Shrew Brews: The Summer Sampler!

 

It is hard to believe that the middle of August is almost here! For me, this is a sign that my work with bridal gowns is beginning to slow down…This has been an incredibly busy season for me, but I have not forgotten to take some well deserved time off in my home State of Maine AKA Vacation Land. ¬†I’d like to introduce to you some of my favorite summer brews and tasting rooms that I have found and visited in my precious time off ūüôā

 

Light and refreshing, Bud has it right with their Bud Light Lime and Bud Light Orange and Leinenkugel’s Grapefruit Shandy. ¬†At 4.2% ABV and with a fruity citrusy flavor, all are nice to enjoy on a hot muggy afternoon. ¬†Personally, I cannot drink more than two of these at a sitting mostly because they are sweet (especially the Orange). But yes, they are very refreshing as stated earlier. ¬†The Bud Light slim cans are easy to pack…Leinenkugel’s could learn from this ūüėČ

 

Don’t forget to have a desert or small plate with your beverage >>>

Just off a busy corner of Main Street in Saco is a relaxing drinking space called The Lady and The Mench. ¬†They serve plenty of local beer on tap, however the martinis are FABULOUS! I had the chocolate martini which had a Hershey’s Hug at the bottom…Delish :O

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Banded Brewing (formerly Banded Horn Bewery) in Biddeford is a definite place to make a stop. ¬†Not only is it located in one of the historic mills, it also is positioned beside a great pizza place, gin distillery and ice cream stand. ¬†My sampler on this day was as follows: Wicked Bueno 4.3% ABV (Mexican Style Larger), Breakfast Land 8.2% ABV (Imperial Stout with Palace Flapjacks, Harris Farm Maple Syrup and Tandem Coffee), Green Warden 5.6% ABV(Pale Ale with spruce tips), Resolution 10.5% ABV (Campaign inspired mixed fermentation ale). ¬†I loved them all!! Oh yes, and they now serve a wee bit of food to have with these wonderful brews…I think that is because you’ll need to give your tummy some solids with all these liquids ūüôā

 

Barreled Souls in Saco has a great variety of sours if you like those, but that’s not my thing. ¬†This place has atmosphere though! ¬†The barrel chairs are cool and there are plenty of games to play. ¬†My group had a fun time on the table shuffle boards. ¬†My favorite beer here is the Blonde on Blonde, 12.^% ABV. The flavors of apricot, peaches and citrus are pleasing. Also, a wee taste of any of their Dark Matters is a bonus!

 

While visiting Camden, Maine I came across this funny one…Porkslap Pale Ale, 4.3% ABV. ¬†I loved the hint of ginger…It’s from New York though so I’ll try not to hold it against them.

 

Nice views of the lake and ferry from your table. ¬†Please don’t feed the ducks!

A special shout out to my step son, Patrick. ¬†He deals with beer sales in a specific region in Maine and the Frye’s Leap Cafe on Frye’s Island Sebago Lake is one of his accounts. ¬†The Cafe held a special tasting of several regional offerings. ¬†I tasted all except the IPA. ¬†Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat, 4.2% ABV, was tasty dispite it’s play on the name. ¬†Their barrel aged stout, 9.6% ABV, I found to be even tastier. ¬†Otter Creek Ella, 5.2% ABV, was hoppier than what I would typically drink, but it was definitely worth a taste. And the Otter Creek Raspberry Stout, 4.5% ABV, was a bit sour for me, but the raspberry flavor was real nice ūüôā

Can’t wait to see what the Fall flavors will bring for my beer binge!!

Shrew Brews: Go West…

Beer, Beer, and more Beer…Ahhhh Vacation!

I thought that the beer scene in Greater Portland (Maine) was big, but a recent trip to San Diego, California proved to be another excellent place to experience brews and ambiance galore ūüôā

During a six day trip I had the chance to visit and/or taste six breweries in the San Diego region.  First up was Karl Strauss Brewing Company which has several locations, however, we (my fellow travelers and I) happened to be near the one in La Jolla.  After an early afternoon of coastal exploring, taco tasting and seal viewing we were ready for some beer!  Karl Strauss did not disappoint.  Red Trolley (5.8% ABV), an Irish red with a sweet finish, was my favorite followed by Pintail (5.35% ABV), an American Pale ale with bright citrus hop favors.  The stout, Wreck Alley (9%ABV Рlove this name!) was good to end with because of its rich coffee flavor so I should have had some desert with it!  The Hive Five IPA was one that I could tolerate as an IPA, but its floral and grassy tones were too earthy for my tastes (of course I finished it though, lol).

The evening ended with a sunset trip to Point Loma and then dinner (and beer) at Ballast Point Brewery which had more selections than I could count! ¬†I did manage to pick 4 tasters, ¬†Moscow Mule Ale (8%ABV) just like its name!!, Pineaple Sculpin IPA (7%ABV) nice, Wahoo White (4.5%ABV) a Belgian style winner :), and the California Kolsh (5.2%ABV) dude it’s light but complex…A very nice end to the evening with their delicious burgers too!

 

At The Zoo on another day I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had on hand some local brews at their cafe stops.  I had to try the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout (5.3%ABV) because my husband is a big fan of anything peanut butter.  Smooth and flavorful but not too peanut buttery, one was enough.

And then on another evening we found Coronado Brewery (located at Imperial Beach). ¬†The brews were cold and the food was delicious. ¬†The Orange Ave Wit (5.5%ABV) they say is Beligan by way of Coronado…I believe it! Mighty tasty I must say, and the Coronado Hotel was not far away…

 

The last day in San Diego just happened to be my birthday, so I wished that I could try to visit as many breweries as we could fit into the day. ¬†Stone Brewing Tap Room was right beside the Petco Park Stadium. I am not even going to try to show and tell all the tastings this day except to say that I had fun and did what I could ūüėČ

Mission brewery was in the former Wonder Bread Bakery and so the beer was better than sliced bread (so they say!)

