Here We (Diri)Go

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I can’t believe I hadn’t been to Dirigo in Biddeford, Maine until now. This place is great. Located in a mill right on the dam, Dirigo is a fun taproom with a great view.

This place is like heaven. Drink some beers and watch a bunch of dogs run around. Just be careful of the brewery dog who pokes your butt with his nose if you don’t give him popcorn. Not a bad problem to have though, if you ask me, because he’s instantly your friend.

Our bartender was one of the best that I’ve had at a brewery. I love when the bartender is passionate about the beers and takes the time to talk to you about them.

The Baltic Porter was a roasted, malty porter with a slight bite. The Saco River Red Rye was very malty with a twang to it. The Redbier was a malty, yet crisp and smooth traditional red. The N.E.P.A.L was definitely one of my favorites as it was a hoppy and hazy pale lager. The Lager was a traditional take of this smooth and drinkable brew for any beer fan. Finally the Champagne de Maine had to be my favorite. This is a kettlehead (my favorite type of sour) with a classic splash of raspberry. The kettle makes the beer less sour tasting and makes for a more drinkable beer. This is the perfect beer to have on a nice summer day.

Not much more you can ask for than a great tap room, solid beers, quality people, and dogs. Dirigo has all of these things making for a great brewery trip. The mill is also home to Banded Horn Brewing and the newly opened Nuts and Bolts Brewery making for a nice brewery crawl.

Dirigo Brewing Co
28 Pearl St
Biddeford, ME

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Sound the (Banded) Horn

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I had visited Banded Horn, in Biddeford, Maine, a year ago and was surprised to walk in now to a redesigned taproom.

This place is a beer lover’s dream.

One of the best things about Banded Horn is the fact that they have 17 beers on tap. For any smaller craft brewery, this is quite the treat.

The Jolly Woodsman was a Coffee Stout with a perfect balance of coffee hints, chocolate and just a touch of fruit. Resolution, in collaboration with one of my other favorite Maine breweries, Barreled Souls, is a pleasant surprise. This wild fermented beer was inspired by champagne with fruit and tartness and definitely doesn’t drink like a 10.5 ABV. Daikaiju, not only fun to say, but a solid beer. This DIPA has a citrus aroma and taste with a bit of pine. Finally, Pizza Night was an IPA with a perfect mixture of Mosaic, Azacca, Simcoe, and Summit hops lending to an orange and mango taste with a slight earthy note.

The taproom itself is in a mill building along a dam. There are arcade-style games and old school Nintendo. It looks like when the weather’s nicer, there’s a deck out back, which I have yet to explore. You’ll find me there when it warms up…eventually.

About

Banded Horn
32 Main St
Biddeford, ME

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I Feel the Need…

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the need for beer…

The second you walk into Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick, ME you feel as if you should be drinking alongside Goose, Iceman, and Maverick. Luckily their tanks are named after them so it’s kind of like you are.

Located near the Naval Air Station, this brewery is decorated with flight suits, pictures, and all of their beer names are on theme.

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The 44th Parallel was a West Coast style IPA, dank in color and malty in flavor. Pilots Porridge, an Oatmeal Stout, was very smooth and I love the way the oatmeal adds a certain sweetness to the stout. P-3, a Pale Ale, was very drinkable and a touch of apricot and malt. The Wright Stuff, a Rye Pale Ale, had the wright amount of crisp and a little spiciness to it. My favorite, though, had to be Tea-56. This hibiscus flavored beer with a hint of citrus made for a light and refreshing beer. It has tea so it has to be healthy, right? I could definitely drink this beer all day.

One thing that I love about Flight Deck is that the bartender said that they try to use all resources right from Maine and all beers are brewed using 100% renewable energy. Talk about really drinking local. If I lived closer to this brewery I’d be here all the time because this place has great beers and the taproom is a lot of fun. Plus, they allow dogs, so I definitely made a lot of furry friends.

If you find yourself in the Portland area, Flight Deck is just a short drive north and worth it!

About

Flight Deck Brewing
11 Atlantic Ave
Brunswick, ME

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Pining for Flight-skis

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There’s a reason that I make trips up to Portland almost weekly now: the breweries. Every week I’m learning about the next big thing in Portland and Lone Pine is no exception.

Once you step into the small brick building, you’re transformed into a little ski lodge with tables, couches, and lots of beer. If you’re lucky, hit it on a Sunday and RedZone will also be playing.

Lone Pine, by far, has my favorite flight vessel that I’ve seen so far. Made from old skis, these flights are a lot better than those awful shot-skis that I could never reach in college.

Their beers are some of the smoothest and most flavorful around. The Portland Pale Ale was packed full of citrus flavor and very smooth and clear. Brightside IPA is dank and full of tropical notes. The most prominent to me was a strong papaya taste.

