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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One or the Otter

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Otter Creek Brewing Co, in Middlebury, Vermont, has been slowly making a name for themselves over the years. I knew that I’d have to check it out when I was passing through the area.

The brewery itself has a new-age Vermont feel to it. With a hippie van hanging out of the wall in the brewery, it definitely set the tone. When it comes to Otter Creek beers, the citrus flavors take center stage for me.

The Orange Dream, a Cream Ale, is exactly what you’d picture with a name like that. The beautiful flavors of a creamsicle fill your mouth with orange and vanilla hints. Backseat Berner is a hazy, citrus IPA with a great juicy taste. The Daily Dose, on the other hand, has a more tropical, dank taste to it. Finally, the Free Flow rounds out the Citrus Dream Team. This IPA has the consistent citrus taste but mixed with a melon taste and has a bitter after taste.

One thing you’ll notice is how all of these beers’ names make you want to buy a hippie van and head out on an adventure. Aside from the beer, Otter Creek Brewing Co has killer nachos.

Otter Creek recently purchased the Shed Brewery so it’ll be interesting to see what these two breweries come up with in the coming years.

About

Otter Creek Brewing Co
793 Exchange St
Middlebury, VT

Hours
Thursday-Sunday 11a.m.-7p.m.
Monday-Wednesday 11a.m.-6p.m.

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The Tuck Rule

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It’s that time of the year when the coastal dwellers head north to check out of the foliage and mountains and in a couple week, the skis and snowboards hit the slopes. My favorite part of heading north has to be the breweries though.

Tuckerman Brewing Company is quickly becoming one of my favorite stops on the way north. It may have something to do with the big beer box sampler and the fun atmosphere.

Located right in Conway, New Hampshire, Tuckerman is the place to be if you want a good time. The bartenders are some of the friendliest around, they have cornhole inside, and even the customers just want to have some fun.

Now about that box of beers. The TRale is a nice, crisp Kolsch with a smooth finish. Definitely true to the tradition style. The 6288 Stout had to be the most interesting. Clocking in at a precise 6.288% ABV, it’s definitely the most unique ABV I’ve ever seen. It’s brewed with 5 different barleys making for a very distinct taste.

Just like the fall leaves, the Fall Line ale is a crisp harvest taste, which is perfect for those cold fall days. The Ryezome was another solid brew with an amber body with a little spice kick.

Moving backwards from fall, I hit the tasting room right so there was still summer beers on tap. The Summer Ale was refreshing after the deep tastes of the fall brews. The Summer Ale burst with orange and citrus flavors. The Summer Shandy, on the other hand, takes the TRale and adds some lemon flavor.

The Pale Ale, Tuckerman’s flagship, has the perfect balance of bitterness and hops. Finally, you’ve hit the bottomless box’s end with the Rockpile IPA, which was my favorite. The citrus notes with a prevailing grapefruit taste is a beer that I could sit and drink forever. Ok, maybe not forever; just until they had to carry me out.

One of the best things about the beers is that Tuckerman grows their own hops in front of the brewery, which is one of their newest additions. I’m already excited to head back north and visit again. So start adventuring and drinking because it’s the New England thing to do.

About

Tuckerman Brewing Co
66 Hobbs St
Conway, NH

Hours
Everyday 12p.m.-6p.m.

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The Frost World

Hidden in one of Hinesburg’s industrial parks lies one of the most up and coming breweries in New England. Frost Beer Works is quickly making a name for itself with solid and strong brews that keep people (aka me) coming back for more. I’m addicted.

Other than Foam, this is one of my breweries to watch in Vermont. Their IPAs are some of the best I’ve had up there.

The Au-Dank-Cious is a DIPA with a heavier body with a balance of bittersweet tropicals. The Lush DIPA had a nice, hazy body with citrus and grapefruit notes. Both very drinkable DIPAs with the potential for even smoother beers. Junior IPA was hands down my favorite beer from Frost. This beautiful juice bomb was full of flavor and kept you wanting more.

I’m excited to see how Frost Beer Works expands over the next couple of years. In the meantime, I’ll be loading up on bottles of Junior on my drives to Vermont.

About
Frost Beer Works
171 Commerce St
Hinesburg, VT

Hours
Friday 4p.m.-7p.m.
Saturday 12p.m.-7p.m.

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I Pity the Fool…

 

…Who gets in between me and beer.

Getting to Foolproof Brewery isn’t the easiest task. Picture your worst nightmare. You can see the brewery but a barbed wire fence stands between you and beer.

This was my reality.

Word to the wise. Do not listen to your GPS. A lesson learned when Michael Scott drove into that pond on that episode of the Office.

Once you outsmart your GPS, you’re greeted by a small taproom for Lil’ Rhody’s most popular brewery, which may soon be overthrown by Narragansett’s triumphant return home. Either case, Foolproof has had a great variety and some unique beers on tap.

The culture behind Foolproof’s beer names comes from how your beer should be enjoyed. The Backyahd IPA is a slightly hoppy bitter beer meant to be had while lounging around at a cookout or reading a book out on the porch. The best of the bunch has to be La Ferme Urbaine, the farmhouse saison. With a slight spice kick, I could drink this beer all day. Lab series was the IPA for beginners. It’s lightly hopped with pineapple hints. I heard people in the brewery discussing how they do not like IPA’s but this was up their alley.

If you’re looking for something new and unique, Foolproof has a couple of must-try beers. The Peanut Butter Raincloud is a porter with a very light and airy peanut butter taste. The most unique, though, has to be the Shuckolate. Think of the two things in the food world that you would never put together, oysters and chocolate. Though the beer definitely tastes of a chocolate stout, you would never guess that it has oysters. But maybe that’s a good thing.

The taproom is small but full of character. The barrels are each named after famous fools in history, like Larry, Moe, and Shemp. I really hope to see this brewery expand over the next couple of years. I had seen them at different beer festivals and was glad to finally make it in to visit.

About

Foolproof Brewery
241 Grotto Ave
Pawtucket, RI

Hours
Thursday-Friday 4p.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday -Sunday 1 p.m.- 6p.m.

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