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The last approval needed to open – from the State of Maine – has been granted, and Austin Street is cleared to begin brewing. They’ve also recently picked up a barrel from Allagash Brewing Company. According to the Facebook page, Austin Street has big plans for that barrel. “We’ll be brewing a porter very soon then transferring it to the barrel along with some brett, lacto, and pedio.” The only bad news? A brew like that won’t be ready for consumption for quite some time, so though it may be their first brew, it will likely not be the first that you’re able to try.
After a few false starts and changes of plans, the Lion’s Pride in Brunswick, ME is finally getting its brewery makeover – and name change – and got the last approval needed to start brewing. Owned by Chris Lively (owner of Ebeneezer’s Pub in Lovell), the new brewery will be named Lively Brewing, and the Lion’s Pride’s name will be changing to Ebenezer’s Brewpub. While they’ve been a bit mum on the details of what will be brewing, well-known Maine brewer Michael Lacharite will be taking the helm (paddle?) for a while – so I’d anticipate that we’ll be seeing some complex and flavorful brews coming out in the next few weeks.
Another brewery is in the works, this time in Saco. Barreled Souls Brewing got approval from the Saco Planning Board (more details here) putting them on the pathway for starting a brewery. The brewery is in its early planning stages, but plans to open by July with 100% barrel fermented beers. Yummmm.
Sheesh, barrels everywhere today! This beer from Sebago Brewing Company first caught my attention last year at a brewfest where it was pouring. Blended batches of Lake Trout Stout that have been aged in bourbon barrels, this version of the stout is taken to a whole new level. Not too boozy, this single-batch series release, named, simply, Bourbon Barrel Stout is that perfect mix of smoothness and complexity – it knocked my socks off last year. This year, like the rest of Sebago’s lineup, the label has received a classy makeover (right). Look for it in large format bottles and on tap at the Sebago brewpub locations (and other beer establishments).
It’s not often that a brewery goes from large format bottles to small, but Rising Tide surprised a bunch of us earlier this week by announcing that they’d be offering several of their year-round and brews in four-packs. The brews that are making the switch include Daymark pale ale, Ishamel copper ale, Zephyr IPA and the summer seasonal Spinnaker hefeweizen. The packs will be hitting Maine shelves first, then spread out to New England in April. The big bottles and the little 375 cork-and-cage bottles will be available for limited release beers. As someone who loves to bring beer to other people to share, this is an excellent means of doing that. I think it would also be cool if they started selling mixed 4-packs – one of each type – so that you could bring home a “flight” of brews from the brewery (until then, I just might do this myself…).
Homebrewers are the best – and they helped to make the craft beer brewing industry what is is today. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) holds rallies across the country to give homebrewers the chance to connect and network. The latest rally is tonight at Allagash Brewing Company from 6-9 pm in at the brewery – free for all AHA members. Not a member? You can sign up at the event at a discount. The event will include a brewer Q&A, a special brewery tour, and access to limited release beers only available at the event – as well as a chance to win prizes from the brewery and AHA.
Head over to Flatbread Pizza in Portland tonight for a fundraiser to benefit the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (a.k.a, MOFGA). Hosted by TigPro Metal Fabricators and Funky Bow – brewery owner Paul Lorrain is on the MOFGA board – Funky Bow brews will be pouring from 5-9pm and 5% of the proceeds will go to MOFGA. If you’re in the mood for a pizza and a brew, tonight you can have your fill and help out a local organization at the same time.