So Okay, I realize I have not written in ummmm a year and a halfish. I can’t say it is because I haven’t been trying beers it is 100% because I am a lazy ass.
So what to write about.
Marsh Island in Orono released a sour yesterday, and in true Clay Randal form it did not disappoint. That guy can brew. It was very sour, which is how I like my sours. Flavor not funk.
So I have to say New Brunswick has been impressing me with their beer. A few weeks ago we went to Prince Edward Island (and hit all 3 breweries on the island) but the brewery to write home about was in Moncton. Pumphouse brewery had some amazing beers and there wasn’t one I didn’t like. They had just put the Raspberry wheat on tap and the blueberry ale was really good, but the most unique was the Crafty Radler. It is a Shandy mixed with a grapefruit/ tangerine soda that they make there and it is like drinking a soda with 4.7% alcohol. I got a 4 pack to bring home and it is even more soda like from the can.
It’s crazy I haven’t blogged because I have had so many good beers this year. I went to California and went to Coachella Brewing, Ritual Brewing, and Hanger 24. Amazing West Coast IPAs. Ritual and Hanger didn’t have bars though so I ended up sitting by myself, which defeats the purpose of going to the bar. I like to talk to the bartenders and meet people.
The beer industry is growing at what seems like an exponential rate. New breweries are popping up all over. I went to the new Machias River Brewing last weekend and for a new brewery in East bum fuck Maine (I’m from that area I am allowed to say that) they are off to a great start. I wished they had more of a brewery feel instead of a bar, but the beer was good and the food was even better.
Okay enough rambling, I am going to leave you with this History of Maine Beer I created using ArcGIS. Enjoy.
PS Stay tuned I am going to try to post more.
I’ve been drinking beer since 1999 (not good beer but beer… good beer came along for me in 2004). I don’t know if I should admit that I have been drinking that long but I am sure the statute of limitations on underaged drinking has expired by now so I am probably okay. I was a beer die champ in college. I could drink with the boys, I could plunk with the boys (I will admit I couldn’t catch to save my life though.) I could rival any guy but I was never accepted as one of the guys nor did I fit in with the girls. I remember the guys had girls come over and the girls were allowed to play with kool aid or soda and I was always like WTF!
So here I am 16 years later and really nothing has changed, I still don’t fit in with most of the girls and I still am not one of the guys. I’m okay with it but I think it goes along with the plight of the craft beer girl. Let me explain this further.
Lets talk about gender stereotypes and beer. When you watch TV who are the beer ads aimed at? I’ll give you a hint they have a penis. Even though the stats say that females make up 37% of craft brew consumption by volume and 25% of all beer consumption (Dr. Bart Watson). There are also a handful of successful women in the beer industry in Maine and around the country, but predominately it is men who dominate the industry.
When I have been at homebrew competitions and my husband was watching the baby , I have had people comment on the role reversal. Really people? Why is it so shocking that I brew beer and my husband watches the baby? Because that is the stereotype. And I don’t know how many times I have been out to eat and asked about the beers on the menu and had them “mansplained” to me. I even had someone at a Brew Pub in DC explain to me that I had ordered a dark beer not a light beer….. uhhhh yeah I know dude.
All this being said I love brew festivals, but I have a hard time supporting the Bearded Brewfest. I know it is to promote mens health, but why men? You’re not seeing Tampax sponsoring a brewfest marketed to women (Tambrands call me lets do this) or the Save the Tatas brewfest (that would just turn into Boobfest for the dudes I am sure), but my point is why market just to the men?? Baxter brewing had a woman’s night with girlie snacks and all pink stuff…. what the hell is a girlie snack????? And why pink (don’t get me wrong I love me some pink and Magic Hat’s Wacko was one of my favorite beers… BRING IT BACK!). Why are we genderfying (I might have made up this word) beer? I understand some of you brew guys have killer beers , but why do beards say beer?
It is a clash of cultures per say. Men vs. Women. Let’s try to wipe that out. How do we do it? How about market to people not just men or women. How about if someone orders a barleywine assume they wanted a barleywine, not wine because they are a girl. How about you treat you female bartenders like they know something about beer and not like a piece of ass. Or how about we all celebrate beer together and not leave out an entire customer base because they are a specific gender. I understand that the bearded brewfest can be attended by all but I still see it as placing a gender on beer. Lets all enjoy the nectar of the gods. Beer does not discriminate neither should the festivals that allow us to enjoy them.
