented beer.

 

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The entrance is around back, in the basement level. It was a little dark in there, nice atmosphere, but due to this, not all of our pictures came out that great. The have an outdoor area where you can sit in the nice weather.

 

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Of course they have lots of cool furniture made from old barrels.

 

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Our tasting:
Tequila Barrel Aged Space Gose
– 5.6%
A slight tartness up front, then tequila flavor takes over. It is light in body and tastes like a tequila beer, we liked it!

 

MEmosa – 5.8%
Flavorful for what is described as a ‘light, clean blonde ale’. A little citrus up front with a hoppy finish. Light, refreshing and bubbly.

 

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Quaker State with Chocolate and Orange – 6.8%
Aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels, you get some chocolate flavors, a little citrus, then the bourbon flavor takes over. An interesting combo, and well done, definitely a heavy barrel aged beer, but tasty.

 

Mocha Grande – 7.5%
Megan says ‘It’s coffee’. It tastes more like coffee than beer, certainly does not taste like 7.5%. Megan liked it better than Mark. It is a ‘brown ale with french roast coffee and a nutty, malty finish’.

 

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Munro – 9.7%
Labeled as a ‘strong scotch ale’. Very tasty, they described it best, ‘rich malt flavors, reminiscent of dark caramel, fig jam, and a light smoke’. Yup, rich, dark tasty with a hint of fruit.

 

Big Boy – 11.9%
This is a ‘barleywine with toffee malt flavors’. Mark is not a big fan of barley wines, so it was just ok, not our style but figured we would give it a shot.

 

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They also had a home brew competition running while we were there, you could taste and vote on the best home brew. We did not end up trying these, but that is cool that they do that for those who are local.

It seems like they have a rotating tap list, so there is always something new and different on. We liked most of the beers and can certainly see ourselves going back another time.

 

Hours

Wednesday and Thursday: 4:00 – 10:00
Friday: 4:00 – 12:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 12:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 8:00

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Deciduous Brewing Company, Newmarket, NH

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Deciduous Brewing Company opened in mid August of 2015. They are a ‘constantly striving, boutique brewery’ in Newmarket, NH. The brewery is co owned by Frank Zagami, his wife Maryann, and David Sakolsky. David is the head brewer at Deciduous, and formerly the head brewer at Blue Lobster.

 

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They do 4 oz tasters for $1.50 each, we tried all the beers they had on tap. While we were there, they had 3 beers in bottles that were unfortunately not available to taste.

 

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Aggregation – 2.4%

Gose – 60% white wheat
A little tartness, really light in body. The addition of salt gives it a dry mouthfeel.

 

Arose – 4.8%
A strong smell of hops, well balanced. Hop and malt flavors, not overly hoppy or bitter, their take on a house pale ale or table beer.

 

Cumulation – 4.5%
Dry hopped ‘imperial’ gose
Tart, light in body, Megan tasted the salt on her tongue, had a dry finish.

 

Auroral – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with blood oranges and lychee fruit
Really tart, a sweeter sour flavor. Megan said it was like a sweet tart. This was a very good sour beer.

 

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Lambent – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with raspberries and passion fruit
Tastes less tart than the Auroral, more fruit flavor with a hint of tartness. Megan said it was juicy.

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Jack O Lambent – 4.5%
Roasted pumpkins with toasted pumpkin seeds from Coppal House Farms in Lee, NH
Slight tartness, toasted pumpkin seeds are the main flavor, with a dry unexplainable finish, does not finish tart.

 

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Agricultural – 6.3%
Dry hopped wheat IPA
Melon flavored hop taste, light to medium body, bitter and piney finish. Not either of our favorites.

 

Phenotype – 5.8%
Dry hopped IPA
Smells of tropical fruit hops at first. Had a tropical hop flavor with a bitter finish. Bitterness takes over as the main flavor and kind of over powers the good hop flavors.

 

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Epiphyte – 8%
DIPA
More of a malty style DIPA, heavier body and flavor, a touch sweet, slightly bitter finish.

 

Renascence – 8.1%
Multi grain porter, rye and peat smoke malts
Smokey porter, pretty tasty, we liked it.

 

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Introspection – 10.3%
A 100% Brett fermented Russian Imperial Stout.

We decided to buy the Introspection bottle, even though we couldn’t sample it. It was very tasty, we shared it with friends who like RIS’s and they really liked it as well.

 

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They do a lot of interesting styles of beer, which seems like where their strength is. The IPA’s Mark was not a big fan of, but the Gose and Berliner style beers and the Introspection were really good.

 

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They have a pretty decent sized tasting room. It wasn’t too crowded when we were there, we showed up right at 12:00 when they opened on a snowy Saturday. Shortly after, people began to stream in.

