Monday, July 2, 2012

Bier Cellar comes to Portland

Get out and discover this new gem in the Portland area.
Here is information straight from them:

Our hours are expanded with this being a holiday week. We will be open Monday, July 2 from 12-8pm. The rest of the week we will also be open 12-8pm, including the 4th.

Saturday is our grand opening party. Allagash and Honeymaker will be in doing tastings
from 2-5pm. Mount Desert Island Ice Cream has made ice cream just for us using Allagash Black, Allagash White, and push pops out of Honeymaker Lavender Mead. Allagash will be sampling the Black, White, Victor & Victoria. Honeymaker will taste across their entire line.

We will have raffles all day for brewery and Bier Cellar schwag as well, all you have to do is stop in to participate. We will be open
10am - 7pm. Please spread the word!



Monday, June 25, 2012

Sebago Bass Ackwards Berryblue

Sebago Brewing Company Set To Release Single Batch Beer, Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale
Beer brewed with real Maine blueberry juice

Gorham, Maine - June 25, 2012 - Sebago Brewing Company is pleased to announce the release of their Single Batch Beer, Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale on Friday June 29th, 2012.


Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale (4.4% ABV) is an unfiltered, all-natural mild pale ale made with crushed Maine blueberries. It is a refreshing, well balanced beer that has a crisp, fruity aroma and finishes clean and dry. The name Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale is for its unconventional use of only fresh Maine blueberry juice in the fermenter. This results in a more subtle blueberry fruit aroma and taste. Bass Ackwards Berryblue is best paired with light fare such as salads, roasted vegetables and light seafood dishes.


Bass Ackwards Berryblue Ale Fact Sheet

Style: Fruit Beer

History: First Brewed in 2002

Orig. Gravity: 12 °P

Appearance: Light amber with purple hue

Aroma: Slight fruity blueberry nose

Flavor: Light body with dry blueberry finish

Ingredients: Brewed with American 2-row, Caramel malt and real Maine blueberry juice

Hops: Northern Brewer, Mt. Hood 

Color: Dark Ruby Hue 21 SRM

ABV: 4.4%

IBUs: 13.4

Pairing Suggestions: light fare, salads


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Boothbay 2012

Where can you find all of the Maine brewers hanging out in one place on one afternoon?
The Boothbay Resort on July 14, from 1-4 with a special VIP session starting at noon.
Come out and support the Maine Brewers' Guild & its talented members! For more information & to obtain tickets, go to

Cheers :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Prince Tuesday

Poster & Prince Tuesday logo designed by Dee Dee from Allagash Brewing Company

Come out this Saturday, May 12th, at Mama's Crowbar in Portland for the Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Rising Tide collaboration release of Prince Tuesday.  The party starts at 4 and goes until 9. Other beers will be on draft from the trio of breweries as well. Great food will be sold by Local Sprouts (cookout style- for $10 you get burgers, kielbasa, potato salad, coleslaw and apple crisp).  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Portland Trails. In addition, the brewers will be there to visit.
Don't miss your chance to support your local breweries!  Cheers :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Smuttynose Brewery

Big Beer Series:  Baltic Porter

Very, very, soon, I will get my act together & post about my fantastic trip to the Smuttynose Brewery.  Highlights to include: professional pictures by a mom friend & insider info from the brewers, along with hazy tasting notes.  In addition, the post will have a review of, Brett & I, which is Smutty's speciality sour release and is only sold at the brewery in New Hampshire.  Do I have your attention yet?  I hope so! Thanks for your patience... Cheers! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Samuel Adams - Update & Honey Porter Review

It's amazing to consider that one year ago, I began writing this blog.  "Amazing" may sound like an exaggeration but truly, I simply envisioned tasting beer and writing about it for my friends, as a way to have an outlet, from the day to day stay-at-home mom gig.  I didn't realize that through writing about beer, I'd meet great people who do the same thing and beyond. I've met down to earth local, Portland, Maine brewers; "big" time craft brewers like Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head; beer bloggers and social media gurus.  All of them have one constant theme:  sharing the craft beer love aka community onto others.  Which leads me to this next post.  I'm sharing the link to the very first ever Samuel Adams blog post, as a tribute to being the first brewery I ever reviewed. In addition, I met a craft beer buddy, Nick, this past November via Twitter at the Maine Brewers' Fest.  Ironically, he's a Mainer who is now doing the Samuel Adams newly debuted Twitter feed.  If you're on it, follow him at: @SamuelAdams Beer!  Congrats, Nick!  The next time you're back in town, let me know, I owe you a beer! Oh, and if Jim Koch needs a special palate to taste any upcoming beers, you know how to reach me!

