Tag Archives: maine

Scenes from an Allagash Brewery Tour in Portland, Maine

Yesterday I spent the day in Portland, Maine, hitting up various beer nerd spots, including Allagash Brewing Co., where I took part in a tasting and a brewery tour.

If you’re ever in the Portland area, I definitely recommend a stop at Allagash. Even if you’ve never been to Maine and/or don’t plan on visiting any time soon, the following images give you an idea of what you’d see during a tour of one of New England’s, and America’s, best and most creative Belgian-inspired breweries.

The entrance to Allagash' brewery on a rainy day in Portland, ME

image

image

Allagash Coolship Cerise and FV13 sour ale for sale in the retail store. Coolship bottles are only sold at the Allagash Brewery.

image

Allagash beer and tshirts for sale in the retail store

image

image

image

image

Allagash brewing and fermenting tanks

image

image

Mini kegs of Allagash’s rare Coolship Resurgam in the barrel-aging room

image

image

image

image

UBN

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Maine Breweries That Should be on Your Radar

State of Maine Map

Earlier this month, I hopped a train from Boston to Portland, Maine for Portland Beer Week. And I quickly realized that Portland is not only a beautiful city on the Atlantic ocean, but it has an amazing craft beer scene. Portland and the entire state of Maine are home to a handful of world-class breweries and beer bars.

Here’s a list of five Maine breweries you should be aware of, two of which you’ve probably heard of and three you’ll very likely be hearing more about in the not-too-distant future.

1) Allagash Brewing Co.

Allagash Brewing Co. Dubble Ale

Portland-based Allagash is already well known, thanks to its top-notch Belgian-style white ale, which is available throughout the United States. In fact, many folks outside of New England simply call that white ale “Allagash,” and they’re not aware that the brewery also makes a number of additional high-quality Belgian styles. (I’m partial to its Confluence wild ale and Hugh Malone Belgian IPA.) Read more about Allagash on the brewery’s website.

2) Maine Beer Co.

Maine Beer Company's Lunch IPA

Maine Brewing Company, also based in Portland, is the Maine brewery that I’m most impressed with. I’ve been drinking Maine Beer Co. brews for a couple of years now, and I’ve never met one I did not like. I would be very surprised if the popularity of this small, humble Maine brewery—with the motto, “Do what’s right”—doesn’t spread like wild fire through the United States and beyond. Maine Beer’s Lunch IPA is one of the best IPAs I have ever had. (Read my review of Lunch here.) Learn more about Maine Beer Co. on the brewer’s website.

3) Oxbow Brewing Co.

Oxbow Brewing Co. goblet glass

Oxbow Brewing Co. in New Castle, Maine, calls itself an American farmhouse brewery that makes “loud beer from a quite place.” I attended an Oxbow tap takeover at Novare Res Bier Cafe during Portland Beer Week, and I was very impressed with the range and quality of the brews. I had a fantastic IPA with tropical-citrus flavors and Brettanomyces called Funkhaus, and another solid IPA called Freestyle No. 8, both of which were complex and unique. Learn more about Oxbow Brewing Co. on the brewer’s website.

4) Bull Jagger Brewing Co.

Bull Jagger Brewing Co. logo

Bull Jagger is a newcomer to the Portland, Maine beer scene, but it’s quickly making a name for itself with some solid lagers and other noteworthy brews, including a fantastic porter, called Baltic Porter No. 19. I also attended a Bull Jagger tap takeover during Portland Beer Week, and I was very impressed with a tart, strawberry infused limited-release lager called WILD BJ. Visit the brewer’s website for more information.

5) Shipyard Brewing Co.

The Shipyard Brewing Co.

You’ve very likely heard of Portland’s Shipyard Brewing Co., makers of the insanely popular fall seasonal Pumpkinhead ale. (FWIW, I hate pumpkin beers; here’s why.) Shipyard also brews an export lager that’s widely distributed across the United States. I visited Shipyard’s brewery while in Portland, and as a New Englander, I’ve been drinking Shipyard brews for years. My favorite is probably its Monkey Fist IPA. For more on Shipyard Brewing Co., visit the brewer’s website.

(Honorable mentions: Baxter Brewing Co.; D.L Geary Brewing Company; and Rising Tide Brewing Co.)

UBN

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maine Beer Company Picks Plastic Over Paper, New Labels Lack Luster

Maine Beer Company bottles

I’ve written about the importance of packaging and branding in the craft beer world a couple of times in this blog. In an increasingly competitive market where hundreds, even thousands, of bottles are placed next to each other on packed store shelves, unique, creative and visually-appealing labels and bottle design can help certain beers and breweries stand out and, in turn, sell more beers.

The Maine Beer Company’s bottles and label designs immediately grabbed my eye the first time I saw them about a year ago. The dark-glass, 1 pint, 9 fluid-ounce bottles are tall, thin and smooth, and they feature elegant and simple white labels. Until very recently, those labels were made of thick, rough bond-like paper that was slightly rigid around its edges, as if it had been torn by hand. Unfortunately, the company recently switched to the slick, standard—and somewhat “cheap”-feeling—plastic labels found on many craft-beer bottles today.

The labels still feature the same clean and simple design, but something was lost when the company switched from paper to plastic.

If you live outside of New England, chances are you’re not familiar with the brewing company or their bottles. That’s too bad because the Maine Beer Co. makes some genuinely wonderful brews, and from a bottle/label-design perspective, Maine Beer really stands out. Or it did.

I’m not going to stop buying Maine Beer brews, because the quality of the beer is more important than bottle design, after all, and I haven’t noticed any decline in beer quality. But Maine Beer already hooked me, and I picked up my first Maine bottle due largely to the look and feel of its bottles. I’m sure Maine Beer Co. decided to ditch the paper labels for cost-cutting reasons. But the plastic labels may not inspire the next potential Maine Beer customer to pick up that first bottle in the same way the paper labels helped to draw me in.

Check out the video clip below for more information on Maine Beer Company.

UBN

(Image credit: Jared McKenna on Flickr)

Tagged , , , , , ,