“I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.” – Mr. Rogers
This Saturday, there’s a beer release going on that you shouldn’t miss. It embodies the entire Maine craft beer scene’s attitudes of collaboration and neighborly love. The weather’s going to be gorgeous and it’ll get you a little outside of the craziness going on downtown for The Old Port Festival. The beer is Prince Tuesday – a collaboration beer brewed by Allagash Brewing Company, Maine Beer Company and Rising Tide Brewing. Named after the character from Mr. Rogers, the beer captures the neighborly spirit from when the three breweries used to be literally neighbors on Industrial Way.
Each brewer brings their own ingredient(s) to the mix, and they spend a day brewing the beer together. This will be the third year for this collaboration – and it’s been a heart-warming tradition to get these three craft brewers to annually collaborate. The beer will feature Maine-grown rye malts (brought by Rising Tide), a generous dose of hops (provided by Maine Beer Company), and a Belgian yeast (provided by Allagash).
The result of this has been a light, but clearly Belgian style beer, similar to a Saison with a lot of hop character, or perhaps some people are calling Belglian style IPAs. It’s a very likable beer (and comes it at a manageable 7.7% ABV), and I am certain it’ll go over well if the weather is going to be as awesome as it is.
The party for Prince Tuesday’s release will take place starting at 2:00pm at Mama’s Crowbar (189 Congress), one of my favorite spots to drink craft beer in this town. The event will features a neighborhood “cookout” which invites bar patrons into the alley/yard next door to Mama’s – something that doesn’t happen any other time of the year.
This year, the food will come from Salvage BBQ & Smokehouse. Plates of this deliciousness will be available for $10. Just remember, Mama’s is a cash-only establishment, so don’t get caught slapping plastic on the bar or you’ll have to hike up the hill to go to the ATM at the gas station on the corner.
And, if brining together the who’s who of Maine craft beer for a backyard party isn’t enough, a portion of the proceeds from the beer sales (which will also be available in a small release of large-format bottles) will go to Portland Trails, a nonprofit land trust that creates trails and preserves green space for the public.
Tricia Pryce Henley, owner of Mama’s Crowbar (and known by patrons as “Mama”) has noted once or twice that of the events that she hosts at her bar, this is one of her favorites – and it’s not just because of the beer. To her and her staff, the event, now in its third year, is indicative of the community that she dreamed of creating around Mama’s Crowbar.
“When we took over the bar, it was a bar in a neighborhood, not a neighborhood bar,” says Henley.
When Allagash first came to her talking about the collaborative beer, looking place for the event, Mama’s was also looking for a neighborhood celebration event to bring together the regulars and community that had become like family. By bringing in both the brewers that had collaborated together, and by pulling in other local businesses (Local Sprouts and East Ender were chosen to provide food for the past two events), and by supporting Portland Trails – the Prince Tuesday event was a perfect fit.
“The people here have worked hand and hand, just like the brewers, and this was something we could all collaborate on.”
The event serves (in my eyes, anyway) as an unofficial summer kickoff event, and has the feeling of something familiar – a backyard barbecue – supported by people that you know and love.
Henley says that the annual event has become a reunion of the Maine beer “family” as well as a sign that her aims to create a neighborhood around her bar continue to be fulfilled. “At the event, it’s hard not to get teary. I look out and see exactly what I wanted my bar to be.”
I’ll see you there, neighbors.