Why Go Apple Picking When You Can Go Apple Drinking?

I am one of those rare people that doesn’t like drinking pumpkin beers in the fall. For me, it’s all about the cider. If you’re in New England, it doesn’t get much better than Far From the Tree Cider in Salem, MA. This is the true definition of drinking local: local cider made with apples from local farms.

Other than beer fests, I had not had a cider from them but when we showed up, a half hour early because I don’t know how to check times, I was glad we did. From the second the doors opened, more and more people poured in and within a half hour of opening, there was not an empty space. Surrounded by spray painted walls and barrel seating everywhere, it’s a great place to come hang out with a group of friends. On warmer days, they have a front patio to relax in as well.

You think of cider and it’s hard to imagine many different variations, but Far From the Tree knocks it out of the park with their seven ciders on tap. Their driest cider, Roots, is where we kicked things off. Aged in Jim Beam barrels, this cider reminded me a little of champagne, I think because of the dryness. Scarecrow took that next step up where it was still dry but had an herby-like taste. Quasar was one of my favorites. Before even tasting it you could smell the hops. Smelled as if I was about to have a beer. This dry hopped cider was amazing!

Getting into the Halloween mood, Purple People Eater was definitely the most intriguing. This cider was the perfect balance of flavors: from the basil to the sweetness of the blueberries and the tartness of the cherries. It was fantastic! This cider was as good as the name. Cord was probably the sweetest as it was flavored with maple syrup. Follow that with Ember and you have some very interesting flavors. This smokey vanilla chai cider was unlike any cider I had ever had. Finally rounding it all out with dessert, Karamel which was flavored with salted caramel. The flavors work just like a candied apple.

So whether you’re heading down to Salem to enjoy some Halloween festivities like I did, or looking for a little road trip, definitely stop by Far From the Tree Cider. Like their sign says, why go apple picking when you can go apple drinking?

About

Far From The Tree Cider
108 Jackson St
Salem, MA

Hours
Monday- Thursday 4p.m.-10p.m.
Friday/Saturday 12p.m.-11p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-10p.m.

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Takin’ It To The (Austin) Street

So  you’ve taken the tour at Allagash and stopped into Foundation Brewery for some tasters… what now? The third stop on this mini brewery crawl is hiding on the backside of Foundation: Austin Street Brewery. The first time I came to Allagash and Foundation, I missed Austin Street and kicked myself everyday watching their Instagrams. Their beer just looked SO good! This time, this was a must try.

Austin Street is a great stop, especially in the summer as it has the outdoor seating with giant Jenga. Hopefully, beers are the only things you’ll be knocking back.  Though, I usually knock it down soberly anyways. If you get lucky, one of Portland’s best food trucks will be parked outside on any given day.

Patina, the America Pale Ale, was a light, crisp beer that anyone could enjoy. It’s a little hoppy but nothing compared to the DDH Patina. As the name suggests, it’s the double hopped version of the  tame Patina. This was one of the hoppiest beers that I have ever had. Good, but don’t think I  could have a couple of them in a sitting. The Florens reminded me of one of my newest favorite beers, Allagash’s Little Brett. Made with similar Mosaic hops, this brew has a bite and a little spice. Full of flavor!

My idea of a great Saturday, or Sunday Funday, is doing this little brewery crawl down Industrial Way then heading into town. Don’t make the same mistake I did the first time; don’t forget Austin Street Brewery! It may be small, but their beers are top-notch. As there weren’t many options on tap, I’m excited to go back and taste what else Austin Street is brewing!

About

Austin Street Brewery
1 Industrial Way, Suite 8
Portland, ME

Hours
Thursday 3p.m.-7p.m.
Friday, Saturday 12p.m.-7p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-5p.m.

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Bissell While You Work

Bissell Brothers, in Portland, Maine, has been at the top of my brewery bucket list for quite some time now. So, heading into the brewery I started with very high expectations. They were far exceeded, let me tell you.

Located in Portland’s new summer hot spot, Thompson Point, Bissell was packed with people hanging out front on the patios near the food truck and inside the brewery’s large tasting room.  Though Bissell does not offer flights, unfortunately, I grabbed a couple of tasters and headed up to the top deck that overlooks the brewery to get a full view.The front side of the deck overlooks the tap room while the back over looks the barrels. One of the first things I noticed was that the place was very dog-friendly, which is always a plus for me. I personally, don’t have a dog, but it’s a great excuse to play with other people’s.

From the first sip of the Baby Genius, I was in love. This light, cloudy beer had just the right hint of hops and was very smooth. The Lux, the Rye IPA, was also light with just a little more bite that the Baby Genius. Finally was Reciprocal, a double hopped IPA. Though I’m not a big fan of hoppier beers, this was perfect.

If I lived closer to this place, you’d probably find me here most of the time. It’s a great place to come with your friends for an afternoon or a great stop before you head into town. Especially with a number of big concerts held at Thompson Point in the summer, this is the spot. The only downside is I couldn’t get any Baby Genius to go as they have a can schedule. I hope to see this brewery grow alot more in the future, especially so I can stock up my beer fridge with Bissell beers. I already can’t wait to make another trip up there!

About 

Bissell Brothers 
4 Thompson Point
Portland, ME

Hours
Wednesday, Thursday 12p.m.-6p.m.
Friday, Saturday 12p.m.-8p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-5p.m.

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