Over February vacation the husband and I took a trip up near Montreal with the intention of purchasing a car. Now let me tell you the process of buying a car in another country isn’t all that easy. Long story short we had to take the long way though Burlington, VT due to loan issues (after being approved the bank couldn’t issue a car loan on a Canadian title). After getting all that straightened out we were late getting to the dealership and didn’t get to test drive the car until the next day.
We went out to eat at a local pub and I was disappointed they did not have a lot of local brews to choose from. We got some Unibroue since it was the only local beer on the menu. The kid who waited on us spoke pretty good English and asked us where we were from. We told him Maine and he asked if that was near Colorado…. ummmmm no (and I thought my students geography was off).
The next day we went back to test drive the MDX and while we were waiting for all the paperwork to go though we went around the corner to brasserie du Monde. When we went in the receptionist did not speak English and did not seem overly impressed that we did not speak French. She went out back and got someone who spoke English. We didn’t get to tour or taste but he described every beer they had to us. Brasserie du Monde translates to beer of the world and they make their beer in an old world style. The have many experimental beers such as Ice Porters and ones fermented without yeast. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes and even if it comes out a bit funky will still sell it because there are bound to be people who like it.
Although I didn’t get to taste it there I still came back across the border with a case… and a new (to me) Acura MDX. I haven’t been disappointed yet with any of the beers I have tried although I’m not good with their French names. The squirrel one and the hop grenade one are good. I was thinking the bee one would be sweeter than it was but it was still very drinkable.
I hope to get up that way again and try out some other brews. It was a bummer this was the only brewery we got to enjoy on this trip.
Happy New Year! Hope you all had a great New Year! New Year is a time for New beer!
I didn’t go out for NYE. Getting older and having a kid makes it not as desirable. Orono brewing Company was having their 1 year anniversary and I heard it was a great time! Congrats to Asa, Abe, and Heather for a year of success and great beer. I did go over on New Years Day however to check out the Ghost White Stout. When it is poured it does not look like a stout but when you drink it it tastes like a coffee stout. Really good! It reminded me of an Iced Coffee stout I had at the homebrew fest last summer (brewed by Jared Lambert).
On Saturday we went for a road trip. The plan was to go to Sommerville Brewing and Night Shift down in the Boston area. We made it to both but not without a detour at Smuttynose.
We were hungry and Smuttynose has a restaurant beside it so we decided to go and check out the brewery as well. The brewery is in a beautifully restored barn in Hampton, NH and the restaurant is a restored house.
The brewhouse is an 85.2 Barrel system made in Munich for them. I didn’t realize how big Smuttynose is. After the tour we did a tasting. I tried the Pumkin Ale, Peach Short Weisee, Smistletoe, Finest Kind IPA, and The Bouncehouse IPA. The IPAs were really good as was the pumpkin. The peach was different but I though it was okay, smokey and sour don’t really seem to go together but in this case it worked. I didn’t like the Smistletoe, it had way to much going on.
After leaving Smuttynose we headed South to Massachuttes to check out Sommerville Brewing Company also called Slumbrew. It was very different from what I expected. There taproom was more like a bar than a brewery tap room. It was dark and loud and very busy. The brewery itself was very small. The beer was AWESOME though. We tried the Gose Resolution which is a hibiscus sour with sea salt and citrus. This was the best sour I think I have ever had. Next we had the Naked Hopularity with is a black IPA. and one of the best black IPA’s I’ve had. The Happy Sol is a blood orange hef which was good and the Attic and Eaves which was a toasted brown ale and one of my favorites of the day. We ended the day with a quick bottle and can pick up at the new Night Shift brewery. We would have spent some time there but we had the baby with us. I had been to the old brewery (it was small and in a very sketchy warehouse). The new facility is much bigger and it was VERY busy. They have a room with corn hole and arcade games and the large tap room. I got a bottle of Mainerweisse, a 4 pack of Whirlpool, and a 4 pack of Santilli.
It was a fun road trip to start off the new year.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We definitely did! My sister came home from West Virginia with a stash of Flying Dog for me. She works in Frederick, MD which is where their brewery is located.
Some Naughty and Nice and a growler full of Cranberry IPA! I haven’t opened the Naughty or Nice yet but the Cranberry IPA is really good, almost like a sour but not so bitter.