Re-Post of my Samuel Adams Honey Porter review--the 1st ever on my blog!
Original post date:  1.7.11: (let's hope it's evident that the blog has evolved)!

The first beer to get reviewed in the blog--an ironic choice in that it has Boston routes as do I (BC alum & former Newton Public Schools Employee--Go Lions & Tigers!).  The fate of being first is not always easy--(1st children know this all too well) & sadly, it is only first because it happened to be the last beer in our refrigerator.  This lonely bottle was part of a six-pack purchased at a small beer store in early December in Scarborough, ME for under $5.00; quite the bargain, as it usually sells for $8 a six-pack.  Being the smart shopper that I am, I scooped it up only to realize, after the fact,that it was on sale because the expiration date was earlier this fall.  Alas, perhaps the taste could have been altered but given my desperation at 5pm, sometimes referred to by moms as the "witching hour," to drink anything with alcohol this past date wasn't a factor to me.  So while I was feeding the 6mos old in his high chair, flipping pancakes and burning pre-cooked bacon, I finagled the bottle opener and poured my first sips. 

Taste:  the honey comes through & definitely leaves you with a sweetness on your tongue
*although it is a porter, it is not overly heavy and very smooth.
**Delicious choice with bacon and pancakes :)
Color:  dark almost like a coke
Thickness:  slight to moderate
Will it help me sleep better? Yes
Mom factoid: honey is a natural way to help little people (older than age 1) when they have a cough or sore throat--just give a teaspoon of honey during cold season!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Anchor Brewing Co. Our Special Ale 2011

As told to us on the bottle, "This is the thirty-seventh 'Our Special Ale' from the brewers at Anchor.  It is sold only from early November to mid-January.  The Ale's recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same:  joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons, appears born anew."

Brewery:  Anchor, San Francisco, CA
Style:  Ale brewed with natural flavors & with natural flavors added

Tasting Notes:
Aroma:  Pine, resin, Birch wood & subtle malt notes

Taste:  Malt forward (not overly sweet); husband described as tasting like drinking birch or root beer soda; detect pine flavors throughout but not in a harsh or bitter way.  Really unique and refreshing on the palate.

Color:  Amber stone

Thickness:  Medium to full body; half-inch caramel colored frothy head which lingers and leaves delicate lacing in the glass.  Nicely carbonated.

ABV:  5.5%; feels almost like a "session beer" where you can easily have more than one in a sitting.

Mom Factoid:  This holiday offering from Anchor was one of the top vote getters  in my, "What craft beer should go under my Christmas Tree" poll in December.  I can't believe this is the first year I remember having it.  Let me tell you, I really wish I had sought it out in previous years, as it's truly delicious.  I love the symbolism they describe on their bottle, of trees representing the winter solstice and the idea that there is a rebirth when the seasons change.  I think it's neat that a brewery puts some depth into it's beers.  Cheers!

Special Note:  I picked a Tuesday to review this beer as a shout out to my friends over at Brew England who coined the term:  'Tuesday Tasting' on their awesome craft beer blog.  It is an honor to have been asked by them to draw your attention to an upcoming event in March, called 'Cure Me I'm Irish'.  Please check out their website at for further information on this worthwhile fundraising event & the breweries involved.  Thank you!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pretty Things Saint Botolph's Town

Brewery: Pretty Things from Westport, MA
Twitter: @prettybeer

Style: Rustic Brown Ale
Bottle Notes:  "This beer is inspired by Northern English dark ales and by St. Botolph, an Anglo-Saxon saint who gave Boston its name."  "Saint Botolph's Town is a malty brown ale made with barley from Yorkshire and a blend of two yeast strains."

Aroma:  Figs, malt, & dried fruit notes

Taste: Malt forward with caramel tones intertwined.  Similarly, like the aroma, I detect a harmonious union of figs & dried fruit notes.  Very little, if any bitterness in the finish. Quite a pleasant sipper, particularly on a cold night!

