Thursday, May 31, 2012

Breweries of the Week: DL Geary Brewing Company & Gritty McDuff's

This weekly blog series will feature each of our member breweries located throughout the state of Maine. We invite you to grab a pint, sit back and relax, while we fill you in on the lively brew scene in our state.

Who? D.L.Geary Brewing Company located in Portland Maine, has an impressive past, present and no doubt future, in the brewing world. David and Karen Geary first turned dream into reality in the fall of 1983 when they incorporated D.L. Geary Brewing Company. But this dream didn’t just happen overnight and they spent the next 3 years, traveling to Scotland and England for research and training, creating a business plan, securing investors, real estate, equipment and product brand. In December of 1986 their hard work and vision paid off when they produced their first pints of Geary’s Pale Ale, in what became the first microbrewery in Maine and New England.

What? It seems like the Geary’s team pretty much always has something exciting happening …like being named ‘The Best in the WORLD!’ Yes that’s right; the New York Times blind taste test awarded that impressive title to the Geary’s London Porter. That is some pretty big recognition! Not only for D.L. Geary’s, but for Maine Breweries AND for the state itself! But I think one of the coolest things about D.L. Geary Brewing Company, is their scholarship program. Every year, in partnership with the Maine College of Art, the Geary team awards an undergrad scholarship to an art student, as part of their summer label design contest. Now how cool is that?

Where? The brew team offers scheduled brewery and tasting tours and have a very cool online store as well. Check out their website for details and to enter their great contests like the one running right now: A Striper Fishing trip for four people! Cheers to Geary’s and all of the great ways they celebrate summer in Maine!

Who? I’d be willing to be that pretty much everybody who has visited Portland, has at least once, spent time at Gritty’s Brew Pub! And those who have not hung out in the Old Port location have most likely spent a time or two at one of the classic {Gritty’s style} tavern tables in Freeport or their newest location in Auburn. There is always some sort of party going on, be it in the huge backyard of the Freeport Pub, in the heart of Portland’s Old Port or on the riverfront deck in Auburn. My point being, Gritty’s Brew Pub is pretty much a Maine staple at this point, when it comes to fun in Maine. The humble beginnings of founders Ed Stebbins and Richard Pfeffer date back to 1988 and consisted of two simple goals; 1) to create a true, English-style pub serving fresh ales and great food, and 2) to have fun doing it! I guess I’ll go way out on a limb here and say that they just might have achieved their goals!

What? The Brew Pub stands just fine on its own, with 24 years of awards piled up in countless categories like the Best Brew Pub in Maine and the Best Bar in Maine. But let’s talk for a minute about the beer. After all, what is a brew pub without the brew? The Gritty’s brew team has been perfecting the art of brewing award winning ales for almost 25 years and there are certainly no signs of slowing down. From flagship ales, to special brews to seasonal brews…there doesn’t seem to be an end to the possibilities...or the fans. Just check out their facebook page….7,000 and counting!

When? Pretty much all the time. This is the section where I typically talk about what great event is coming soon, in hopes to help spread the word. At Gritty’s however, the task of choosing is far too daunting and the best advice I can give is this: Pick a day and a location and show up. Chances are there will be something fun going on! Or… follow their blog, join their mailing list, check their calendar, like them on facebook or tweet them. Shop online, visit their stores, or join their mug club. Whatever you decide to do doesn’t really matter…as long as you just Do it, at Gritty’s!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Breweries of the Week: Bull Jagger and Federal Jacks

This weekly blog series will feature each of our member breweries located throughout the state of Maine. We invite you to grab a pint, sit back and relax, while we fill you in on the lively brew scene in our state.

Who: Bull Jagger Brewing Company located in Portland, Maine opened its doors in 2011 and Brewmaster Tom Bull and partner Allan Jagger focused all attention on perfecting one primary lager. The Portland Lager made its official debut last fall at the well acclaimed Harvest on the Harbor, in a tall, one pint .9oz bottle, offering a look as classic and pure as its taste. Modeled after the traditional Helle beers of Bavaria, the Portland Lager recipe follows that of the German Purity Laws dating back to 1516, using the purest of water, malt hops and yeast. How cool is that? Just the thought of drinking a Bull Jagger Lager makes me feel pure!

What: But the red hot news at Bull Jagger these days is the launch of their Big Claw Pilsner. As writer Tom Atwell so eloquently stated in the May 17th Portland Press Herald, What Ales You issue: ‘Lagers have a bad reputation in America, and Pilsners are the lagers most people think they know. Most watery, fizzy American beers pretend to be Pilsners. Bull Jagger Brewing Co., which introduced its first beer in October, is working to redeem the reputation of lagers. Its Big Claw Pilsner -- which appeared on store shelves last week -- continues that effort...’

Apparently the Bull Jagger team is well on their way to readjusting American attitudes….and that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

Where: The brew team offers scheduled brewery tours at their Portland Industrial Park location and are often out and about town doing things you might want to know about {like their Big Claw Launch Party at Jimmy The Greeks last week}. So if you want to crash their party…follow them on facebook or twitter…chances are you’ll find them!

Get to know the Bull Jagger Team:
Visit their website

Who: Federal Jacks, located in Kennebunkport, Maine was established in 1992 and is famous for their spectacular waterfront views, creative pub fare and award winning ales. Federal Jacks is one of Maine’s first brew pubs and the birthplace of the award winning line of handcrafted ales from Shipyard Brewing Company.

What: The Federal Jack brew team handcrafts all of their brews right on site in their seven barrel brewery located downstairs from the pub. Among their many popular ales are Shipyard Export, Shipyard Blue Fin Stout, Old Thumper, Fuggles IPA, Shipyard Brown Ale and local favorite, Taint Town Pale Ale.

When: Tonight! Federal Jacks is definitely THE place to be at 5pm on May 17th for the 2012 Member Guest Spring Mug Club Social! There is even going to be a firkin on the bar! If you don’t know what a firkin is, there is only one thing to do…head on over and find out! 8 Western Avenue, Kennebunk, ME

Get to know the Federal Jack Team:
Visit their website