The Kiwi Cannon was one of my favorite beers that I’ve had recently. This IPA was very creamy in color and had a light kiwi hint that was not too overpowering. Finally, Tessellation was an impressive DIPA. Brewed with Mosaics, this DIPA takes on a great deal of mango and citrus taste, but there’s a slight hint of a blueberry which created a interesting flavor.

I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Lone Pine for some more flight-skis.

About

Lone Pine
219 Anderson St
Portland, ME

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Ms. Jackson, if you’re Masty

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Because of the beer nerd that I am, I always seem to think I’m ahead of the trends and am always stumbling upon the next big thing. When heading to Mast Landing Brewing Co in Westbrook, ME, I thought I was uncovering Maine’s next big secret. Boy, was I wrong. Right after the doors opened, the place was full. Guess the secret’s out.

The brewery itself is a fun hang out spot with tables and stand up tables. The second you walk through the door, all you smell is hops everywhere (I know, hard to imagine for a brewery). Some people love the smell of flowers, some like the smell of rain; but me, hops are my favorite smells. I was in heaven.

Then there’s the beers. Gunner’s Daughter has to be one of the best dark beers that I’ve had. The Peanut Butter Milk Stout has all the makings of a damn good dessert. The stout was very light and had a subtle peanut butter bite. The Seavey Island was a pale ale with a crisp mango taste with a smooth finish.

On the IPA side, Mast Landing hit the flavors just right. DDH Tell Tale bursts with hints of tropical fruits like papaya perfected with Mosaic, Citra, and Simcoe hops. One of my favorite hop combinations out there. The best beer had to be Dash, though. It was one of the best juice bombs that I’ve ever had. Equal balances of citrus and floral hops made this beer one that I’m still dreaming of.

I’m already planning my next visit to Mast Landing as I’m obsessed. It makes for the perfect beer trip with the Industrial Way breweries (Allagash, Battery Steele, Austin St., and Foundation) minutes away.

About

Mast Landing Brewing Co
920 Main St.
Westbrook, ME

Hours
Tuesday-Thursday 4p.m.-8p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12p.m.-8p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-5p.m.

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Bunker Down

 

Located in the back of an industrial park, hides one of Portland’s hidden treasures, Bunker Brewing Co. The second I pulled up to the brewery, I was in love. The brewery is very open with picnic tables outside, a food truck, and more tables inside.

Inside, the brewery has a rustic feel and Bob Marley vinyls playing away. There’s also a section on the side where you can play cornhole and ping pong.

The best beer had to be Salad Daze. As the name suggests, it’s a session lager packed with citrus as it’s hopped with Citra. The perfect beer to quench your thirst on a hot summer day. Machine was the perfect example of a Czech Lager with traditional spicey, earthy notes. Cypher, the Hoppy Lager, had a very interesting taste with a different piney taste. Finally, the Rockerz IPA had everything that I love in a beer (hops, grapefruit and Mosaic hops). It’s a darker IPA but still very drinkable.

Props to my new bartender friend for drinking her beers from a dino sippy cup. You and your dog are the real MVP. Everyone there is beyond nice and the kind of people you want to hang out at the bar and talk to.

Just a couple minutes from Bissell Brothers, this may become our new second stop every time we visit. One thing they have on Bissell is they allow dogs, which Bissell just stopped. I still need to get my dog petting fix. Yes, I’m a dog creeper.

About

Bunker Brewing Co.
17 Westfield St Unit D
Portland, ME

Hours

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 12p.m.-9p.m.
Friday-Saturday 12p.m.-10p.m.
Sunday 11a.m.-8p.m.

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House of the Rising Tide

Just outside the busy Old Port, Rising Tide Brewing is like a parking lot party in the summer. There are live bands playing, corn hole, dogs everywhere, a food truck, and of course, beer. By the crowds of people, you could tell that this was the place to be.

Soundings, which is their experimental IPA series, featured the Ales for ALS this visit and it was amazing! Packed with strawberry, coconut, and papaya flavor, this was an IPA combination that was new to me. Not only was the flavor out of this world, but also benefited ALS research. Helping the world like a beer drinking super hero. Printemps, the American Warehouse Ale, was also a favorite of mine as it was a saison packed with citrus and green tea. That makes it healthy, right? Two of Rising Tide’s staple beers, Zephyr and Daymark rounded out a perfect flight. Zephyr was an IPA with apple and pear flavoring which hinted more on a heavier IPA. Daymark, finally, was more on the floral side. Floral Pale Ales aren’t normally my thing but this one was pretty good and light.

The vibe of the brewery is very chill and is a great place to spend the afternoon with friends. Whether it’s just to grab a beer before heading to the Old Port or spend the day listening to the bands and playing games. I can’t wait to visit again on a less busy day to take a tour of the brewery and get to know a little more about the beer and brewery but what I saw so far was enough to bring me back.

About

Rising Tide Brewing
103 Fox St
Portland, ME

Hours
Monday-Saturday 12p.m.-7p.m.
Sunday 12p.m.-5p.m.

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