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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Everybody Must Get Stone(Face)d

 

 

Stoneface Brewery is where dreams come true. Not only do they have a great selection of beers to taste, but I got to drink them while hanging with the chillest dog around, brewery black lab Jack. I never said I had big dreams.

Small, but filled with alot of great quirks, Stoneface  allows drinkers to taste any and all of their 8 beers on tap or fill up a growler or two to bring home to enjoy while watching football all day on Sunday.

Now it may be a weird thing to say, but I judge a lot of places by their bathroom. Stoneface’s was one of the coolest ones that I have ever seen. The walls are completely covered in the world’s best memes ranging from Roger Goodell bashing to Michael Scott’s ridiculous quotes, and everything in between. I could have spent all day in there reading them all but people may have started to think things. Another one of Stoneface’s cool quirks was the visitor maps. There, people are able to pin where they’re from. What started as a map of the States has a side section of countries people have come to the brewery from. It was cool to see people traveling from Laos, France, and even Australia!

Keeping with the world traveler theme, the brewery imports hops from different countries. Pull Start, the Blonde Ale, was a light, German-hopped golden ale with different hints of melon. Traveling west of the U.S, the Oated Ella features Australian hops making this cloudy beer better than shrimp on the barbie (Sorry, I had to). Coming back locally, much like my beloved Allagash Little Brett, Blip bursts with Mosaic hops giving it a light, hoppy taste. The perfect IPA for non-IPA lovers. Summer Vice, the Berliner Weisse, was very tart and a little tough on the taste buds. Going darker and hoppier, the APA, American Pale Ale, was very smooth and light with just the right amount of hoppiness. If you want to go even hoppier, the IPA takes citrus notes  with an “irresponsible” amount of hops, as Stoneface describes.

Stoneface is a great pitstop either on your way to Portsmouth or for the legal UNH students , hit it up on your way to campus. If you can’t make it to the brewery, pick up some bottles at your grocery or beer store. It’s definitely worth it!

About

Stoneface Brewery
436 Shattuck Way, Unit 6
Newington, NH

Hours
Monday- Saturday 12 p.m.-7p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-2p.m.

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Harping on it 

Whenever I’m in or around Boston, I always make some excuse to make a trip to the Seaport to visit Harpoon Brewery. If there’s one brewery tour and beer hall I swear by, it’s them. With the usual lines outside the building, so do a lot of other people apparently.

Modeled after the great German beer halls, Harpoons beer wonderland is centered by one long, large bar next to long tables and benches stretching down the beer hall. If you’re lucky enough to squeeze yourself into a full table, you may end up meeting new friends. This is the one brewery that I can do serious damage at, in a good way of course. Aside from the beer, do yourself a favor and get one of their pretzels. I seriously have dreams about these, especially dipped in the IPA cheese. It’s truly what dreams are made of. If you’re feeling something a little sweeter, grab the cinnamon sugar pretzel with the cider  icing. My stomach is literally growling for these as I’m writing this. Ok, I’m done drooling.

Onto why we’re really here: Beer. Harpoon has one of the biggest tap selections for a brewery, hence why I can do some serious damage. My friend and I ordered two of the three flights, trading sip for sip. Of course, I had to go UFO. If you’re not familiar with Harpoon’s UFO series, it is their unfiltered, lighter beers. I was surprised to see UFO Pumpkin on their draft list as it was only the first of September, but basic bitches rejoice. It seems every year, the fall/pumpkin beers sneak earlier and earlier into the summer. I, for one, am not ready for it as summer beers are my love. Nevertheless, I downed the UFO Pumpkin (surprising, right?). Of the pumpkin beers on the market, Harpoon’s is one of the better ones. It’s a much lighter beer than most and they don’t drown the beer in spices like many do.

Of the UFOs, UFO White is the best. It is much like an Allagash White but lighter and more of a crispy taste. The UFO Raz as the name suggests, is bursting with raspberry flavors. Very refreshing and has just enough kick in it. Finally, the UFO Hefeweizen is a pretty good hefe. The customary banana taste isn’t as strong but still an overall good hefe.

Switching flights with my handsome counterpart, who had ordered the traditional Harpoon flight. I decided to start heavy with the Boston Irish Stout. To my surprise, this stout wasn’t as heavy as most, but more of a dry stout. This flight also features Secret Alloy Ale, which is one of their bottled beers. One of the coolest things about this beer was the partnership with drum/cymbal gods Zidjian. This pale ale has a very coppery taste . With the Pumpkin UFO and now the Flannel Friday, Harpoon has made it impossible to boycott fall beers until fall. This amber ale is the perfect beer to sit by the fire wrapped in your favorite flannel any day, not just Friday. Finally, I fell in love with Sweet Spot. This golden ale had the perfect crispness with hints of wheat and citrus. So good that I had to order more when I was at the White Horse Tavern in Brighton later that night. As I browsed the large draft board, I noticed a Pina Colada beer which was something I had never seen before. So of course I had to try it. It actually ended up being my favorite beer that I tried. The coconut and citrus hints were perfectly proportioned through this beer and was not the sweet beer that I was expecting, which was a good thing. I wish it wasn’t a limited edition because I want more!

I’m not just saying this because I love a good brewery tour, but if you get the chance, take the Harpoon one. Not only is it very informative and the crew is great, but the sampling portion is the best around. Word of the wise, if you’re looking to do a tour, get there first thing in the morning to book a tour as you cannot get tickets online and tours fill up very fast, especially on weekends. During the tour, you see where the magic happens and learn a lot about the history about the brewery. But the best part is the tasting room. With 12 beers on tap to try, you are given 20-30 minutes to try as much as you can. The brewery version of beat the clock. This is great for many reasons. Yes, you get a lot of beers and the shots of beer get you feeling good, but you also have the chance to step out of your comfort zone and try beers you wouldn’t normally try.

It may be a little of hike to head deep into the Seaport, but Harpoon Brewery is so worth it. If you’re like me, make a day of it. Head to Harpoon before the crowds then adventure your way down the pier and definitely make sure you hit the Whiskey Priest and Atlantic Beer Garden before they’re torn down next year to build more condos. Just what they need. And yes I lied, I’m still drooling over those pretzels.

About

Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, Ma

Hours
Sunday- Wednesday 11a.m.- 7p.m.
Thursday-Saturday 11a.m.-11p.m.

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Whoooo ‘Nose?

I’m always a fan of dressing for the occasion, but little did I know where I’d end up when I slipped into my owl dress and headed out on a random adventure. On a whim, I decided to head to Smuttynose Brewery last weekend and was surprised when I pulled up to find cars lining the streets. I soon found out that Smuttynose was having an owl festival celebrating their limited Orville beer and the On the Wing Raptor center, who released a hawk and an owl that they had been rehabbing during the event.

So here I am staring eye to eye with these beautiful birds wearing an owl print dress; yes, as nerdy as can be. So the next step obviously was to drink the owl beer. Orville, named for a barreled owl at the On the Wing Raptor Center, whose injuries inhibit him from returning to the wild so he stays with the organization helping to foster other birds as they prepare to head back into the wild. The beer itself is is an amazing saison/farmhouse ale hopped with Falconer’s Flight, which gives it a citrusy flavor. Orville was also created by Smuttlabs, Smuttynose’s beer laboratory where brewers experiment with different flavors.

Events like this, are one of the many reasons why I love Smuttynose Brewery. Their dedication to the community as well as charities/organizations make them a remarkable place. Aside from their work helping others, their recent LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification shows their dedication to the environment. They are only one of two (Sierra Nevada Brewery) to have this certification. They’ve taken trees that have been cut down on the property and turned them into tables for their restaurant next door, Hayseed, and all of the honey used for the restaurant is from bee hives on site.

Aside from having all of these inspiring qualities, the beer is great as well! One of their most notable beers is the Finestkind IPA. This light bodied beer is full of hops, hops, and more hops. The ultimate beer for the hoppy beer lover. My favorite of their beers is Hayseed. This is a summer saison with hints of lemon; perfect for a summer day. Vunderbar, which is not only fun to say, but great to drink. This German pilsner tastes of  grain and lemon.

If you’re looking for a fun place to spend an afternoon, check out Smuttynose in Hampton. Go for a brewery tour, play some corn hole and grab some food at Hayseed. Smuttynose has it all.

About

Smuttynose Brewery
105 Towle Farm Rd
Hampton, NH

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Saturday’s are for the Brews

After a week hiatus of living in a frat-beach house drinking watered down Miller Lites and PBRs playing flip and slip, it’s time to return to real beer. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, inflatable slip and slide with flip cup on the end. Definitely not the kind of week to drink heavy IPAs while binge drinking for four days.

My first stop of regaining my craft beer street cred was Newburyport Brewing Co, which has been on my list for some time. I have had the Pale Ale many times before in cans and have always enjoyed it. This was no different at the brewery. This beer has great carbonation with a little bite at the end.

NBPT’s two IPAs, Melt Away and Green Head, were the core of the draft list. The Melt Away was a very hoppy, light beer which was the easier of the two IPAs for a non-IPA drinker. The Green Head, one of NBPT’s most popular beers, had a defined piney taste which overruns the taste buds. IPA lovers may kneel before the Green Head, but it was much too strong for me.

Finally, my go-to is the Belgain Ale. The Belgain was a smooth, cloudy beer which is definitely the most “drinkable” of the list. I was disappointed that the Kolsch was not available during my visit as it is one of my favorite types.

For a Saturday afternoon, the place was very calm but I could see this place filling up quickly as they have an indoor taproom with games as well as an outdoor lawn area. There is an area inside with bongos and drums and hosts live music every Friday night. Though there wasn’t any live music at the time, Stevie Nick’s smooth, sensual voice echoed through the brewery with some live recordings.

I’d recommend Newburyport Brewing Co as a pit stop if you’re heading to downtown Newburyport for the day/night. Check it out!

About

Newburyport Brewing Co
4 New Pasture Rd
Newburyport, MA

Hours
Thursday-Friday 3p.m.-9p.m.
Saturday 12 p.m.- 9p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m.-6p.m.

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Slumming It

In the short amount of time that I’ve visited Somerville, I’ve come to love the little neighborhood culture and has become a great town for local breweries. Tucked behind one of these neighborhoods is Somerville Brewing, or SlumBrew. Though I can’t tell you how to get there because my Lyft driver drove in circles insisting he wasn’t lost (spoiler: he was).

Slumbrew’s atmosphere definitely fits in with the “neighborhood” vibe. With two locations, the brewery and the beer garden in Assembly Square, there’s enough beer to go ’round.

Like usual, I am drawn to the lighter beers. The first, Float, was a witbier with citrus lingering through this wheat beer. I could drink 5 of those and feel refreshed. The Happy Sol was definitely an interesting take on a Hefeweizen. Usually a cloudy, banana and clove beer, this Hefeweizen bases itself in blood oranges and wildflower. I’d consider this a hippie hef, if you ask me. Still good though. The second I saw Scooter on the menu I was excited. This strawberry wheat beer was the perfect beer to put a little life back into me after a day of brewery touring. I could not taste much of the strawberry but the hints of it added to the fresh taste of the beer.

Niles Crane, yes that Niles Crane, is a blonde ale, which was a smooth, simple beer. I may be naive but still trying to get the reference to the blonde ale. Gose the Destroyer had me at the name. Maybe because my friend and I are nerds and automatically think of Zolof the Rock and Roll Destroyer (most of you will have no idea what I’m talking about- but it used to be a great band). Anyways, back to beer. This sour beer was very tart with a pronounced hibiscus taste. Our wonderful waitress, who we ended up befriending because she was so nice, brought us some samples of Island Day, the IPA. I think as I’m reviewing more and more beers, I’m starting to appreciate the IPA alot more. This hazy beer explodes with flavors of pineapple and mango. That fruity aroma gets me every time.

Do yourself a favor, get the food. We got the Basil Pesto pizza and could have ordered two because it was so good. An hour later we were still drooling over how good that pizza (and beer!) were. I can’t wait to try the beer garden in Assembly Square next! Perfect excuse for a shopping and day drinking adventure.

Slumbrew – Somerville Brewery
15 Ward St
Somerville, MA

Hours
Monday- Wednesday 4pm-11pm
Thursday- Saturday 11am-12am
Sunday 11am-11pm

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