Hop’in Around: Maine events

By on June 26, 2019

Mason’s Brewing Company’s Mosaic Hipster Apocalypse.

 

When I lived in Maine in the late ‘90s through the 2000s, Maine was on the forefront of what was then called microbrews. It was no California, but the states half-dozen or so breweries ranked it near the top of what would become the “craft beer” movement. Places like Shipyard Brewing Co. and Geary’s (both in Portland) have been staples of the independent beer scene since before the word “craft” was attached to beer.

I’m still in the Pine Tree State as I write this, working from a hotel room nestled in the foothills of Western Maine near where I used to live. But our visit started back in Portland before hopping through small seaside towns along the scenic coast and heading into the interior. Like always I made it a point to hit as many breweries as our time would allow.

In Portland, I really like Liquid Riot. From the open design to the old school arcade games, this place has fun for everyone, including beers brewed and alcohol distilled on-site. For libations, keep it simple: Haute Fashioned No. 2 with the Liquid Riot House Whiskey Blend, sugar, and bitters; or Herbie, a moderate-ABV dry-hopped session ale. I was bummed to find Liquid Riot out of their house-made kombucha, but the bartender was quick to offer hand-crafted, made-to-order “sodas” for the non-alcohol drinkers.

Of course, we also hit the Geary’s in Old Port — the place for nightlife in Maine.

Further up the coast we stopped at the eco-friendly Atlantic Brewing Company on Mt. Desert Island, where we enjoyed some outdoor games before the sun set and the bugs started to manifest.

Fellow travelers and Hop’in Around fans Jeremy Martin and Crystal Fox partake in some leisure activities at Atlantic Brewing Company near Bar Harbor, Maine.

We also dropped some coins in Bar Harbor, having lunch from Maine Beer Company (considered the crème of craft in Maine. We only had time to drive past the brewery in Freeport — it looks cool from the outside).

Heading inland, we found Mason’s Brewing Company in Brewer (right next to Bangor), a quasi-industrial, post-apocalyptic themed brewery offering beers named IV Norseman and Mushroom Cloud. We tried the Mosaic Hipster Apocalypse, which is described as “dank and piney with strong tangerine characteristics.” It’s a solid beer, proving Mason’s attention to detail and commitment to a quality product.

The main destination of our trip was here in Western Maine where I used to enjoy brews from the Granary (Farmington, and now defunct) and a place I can’t remember near the ski resort of Sugarloaf USA. The popularity of craft beer has launched 10* breweries since I used to live here including Ambition Brewing (Wilton), which many locals consider the best brewery, despite its small size and short history, in the area.

*Fluvial Brewing in Harrison will open soon, they promise, making 11 breweries in this part of the state. In comparison, the Greater Portland taproom directory lists 38 locations for beer tasting. The beer boom is going strong in Maine!

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

Hand-crafted, made-to-order “sodas” offer non-alcohol alternatives at Liquid Riot in Portland, Maine’s Old Port. (Photos by Michael Upton)

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