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They are located in a small strip mall across from the Mill in downtown Newmarket. We went to Panzanellas’s after sampling to eat. The moved into the newly constructed strip mall to double thier space, they have been opened in Newmarket for 13 years.

 

Current Hours

Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Friday 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check Facebook for their most up to date info and hours.

 

Banded Horn Brewing Company, Biddeford, ME

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We visited Banded Horn Brewing Company on a recent Sunday afternoon. They are located in Biddeford, ME in the 150 year old Pepperrell Mill complex.

From their website: No matter the style, no matter the strength or the flair, the best beers share one common virtue: balance. At Banded Horn Brewing Co. we strive for a harmony of flavors with each brew, from traditional styles to cutting-edge beers that defy classification.

 

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Pepperell Pilsner – 4.6%
German style pilsner. A light pilsner, ok taste, did have some flavor, neither of us are fans of this style of beer.

 

Veridian American IPA – 6%
Light in body, hop flavor but no bite, more of a citrusy hops aftertaste, with a touch of piney taste.

 

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Norweald American Stout – 6.5%
Good stout, robust flavor, not overly dry, good balance of flavors, nothing overpowering.

 

Jolly Woodsman – 7.5%
Coffee taste, decently heavy stout, good overall flavor. Strong coffee taste, not bitter, made with cold brewed espresso. A special blend of Norweald Stou and Mountain Stout.

 

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Eldir – 5%
A rauchbier, smoked lager. Light in body, smoky flavor. After just several sips from the taster glass, smoky flavor dissipates, leaving just a dryish taste.

 

Banded Souls DIPA – collaboration with Barrelled Souls
A slightly heavier IPA, a touch piney, not as much as the Viridian. It was dry hopped with lime zest, which we think cuts the hoppy flavor.

 

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Barchen – 2.9%
A berliner weiss, sour up front, really really light in body, sour and citrusy. Megan was hoping for a little bit  more sour, but overall a pretty good sour beer.

 

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They had The Jolly Woodsman in a 4 pack of bottles, which we bought, and Veridian in 6 pack of bottles.

 

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They have some extra open space, and fooseball table, corn hole, and a ping pong table set up for visitors to use.

 

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Want to visit? Hours are ….

Wednesday and Thursday 4 – 8pm

Friday 4 – 10pm

Saturday 1 – 9pm

Sunday 2 – 6pm

 

 

 

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.

Schilling Beer Company, Littleton, NH

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While visiting our friends Jamie and Andrew, we took the drive to Schilling Beer Company. Andrew recommended we go here. He said they have really good pizza and some quality beers. We have to agree. They are located in Littleton, NH which is about 20 miles north of the Lincoln/Woodstock/Loon Mountain area.

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From their website: “Schilling Beer Co. is a family-owned artisan microbrewery centered on the values of family, community and excellence. These values are reflected in the three united grain heads that comprise our logo.

Schilling is the embodiment of a dream for four brothers and Dad, who left professions and moved across continents to link up in the North Country to brew together. The name “Schilling” honors our grandfather, Dr. Richard J. Schilling (his picture hangs near the bar), and also reflects the continental European influences on the brewing.

We brew Schilling beers on a custom 5-barrel wirelessly controlled brewhouse here, in the oldest commercial building north of Concord, NH – a renovated gristmill dating to 1797.”

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outside seating- a bit too cold now! Love that they have it- maybe next time!

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let’s head on in!

It’s hard to describe these beers without using the term ‘Belgian style’ or ‘ Belgian taste’ in the description. Most of the beers have that as a taste with some extra flavoring or style in it. This is in part due to their European influences and experiences.

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 Our Tasting:

Erastus – Abbey-style Tripel – 8%
A heavy ‘blue moon’ flavor, a little earthy, Belgian flowers.

Foy – Belgian-style IPA – 5.9%
Andrew said it had the hoppy taste of an IPA, but not overpowering. We agree, almost like a toned down IPA with some Belgian flavors, you get both. Jamie got a little citrus fruit taste.

Trapu – Belgian-style Dark Ale – 6%
Smooth. Chocolate and light coffee notes, on the verge of a ‘cask strength’ flavor.

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Blonde Grisette – Belgian-style Saison – 5.5%
A tiny bit fruity and a little earthy, light beer. Andrew agree’s.

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Jamie enjoying her beers

Pater – Abbey-style Single – 4.8%
Spiced rather than hopped. Light, Belgian session beer, not super flavorful.

Grotius – Abbey-style Dubbel – 6.3%
Belgian style with a darker, malty taste with a little bit of ‘dark fruit aroma’s’, their term but we agree.

