Imagine if NBC decided to do a modern remake of Cheers, the beloved 80s sitcom set in a Boston bar by the same name. If NBC executives came to me to modernize the setting of the show I would tell them the series shouldn’t take place in a bar. Nope. Instead, the new Sam Malone would own a brewery and the show would be set in his neighborhood tasting room.
The TV executives might flip out, as executives are wont to do, but I would argue that tasting rooms are becoming the new neighborhood watering holes. I’ve seen a small brewery in Maine that would be the perfect model for a new Cheers. It’s a cozy tasting room filled with friendly locals and their dogs. And if you lived in York, and frequented this tasting room, everybody would certainly know your name.
What is this brewery and tasting room I speak of? It’s SoMe Brewing Company, located behind York County Federal Credit Union. I mean, how local can you get? Hit up the bank for a deposit, then head around back to the brewery for a growler fill.
On my last visit to SoMe Brewing, the place was abuzz with local patrons chatting up the tasting room attendant. They all seemed to know each other by their easy cadence and the intimate knowledge they knew about each other’s lives. When a man in overalls walked in with his German shorthaired pointer, someone at the bar turned and said, “Charles!” Did somebody say “Norm”?
The draft list on my January visit included SoMe’s two year-round offerings: Whoopie Pie Stout and Crystal Persuasion Double Pale Ale. In addition to their two flagship beers, they were also pouring Sweet Solstice, a spiced blonde ale, Templeton, a saison with lemon peel and coriander, Redrum, an imperial red saison, Box the Compass, a double IPA, and Foghorn Robust Coffee Porter.
The hoppy beers didn’t stand out for me as they usually do on a tasting room list – the hop aroma and flavor were muted in both Crystal Persuasion and Box the Compass. I did enjoy the two saisons on the list. They were refreshing and had nice spicy notes from the yeast.
However, the beer that would keep me coming back to SoMe Brewing was the Foghorn Robust Coffee Porter. This big porter is brewed with Anthony’s Artisan Coffee from Anthony’s Food Shop located just up the street from the brewery. The beer has bold coffee aromas and flavors from the locally roasted beans. Foghorn is 7.2 percent alcohol by volume, but it doesn’t taste overly boozy. The chocolate and coffee flavors provide a nice tasting experience from start to finish. This hefty porter is a great beer for the dark days of winter when you’re looking for a full-bodied brew with a high abv to stave off the mid-winter blues.
The utopian future I like to sit around and imagine is filled with neighborhood brewery tasting rooms like SoMe Brewing in York. Places where the beer is fresh, where you can shoot the breeze with your neighborhood brewer, and where everybody knows your name.
Cheers! (Pun intended.)
WHERE: 1 York St., York
ON DRAFT: Whoopie Pie Stout, Crystal Persuasion Double Pale Ale, and a Rotating List of Other SoMe Beers
HOURS: They suggest going to their Facebook Page for up-to-date hours
MORE INFO: www.somebrewingco.com
Ebb & Flow/Rising Tide Brewing Beer Dinner
Rising Tide Brewing Company, 103 Fox Street, Portland
5 p.m. Thursday
Portland’s brewing and restaurant scenes are thriving, so it makes sense that beer dinners are popular events around town. On Thursday, Ebb & Flow and Rising Tide Brewing combine their food and spirits prowess with a beer dinner featuring five Rising Tide beers each paired with a Mediterranean-inspired dish. Both the chef and brewers will be on hand to guide patrons through the menu.
Brewers Winter Classic Hockey Tournament
Oxbow Brewing Company, 274 Jones Woods Road, Newcastle
This New England brewing version of the Winter Classic outdoor hockey game will feature teams from Allagash Brewing, Smuttynose Brewing, In’finiti Brewing, and, of course, Oxbow Brewing. By all accounts, last year’s tournament was a great time for spectators. Oxbow’s tasting room will be open and look for food from local food trucks.