Best Pale Ales: Mo, Peeper, Paloma

Baxter Brewing’s Pamola Xtra Pale Ale (#41), and both Peeper (#7) and Mo (#2) from Maine Beer Company were rated some of the best Pale Ale’s on the market in Paste magazine’s blind tasting.

The verdict: Whoever formulates hop-forward beer recipes at Maine Beer Co. just knows how to push our buttons, but we’re glad to at least note that beer geeks everywhere seem to agree with us. MO is the slightly bigger brother of Peeper, and it’s also the more assertive and unforgettable beer by the same margin…It ends with the immaculately clean crispness we’ve come to expect from MBC. There’s no brewery in 2016 using American hops so well, so consistently.

Under Construction: Hero


Here’s a look inside the construction site of Hero, a counter service sandwich shop located at 30 City Center, the former home of Soakology. It is collaboration between Empire co-owner Todd Bernard and Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, founders of Otto Pizza. Hero plans to provide downtown office workers with a new lunchtime alternative, and will also be serving prepared meals like rotisserie chicken to go at the end of the work day.

This Week’s Events: Peddleman’s, Lamb & Whiskey, East Ender Class, Incredible Breakfast Cook-off, Brassserie Dieu du Ceil, Nordi Release

MondayVinland is holding natural wine dinner with winemakers Fabien Jouves from Cahors and Benjamin Taillandier from Minervois.

Tuesday — Terlingua is hosting a women’s tequila tasting, Bao Bao is hosting a Peddleman’s pop-up dinner.

Thursday — Evo is serving a Lamb and whiskey dinner, and a Brunello di Montalcino is taking place at Vignola/Cinque Terre.

Friday — East Ender chefs Karl Deuben and Bill Leavy are teaching a cooking class at Stonewall Kitchen in York, the 2016 MRW Incredible Breakfast Cook-off is taking place, Rising Tide is holding a beer and oysters event, BiBo’s is holding a wine dinner, and there will be a Foundation Brewing dinner at Camp Hammond.

Saturday — Novare Res will have 6 rare versions of Brassserie Dieu du Ceil’s Péché on tap, this month’s Rosemont cabin fever dinner is taking place as is the Winter Farmers’ Market.

Sunday — The 2016 MRW cocktail and food pairing competition is taking place, Rhum is hosting the release party for Nordi, a collaboration beer between Banded Horn and Owl & Whale.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Interview with Lauren Pignatello

The Maine Sunday Telegram has published an interview with Lauren Pignatello, owner of Swallowtail Farm and Creamery and manager of winter farmers’ market.

In the next few weeks, Lauren Pignatello plans to open a cafe called Milk and Honey at 84 Cove St., the new(ish) home of the Portland Winter Farmers’ Market. Her cafe will feature dairy products from Swallowtail Farm and Creamery, the family farm she and her husband, Sean, run in North Whitefield, as well as herbal products, including elixirs, that Pignatello has either foraged or grown.

Reviews: Rhum, East Ender, Crooked Mile

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Rhum,

The croque was made with two pieces of focaccia between which was the kimchi. On top were the American and egg. I sliced a piece and drove it at warp speed into my face. It was magnificent. Cheese and egg make anything better, but the soft bread and perfectly spicy veg gave me all the awesome I could handle. The egg was a little runny but not so much so that it was dripping everywhere, which was ideal. As I continued eating it, I just couldn’t get enough of the kimchi which permeated the dish with mild, but ever-present heat.

the Press Herald has reviewed the Crooked Mile Cafe,

I’m already hopelessly devoted to The Crooked Mile on Milk Street in Portland and so when I heard they had opened a second location on Brighton Avenue, going there was essentially like renewing my vows. Though I wondered, would the service be as friendly and speedy? Would the food be as good?

and The Golden Dish has reviewed brunch at the East Ender.

…East Ender uses grass fed sirloin steak procured from Rosemont’s butchery; they pound it thin and coat it in a batter that is deep fried to emerge as crisp as the Colonel’s finest. It’s cloaked in a dark sausage gravy that’s smooth and light. Adorned with two poached eggs and a delicious buttery biscuit that practically melts at first bite, it’s a fine dish with elegance and heartiness.

Brew Bus Expands to Boston

The Maine Brew Bus has announced plans to expand into the Boston market.

In the Greater Boston area there are dozens of small and medium breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Many of these businesses are brand new or not even open yet, and they do not currently have visits from any tour operators.

Over the past three years we have been refining our business with an eye towards offering our popular style of tours in other areas. And Boston is a logical next market for us.

Charles DeGrandpre, 88

Charles DeGrandpre, former Wolfe’s Neck Farm manager, passed away recently at the age of 88.

He was recruited to work at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in 1968 by its founders, Lawrence M.C. and Eleanor Houston Smith, early pioneers of organic agriculture. Together, the Smiths and DeGrandpre developed an organic beef farm, which became home to 300 head of mostly Black Angus. He was an early leader in developing healthy soils and nutrient-rich grasses with very few grains.

For more information on his life and accomplishments, see this obituary in the Press Herald.

Masa Miyake, Natural Wine

This week’s Portland Phoenix includes an interview with Masa Miyake,

LO: What would you say is your most popular dish on the menu, and what’s your personal favorite?
MM: The hamayaki (which the menu describes as “lobster, crab and scallop over sushi rice with truffle oil and spicy kewpie”) is very popular. I like Sashimi. I’m excited about local fish and [prepping] it. People also really like the daily Bento Box, which is chef’s choice. (The Bento Box consists of “six different small tastes, from sashimi to meat and vegetables,” according to the menu, and it’s served with miso soup.)

and an article about the emerging interest in natural wine in Portland.

“There’s definitely something afoot,” says Peter [Hale]. Though it gets a lot of attention from high-end publications, natural wine is mostly only popular in “tiny pockets within larger markets” like New York City or the Bay Area. That means Portland, “proportionally, is way ahead of the game” with its single dedicated shop, and Maine is even home to a cutting edge producer in Oyster River Winegrowers, based in Warren.