Resistance – Belgian-style Saison – 6.3%
An earthy saison.

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Dr. Oovert – Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale – 9.1%
Strong flavor, good taste. The description said ‘dark fruit and caramel’, we agree, fruity but a heavy taste. Andrew agree’s there were a ‘multitude of dark fruit flavors’, got stronger and more flavorful as you drank. Megan did not like this beer.

Le Nain – Biere blanche – 6%
50% wheat, cloudy, flavorful, a medium silky mouth feeling. German and American hops.

Schilling ‘Sticke’ Collaboration with White Birch – Wheat Ale – 5.5%
Fruity notes, smooth wheat ale. Megan said it was what she expected from White Birch.

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downstairs, bar area great atmosphere
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seating area at the top of the – love the look!

 Time to eat!

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Maple Bacon Pizza- AMAZING!

Yes, maple syrup, bacon, chicken and apples. Sweet and savory. This was a special, and it was everyone’s favorite. A slightly odd combination that really works.

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Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Good amount of spice, really good pizza

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Loaded Pizza

This pizza was good, but overshadowed by the other 2 because they were so good. Plenty of sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers.

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Megan being …… an owl?

Jeff Cozzens, CEO, runs the place with his brothers. Very approachable, and was seen interacting with all customers, not just us. He was a great guy, and spoke with us and others about the beers, and how they came to be.

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Meg, Mark, Andrew & Jamie

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Want to visit?

Upcoming Beer and Wine Events through June

March 21-22: Beer Advocates Extreme Beer Fest, Seaport World Trade Center, Boston MA

250+ beers. The “Ultimate Throw-down of Craft Beer Creativity.”  http://beeradvocate.com/ebf/

April 5-6: Drink Craft Beer SpringFest- A Celebration of Hops. Boston, MA

April 19: Austin Liquors Annual Spring into Summer Beer Event, Shrewsbury MA

May 3: Luke’s Liquors Spring Wine Tasting, Rockland MA

May 30-31: American Craft Beer Fest, Seaport World Trade Center, Boston MA

June 28: 2nd Annual Cape Cod Food and Wine Festival, Falmouth MA
Cape Cod Fairgrounds, 21+ only

Are you going to any of these? Let us know! We’d love to hear about it!

Want your event added? Let us know!

Newburyport Brewing Company, Newburyport, Mass- visit 41

Newburyport Brewing Company, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts has been open since 2012. It was the idea of Chris Webb & Bill Fisher, locals who like beer and great music. It is located in an industrial park and is fairly easy to find. The outside of the building is very distinctive.

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Their tasting room is more than just a tasting room- you get the feeling that it is a place to go and hangout. Bill and Chris’s 8-piece funk band plays there, as well as other local bands. You can go in and have a tasting, or a pint. It is a nice, big room with a twelve seat bar, and two-twelve seat tables as well as a Foosball table, as well as plenty of space for their live music.

 

Our tasting:

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The Signature Beers

Plum Island Belgian White: good, citrus-y, with coriander. Unfiltered witbier. 5.4% alc

Newburyport Pale Ale: hoppier than a typical pale ale… almost an IPA. Slightly citrus-y with a light toasted sweet malt finish. I wasn’t feeling the hoppiness when we went- just one of those days. Mark enjoyed the hoppiness 5.5% alc

GreenHead IPA: a West Coast style IPA. Almost a double IPA 7.2% alc

On Rotation at the Time

Double IPA: almost has a candy/chocolaty/sweet caramel feel

Joppa Stout (1635): great mocha smell. Easy to drink stout. We went home with a growler of this

Mark enjoyed all of the beers, with the Plum Island Belgian White being his favorite. He enjoyed the Double IPA for the different flavor, but wasn’t sure how much he would be able to drink. Mark didn’t have a beer he disliked. I, on the other hand, was not in the hoppy mood.

The brewery only cans and kegs and started distributing about 8 months ago. They choose to use aluminum cans instead of glass bottles, for many reasons. Aluminum keeps the beer cooler longer, and can naturally protect beer from light and oxygen. Aluminum is more likely to be recycled than glass, and is easier to do so. 

The tastings are free (which is great for the amount that you get!!), and once you find one you enjoy you are encouraged to buy a pint and hang out. It is a very welcoming place and we would love to go back.

Oh, one other thing. They have really cute sweatshirts- with their logo as seen on the building. The last of the women’s sweatshirt, with the small logo across the front was purchased while we were there. It was cute, and didn’t scream BEER unless you were in the know 🙂 If we are able to go there again, one of those zippered sweatshirts will be going home with me.

Want to visit? 
Hours:
Thursday & Friday: 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tours: Fri & Sat at 5:00pm