Frosted Glasses & Gruits

The Beer Babe column in The Bollard explains why frosted beer glasses are not a craft beer’s best friend,

Across a busy table of work colleagues I tried, in vain, to gesture for the server to stop — to prevent the exquisite and complex taste and aroma of the beer from entering into an unholy communion with the frosted vessel. While I helplessly watched, she poured the beer directly into the glass, which was so cold that the edges of the beer’s head turned to spiky ice crystals. I grimaced.

and the beer column in today’s Press Herald reports on the gruits being produced by Urban Farm Fermentory.

A gruit is a beer flavored with a variety of spices and herbs instead of hops. Gruit recipes date back thousands of years and remained en vogue throughout Europe until hops became the flavoring ingredient of choice around the 1200s.

Hero Closed (Updated)

Hero sandwich shop in Monument Square has gone out of business, according to a report from the Press Herald.

Hero, the sandwich shop at 30 City Center co-owned by Todd Bernard of Empire and the owners of Otto, closed abruptly Monday after having been open just five months.

The Bangor Daily News has also posted a report on the closure of Hero and next steps for the Otto restaurant group.

Though Hero opened with a bang, the fervor in Maine’s foodiest city was hard to maintain. “There was not enough marketing behind it. We had a lot of momentum out of the gate, but not a sustained, concerted effort,” said Brody, who felt Hero’s story got lost in the fast-changing foodscape.

Update: Co-founder Todd Bernard had sold his interest in Hero to the owners of Otto a month prior to the closure of the restaurant.

Drifters Wife on Bon Appétit Top 50 List

Drifters Wife was selected Bon Appétit for their list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America.

Chef Ben Jackson—whom the couple met while working at Andrew Tarlow’s Williamsburg restaurants—relies on local veg and fresh-caught fish (get whatever cod special he’s serving) to put out elegant shareable plates from a tiny kitchen: beef tongue consommé one night, clam toast with horseradish aioli another. Add in a roster of eccentric bottles, and Drifters Wife effortlessly nails that date-night wine-bar vibe that city dwellers know so well.

Check back on August 16th to learn if Bon Appétit selects Drifters to be in the top 10.

Portland area restaurants have featured prominently in the 50 Best list for the past few years:

  • 2015 – Tandem Bakery and East Ender
  • 2014 – Central Provisions and Palace Diner
  • 2013 – Eventide Oyster Co.

Maine Beer Co. Expanding

Maine Beer Company is in the early stages of planning to quadruple the size of their brewery in Freeport, according to a report from the Press Herald.

The expansion would add a large production and office building and expand the existing tasting room, outdoor seating area and parking lot. In a sketch plan submitted to the town, the company said the expansion is needed to meet demand for its beers, which have gained a national reputation and a legion of dedicated fans.

This Week’s Events: Birth of Sake, Oster Twilight Dinner, Rabelais Book Sale

Wednesday — the Monument Square Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Thursday — the Portland Public Library is screening the movie The Birth of Sake followed by a presentation and Q&A session with Dan Ford of Blue Current Brewery.

Friday — the Portland Spirits Society is holding an informal women-only tasting event at Stroudwater Distillery.

Saturday — the Saturday Farmers’ Market will take place.

SundayLeslie Oster from Aurora Provisions is the featured chef for Cultivating Community’s Twilight Dinner at The Well, and the weekly Crofters & Artisan Market is taking place.

Rabelais Book Sale — Rabelais books will be holding their annual book sale August 25-28 at their store in Biddeford’s North Dam Mill.

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.