The day after Christmas we took a ride to Lubec to check out Lubec brewing company and take some lighthouse pictures. Lubec is the most Eastern town in the US and the first place in America to see the light of day. The brewery is downtown and if you miss your turn you are headed to Campobello, New Brunswick.
The Brewery is a cute facility with picnic tables and a sitting area as well as the bar. There were a few locals around enjoying a drink. The bartender Julie got us our drinks and took us out back to see the small brewery.
I enjoyed all their beers. The Quoddy Head Red was really good as was the Bailey’s Mistake Dark. The Dark ale was a lot lighter in taste than I thought it would be. The Johnson’s Bay IPA was a good IPA with a bitter bite at the end. Really nice place. They said they are outgrowing their brewing capacity already and they have only been open since May.
This make me really want to open one in Calais. I looked at the outside of the Sarsaparilla Building again. It would be perfect but the building needs a lot of work.
It was a great trip home for the holidays. We got to Quoddy Head light house at Sunset so I’ll end this post with that. Hope you all had a great holiday. See you in the New Year.
While browsing facebook this morning I came across a post from Picaroon’s Ales in Fredricton, NB about their Christmas beers. They have teamed up with Ganong Bros. Candy for some of their flavors… one being Chicken Bone! Ahhhhh
Okay your all thinking I’m weird right now… Chicken Bone Porter sounds disgusting. They are not actually chicken bones. They are candy with Chocolate and cinnamon in them and they are soooo good.
Growing up on the Canadian border I grew up with Ganong’s candy. I even got to tour the plant in St. Stephen when I was 18 as part of the Miss International Festival Pageant. (Yes I was in a beauty pageant… it was a one time thing to get a scholarship and I told a girl to shove a high heal up her arse at the end of the process, but the candy factory tour was so worth it.)
I went to Picaroon’s this past summer and they have some really good brews. The Simeon Jones, The Dark and Stormy Night, The Yippee IPA. The only problem I have is that it is unclear how much you can bring back across the border. The rules are determined for if you stay in the country for 24 hours but it doesn’t say anything about a day trip. Their brewtique isn’t really set up like a tasting room it’s more a place to go and buy beer you already know you want. We told the girl we didn’t know what we wanted because we had never had their beer before and she let us try it but the girl couldn’t really tell me much about the beers. The set up was really nice though. She did tell us that 3 years ago they were the only brewery in Fredericton and now there are 5 in that area, including Grimross which I got to try and is really good.
Now I want to go back and get these Christmas beers but I don’t get out of work until the 23rd. 😦 I really want to try The Gingerbread aleHouse, The Snowman’s Best Friend, The Grinch, and The Chicken Bone Porter. Maybe this is what I will be doing for Boxing Day if they are still on tap.
If anyone can find out how much beer I can bring back please post in the comments.
Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Enjoy the Solstice, and whatever Holiday you may celebrate
It’s the big 35 guys and that means some beer fun.
I started the birthday festivities at Winterport Winery/ Penobscot Bay Brewery for Paint Night. G and I went down and of course we enjoyed the beer while we painted. I had a Mountain Man and a Wildfire Rauchbier. I was impressed with how the paintings came out.
G and I also took a road trip to go to Baxter. She had never been there before and it had been a while for me. We got there a little early so we had a drink at Fishbones first. Then we went over. Our tour guide Julia was great. We told her we brewed and that G works at OBC so she didn’t give us the traditional how beer is brewed tour, we learned more about the company itself. I was really impressed that in 5 years Baxter has become the 3rd biggest brewery in Maine behind Allagash and Shipyard. We got to see where they brew their small batches and it’s no more than a 10 gallon homebrew system, which I thought was really cool. I had their Smoked IPA small batch and it was really good.
Starting a brewery is a great dream but it takes a lot of work. One of the newest breweries opening up in Maine can attest to this. Bear Bones brewing is located on Lisbon St. in Lewiston and they are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel to the starting your own brewery process. After having to move locations and failed crowd sourcing this brewery is about ready to be fully operational! The two brewers, Eben and Adam gave us the tour of their new tasting room and small brewery and let us try their Double Cream Ale (very good). They are not completely open yet, but I look forward to going back when they are fully operational. The tap room is beautiful! Good luck guys and thanks for letting us in!