And we found the Belching Beaver in Ocean Beach…a fitting Bohemian atmosphere for the place. ¬†I had just a bit more peanut butter beer, yum.

So yes, that is me behind the bar at a very old hotel in Old Town. ¬†They say the area is full of ghosts and we tried hard to find them, but they didn’t want to be found. ¬†Tacos and more beer set everything just right…BOO!

I think I’ll be going back to San Diego because there is so much more to experience.

Cheers and Beers!

 

 

Shrew Brews: A Tasty Trip :)

In the mood for a different State of brews!

So what does one do with a drab winter day in southern Maine when the snow is almost gone and the temps are too mild to go on the ice? ¬†How about go next door to New Hampshire to try out a couple of “new to you” breweries? ¬†After all it’s not a very long drive (about 35 minutes), it’s Saturday around noon-time, and some good friends are supposed to be there too. ¬†Let’s go!!

The first of the two breweries we visit is called Stoneface Brewing Company (Stonefacebrewing.com) in Newington, New Hampshire. ¬†The logo is a hop with a side edge in the formation of The Old Man of the Mountain (cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains of NH that appeared to be the profile of a man’s face, but had unfortunately collapsed in 2003). ¬†What a fitting way to keep the “Old Man” alive ūüôā

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I tasted four brews, Berliner Weisse with Blackberry (3.7% ABV), Kolsch (5%ABV), Dated Ella (5.2%ABV) and Porter (5.5%ABV). ¬†Not surprisingly the Kolsch was my favorite, clear and crisp with floral and herbal notes. ¬†And surprisingly the Porter was my second favorite…the bitterness was not too much and the finish was quite smooth. ¬†The Berry was too sour for me, but actually the blackberry flavor made it palatable. ¬†The Ella (heavily dry hopped with Australian Ella hops) was fine, but a bit too robust for my tastes. ¬†There was a lot on tap so I’ll have to come back.

The atmosphere was cozy, smaller than I thought from the outside because it actually had a kitchen that served really good pub food with a gourmet flair. ¬†I want another burger from there too…Nice job Stoneface!

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Our next visit was to Great Rhythm Brewing Company (greatrhythmbrewing.com) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire overlooking the North Mill Pond.  The taproom was small, but the tunes gave it a great vibe.

I tried the Tropical Haze IPA (6.8%ABV) and Resonation Pale Ale (5.2%ABV). ¬†I usually don’t like IPA’s, but the Tropical Haze had a nice fruity balance that helped lighten the finish. ¬†Resonation was crisp and easy for me to enjoy as a Pale Ale.

 

We may come back here during the summer because I can imagine it being much more picturesque by the pond, and perhaps they have outdoor games and seating then too ūüôā

CHEERS!

 

Shrew Brews: Beer with a side of Chocolate!

This week’s brews are from one of my absolute favorite Portland, Maine breweries, Allagash Brewing Company (Allagash.com)!

Allagash crafts Belgian-inspired beer, their best known is Allagash White which I enjoy drinking from an ice cold glass with a lemon wedge floating on the top…this brings out the citrus and spice undertones very nicely ūüôā

However, last week I went to visit their tap room on Valentine’s Day with my husband Stephen to celebrate our love and participate in the annual beer and chocolate pairings known as BEER HEARTS CHOCOLATE benefiting the American Heart Association. ¬†My favorite this night was their JAMES & JULIE Flemish style sour brown ale, 6.7% ABV. Mahogany in color with aromas of raisins, cherries and caramel iced sugar, it paired very well with dark chocolate that was topped with a slice of candied ginger…MARVELOUS! ¬†Stephen’s favorite was the Allagash White, 5.2% ABV, paired with milk chocolate having a crispy peanut filling…AMAIZING!

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The Hibernal Fluxus 2017 paired with chocolate covered coconut and the Coolship Red paired with white chocolate covered raspberry were very enjoyable as well.

The atmosphere was cozy and inviting for a February day.  I am looking forward to spring and the opportunity once again to drink a flight in the lovely Maine outdoors at the Allagash Brewing Company.

We’ll be back soon!!

Shrew Brews: Cheers!

Good news from the land of Shrew!  

I am introducing my new feature called “SHREW BREWS” which is a natural fit for my Female Pricipled Blog. ¬†How is this a fit? ¬†Ever since Eve took a bite from the apple of the Tree of Knowledge, she was also searching for the Kernel of Truth…Hense barley was discovered, and Adam was right there to share in the discovery! ¬†The duality of good and evil unites in a positive proposition ūüôā

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Our American tap rooms are our new social anchors for men and women to gather, imbibe and contemplate on beer, fellowship and fun.  The variety of favors and capacity to create can never be too much in this market where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives.

So I invite my readers to share in my discovery of unique brews, breweries and tap rooms from around this great country. And I encourage you to share your discoveries on this topic as well…

CHEERS!

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The Quarry Tap Room

Established 2015 in Hallowell, Maine, this bar and grill is adding to the lively spirit of the Main Street character.  My choice of beer this day was Kona Big Wave, a golden ale from Kailua Kona, HI.  It was no doubt due to the mounds of snow outside that I was feeling a bit in the mood for some beachy weather and this brew did not disappoint.  The flavor was light bodied with a subtle hint of fruitiness.  Just right for an early afternoon.

There were 30 beers on tap….quite an extensive representation from around the globe actually, but some great representation from Maine too. ¬†I could only stop in for a brew and a bite, but I wish I had had more time to hang out. ¬†The food was fine, the atmosphere better. ¬†The quality live entertainment seemed to make time fly.

Brew on!!