Color:  Roasted deep brown chestnuts

Thickness:  Beautiful lacing along the edges of the glass, coupled with a lingering top layer of a small yet creamy head ,which doesn't dissipate.  Overall, it has a balanced carbonation with a medium to full, silky, smooth body.

ABV:  5.9%

Mom Factoid:  Picked this bottle up over New Year's weekend while staying with family in Sudbury.  I had heard wonderful things regarding another offering from them, Jack D'or, a Farmhouse Saison beer, which I also brought back with me to Maine.  I tremendously enjoyed the Jack but didn't take notes & the bottle was finished before I thought to do it.  So, last night, I was prepared for my tasting of the Saint Botolph's.  I look forward to grabbing more offerings, these two included, the next time I'm in Massachusetts.  Not only are their bottles "pretty," their beer is delicious!  Cheers to discovering new craft beer in 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Maine Beer Company News

A short & wonderful documentary on the Maine Beer Company was released and can be accessed here:

Located in Portland, ME, I've been enjoying their beers for the past year and have reviewed their Mean Old Tom & Lunch. Check them out below:
Mean Old Tom Review
Lunch Review

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 25: Gritty's Christmas Ale

Happy New Year!  I've been on an unplanned hiatus from the blog due to traveling over the holidays.  I did have an opportunity to post a guest review over on the Beer Advent Calendar on Christmas Day!  Talk about coming full circle--one year ago, I was contemplating starting a craft review blog & one year later, I was invited to participate in a collaborative craft beer bloggers project, with fellow bloggers from all over the country.  How cool is that?  Just goes to show, if you pay attention to your internal voice, the one that nudges you to take risks, good things will follow.  I hope you all had a wonderful 2011 & a here's a virtual toast to an even better 2012!  Cheers!

Beer Advent Calendar, Day 25:
Who doesn't love a beer with the promise of Christmas in each sip?  I don't actually mean the "taste" of Christmas that one might associate with other holiday brews.  You know, those that have:  nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, all-spice, vanilla bean, honey, pine, miseltoe etc...No, Gritty's Christmas Ale contains zero additives, fruits or spices.  This beer is more about celebrating the spirit of Christmas, here in Maine than it is about attempting to artificially taste it.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a winter warmer beer that has a variety of holidayish flavors, but what I appreciate about this Christmas Ale is it's simplicity.  I think sometimes in the race to buy our gifts we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is (more on this topic below in Mom Factoid).  Interestingly, thanks to Gritty McDuff's clever packaging, they give you the image of Santa, in full regalia with his white beard, red hat and stockings stuffed with bottles of beer on the mantle. For me, this image evokes the perfect motif for a craft beer lovers Christmas celebration with family & friends during the holiday season.

Aroma: Malt balls with a subtle hint of caramel creme candy
Color:  Pours a roasted chestnut brown with reddish hues glistening throughout the glass.
Taste:  Malt forward with carmel notes on the tongue with a burst of mild bitterness on the finish. Balanced & clean on the palate. 
Thickness:  A medium to full body with a small quarter inch tan head that fades quickly.  Yet, there's pretty icicle-like lacing that hangs around throughout the tasting.  Carbonation is balanced.
ABV:  6.2%;  Not that high of an abv for a winter warmer styled beer, which results in easily consuming more than one in a sitting.

Mom Factoid:  As mentioned earlier, in the intro, I noted that sometimes in the race to buy our gifts, we forget what the true spirit of the holidays is.  Particularly, as a parent, coach and/or teacher, one of our greatest daily challenges is to set a good example for the children we interact with.  I find that the holidays can often bring out the worst in others with the mounting stress to buy more presents, without examining that it's in the shared act of giving that we truly gain an appreciation for what we have.  These can be complex issues to work through but, what's been wonderful about blogging, this past year, has been the daily reminder that there is a collaborative spirit that exists between others.  It's a spirit of sharing ideas, supporting each other's experiences and providing feedback that allows each of us to grow, not just our blogs but also ourselves.  Truly, this Advent Craft Beer Calendar is a perfect example of the collaborative spirit--one that symbolizes being part of a community. It is this simple recognition, that we are not alone but part of a bigger world, that I hope to pass on to my Little Duo, as being the true essence of Christmas.   

About Gritty's: