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Carla Jean Lauter

Carla Jean Lauter is a craft beer lover and investigator of all things beer. She started a craft beer website and blog thebeerbabe.com in 2007, sharing her thoughts as she explored what was new in beer, as well as brewery visits, trips and "beer adventures." Moving to Portland in 2009, she found herself surrounded by the Maine beer community and has been exploring it ever since. In her blog, Carla profiles craft beer (and some mead and cider, too) being brewed in Maine, as well as looks into the people, places and stories behind the beer that makes the community so vibrant. Join Carla on her beer adventures and advice on where to get the best, newest, and most interesting fermented drinks around. Carla can be contacted at askthebeerbabe [at] gmail.com or on twitter at @beerbabe. Subscribe: RSS Feed for The Beer Babe

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Posted: April 9, 2018

There’s something for everyone at Foulmouthed Brewing

Written by: Carla Jean Lauter

Despite its name, the South Portland brewpub is family-friendly.
Photos by Carla Jean Lauter

A regular task that is both fun and gut-wrenching is to be asked by someone from out of town where they should go for beer in Portland, followed by the comment that they’ll only have a day (or less!) to take advantage of it. Over the years, I’ve come up with a list that is easy to rattle off in a quick email or a few tweets, but I recently updated it. The biggest new addition to my auto-reply is Foulmouthed Brewing in South Portland.

Foulmouthed is a brewpub, in that it both produces its own beer and has a kitchen. However, when you visit, it is easy to see that it doesn’t fit the image of an old-time brewpub that you may have. Foulmouthed eschews rustic, wood-heavy decor in favor of a cleaner, lighter and more modern atmosphere, with a bar that almost feels like a diner lunch counter.

A beer on the bar at Foulmouthed.

The beer, too, seems to reject the idea of playing it safe. And to appease the most customers possible, there’s a full cocktail bar, along with a plethora of beer styles. Instead of keeping a few mild-flavored brews on hand at all times – more traditional brewpubs tend to have a light beer, an amber or red, and a stout or porter to cover their bases – the lineup at Foulmouthed is frequently rotated and also expands the style repertoire considerably.

Some beers do appear on a fairly regular basis, including the Fraktur, an enjoyable German Kölsch. When done well (and here, it certainly is), a Kölsch is perfect for pairing with food, and it can also fit all seasons. This one is golden and smooth, and everything you want out of an afternoon drinking beer.

Then, there are beers such as Kaizen. Described as a “continuously improving saison,” Kaizen is created by brewing a saison, and then putting it into a variety of oak barrels with a blend of wild yeasts. The result is then blended in a way that makes sure that each bottle includes some of all of the prior batches of the same beer at various ages. So it’s a blend of both new and old, and will continue to change from batch to batch. The result is complex and a great beer for sipping and contemplation.

Another twist on a classic style is Strobillus, a pale ale that’s been dosed with juniper berries (a staple botanical for gin). The berries provide a little bit of a pine and spice note, which goes well with the hop profile. The result is light but with a unique and refreshing spiced undertone.

This brewpub also makes my short list because of its menu. I’m not a foodie, and I have never been a food critic, so if I ever get too bogged down in detailed food descriptions in this column, I encourage you to wag a disappointed finger at me and tell me to “stick with the beer.” Here, though, I can say with confidence that the food at Foulmouthed is both notable and accessible to anyone, whether they consider themselves a connoisseur or not. There are no tiny portions drizzled artistically with infused oils, no single sprigs of decorative herbs placed with tweezers. Instead, there are hearty portions of entrees heaped with cheese or sauce, and sandwiches and burgers bulging with ingredients and plenty of bold flavor.

But it would also be unfair to call Foulmouthed’s food typical pub fare. While there’s a simplicity to the food offerings – burgers, fries, etc. – they stay far from the burger with iceberg lettuce and sad tomato that you find in other pubs. Always check the specials board when you visit; my last meal there was a Reuben special made with piles of thick corned beef and fresh sauerkraut. There are also vegan and gluten-free options, clearly marked on the menu.

It takes a little convincing for people to cross the bridge to South Portland when there is so much to offer on the peninsula, but I encourage you to do so for Foulmouthed. While the name might have negative connotations, I’ve never found the brewery to be anything but welcoming and friendly, including for families, and with its variety of beer and house-made cocktails, you can bring anyone there with you.

 

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