Sebago Brewing Co. has had a brewpub on Elm Street in Gorham for ages, but earlier this year opened a new brewery and tasting room on Main Street, and it definitely merits a visit.
You know you’re in for a large-scale experience upon seeing the gigantic building that’s visible from down the road, the enormous parking lot and the extensive outdoor seating area. The interior gives off a spacious vibe as well, with lots of big bench table seating, several high-tops and three different bars, including one overlooking the biggest wood-fired pizza oven I’ve ever seen (and I’m from Texas, where everything is bigger). Despite being packed, it never felt crowded.
Preferring to be in our native habitat, my drinking companion and I sat at the regular bar and were pleased to find comfortable barstools with backs, purse hooks underneath the bar and a big glass of pretzel rods. At first we were a bit thrown off by the fact that the menu of eight pilot beers was available only on an electronic screen behind the bar. I’m not saying that I have bad eyesight, but the only way I could read it was to take a photo on my phone and then enlarge it. It made a lot more sense, however, once the bartender explained that they brew each pilot beer only five barrels at a time, so any paper version would quickly become obsolete as new pilot beers rotated onto the menu. Prices range from $2 to $7, depending on size, and you can even create your own beer flight.
I don’t go to a brewery expecting to find a wine list, let alone an interesting one, but the tasting room offered five Maine wines from $7 to $9. There’s also Coffee By Design Coffee, Maine Root soda and nine local spirits from distillers such as Liquid Riot, Maine Craft Distilling, Doom Forest Distillery, Tree Spirits of Maine, Twenty 2 Vodka and Sweetgrass Distillery.
I got even more excited when I saw the cocktail menu featuring eight of the most original cocktails I’ve seen. It was genuinely hard to choose, but I ended up going for the perfectly balanced $9 Hot & Coolcumber (Hendrick’s gin, jalapeno-infused Ice Pik vodka, fresh cucumber, sugar-cured jalapeno, lime and agave nectar). My drinking companion had planned to order a pilot beer but got so distracted by the cocktail menu that she ended up getting the $9 French Vanilla Cold Brew Martini (Ice Pik vodka, Black Magic French Vanilla coffee brandy and chilled White Cap bourbon aged nitro coffee). Our conversation from that point on consisted primarily of repeating “This drink is DELICIOUS!” to each other.
In addition to the $12 to $14 wood-fired pizza, the menu (which differs from the one at the Elm Street brewpub) has a full range of options showcasing local ingredients, such as Bangs Island mussels and Pineland Farms ribs. Items range from the usual brewpub fare to more creative touches like the $9 sweet and salty beet fries with malt vinegar fig jam.
Oh, and did I mention how delicious our cocktails were?
WHERE: 616 Main St., Gorham
PHONE: (207) 856-2537
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
AMENITIES: Tasting room tours every hour, large parking lot, outdoor seating, wood-fired pizza oven and a revolving series of eight pilot beers brewed only five barrels at a time. The brewery even hosts occasional beer and yoga sessions on summer Sundays.
BOTTOM LINE: Love beer? This is your place. Don’t even drink beer? No problem, there are plenty of other options.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes