Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day Two Report Part 1

Our second day of Beer Tour was a slow meander up the Maine coast. We land first in Kennebunk at the Federal Jack's Brewery at 11am.

Oddly the power went out just before we got there and the staff apologized they wouldn't be able to cook anything. "That's okay: we're just here for the beer!" we replied. So no problem, we got seated and delivered two orders of the sampler. Oddly most of the beer was from Shipyard Brewery. Chris dutifully took notes of all our tastings. Favorites of the group were the Brown Ale and Chamberlain. I loved the taste of the 'Taint Town a British bitter. (Read the story of Taint Town here.) Taint town unfortunately was the only beer not sold in the gift shop; it was only available in the bar.

Next stop was Biddeford-Saco. On an island between the two towns is a charming repurposed industrial complex with the Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery.

This was my favorite brewpub on the trip. A dark interior with rustic wood everywhere, the big windows opened up to the water. The food was amazing. The cooks weren't thrown off by my request for a reuben vegi burger. The beer was cleverly named: Alewife Ale, Bug Lager, Smelt Camp Strong Ale, Impact Pale Ale, and Cassk Kickin IPA. Folks were fans of the Alewife Ale and Tarbox Cream Stout.

Our trick to making friends everywhere was to announce that we were on a beer tour. The staff were all helpful in making suggestions for our next stop and we learned a bit about the politics and economics of breweries in Maine. Apparently the 'cute and local' Shipyard owned a lot of the breweries we were planning on visiting. Whenever a brewery wasn't doing too well Shipyard would buy it up. Or if a brewery grew past it's capacity they'd give their recipe to Shipyard to brew.

Well, there went our quaint little brewery fantasy. Turns out Shipyard owns Seadog, Casco Bay and Kennebunk. (Later in their brewery we'll see Peak Organic boxes in their brewery too.)

After Saco it was just another hour to Portland. . .

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