MBG Beer Box

The Press Herald and Bangor Daily News have reported on the Maine Brewers Guild collaboration with Eimskip to send Maine beer to Iceland.

The Maine Beer Box, a branded shipping container with more than 50 taps built into its side, is the centerpiece of a multi-year effort between the Maine Brewers’ Guild and Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company, to expose Maine beer to new markets and bring beers from Iceland and beyond back to the state.

Competition in Craft Brewing?

The Press Herald has interviewed the keynote speaker at this week’s New England Craft Beer summit as part of an article on growing competition in the local beer market.

[Bart] Watson says every brewery in Maine will eventually feel the competition. As the Portland market matures, brewers might be forced to look to rural markets to sell their beers.

“There are challenges,” Watson said. “One of my takes is it doesn’t mean there is no growth happening. There’s a lot of growth out there. Rural areas have not been converting (to craft beer) as quickly, so local production has been slower than in metro areas. There’s still a lot of untapped markets.”

The article also reports that Portland’s newest brewery Battery Steele hopes to open next week serving an imperial stout, a saison and an india pale ale.

Interview with Rob Tod

All About Beer has interviewed Allagash Brewing founder Rob Tod for their After Two Beers series.

The two discuss how Tod moved from keg washer to brewery owner, and how he came to appreciate and brew beers in the Belgian tradition. Tod talks about some of the beers that influenced him along the way, including one in particular that inspired him to brew Allagash White, a beer that now accounts for around 75 percent of the brewery’s production.

Edible Maine

The Press Herald has posted an update on last week’s news about the launch of Edible Maine this summer.

At least to start, Edible Maine will be published quarterly and will run some 50 pages an issue, according to Michael Sanders, a Maine food writer of more than two decades who will serve as its editor. “This is going to be a magazine you can cook from or look at, read deeply into or read for two minutes for fun things you didn’t know you could do in Maine,” he said. “Most of all, it should help you get out and do things – go to a restaurant, go clamming, cook…

Under Construction: Fishermen’s Grill

Fishermen’s Grill has announced plans to move to 650 Main Street in Westbrook where they’ll move into the space formerly occupied by Rosen’s Deli. Fishermen’s Grill expects to open the new Westbrook location in May.

Westbrook has seen a significant uptick in new food businesses choosing to (re)locate there over the past couple years including Brea Lu, Rosen’s, Big Fin Poke, Mast Landing Brewing and Black Dinah Chocolates.

Bubbe & Bestemor

The Forecaster has published an article about Bubbe & Bestemor, a new bakery founded by Audrey Farber that weaves together Jewish and Nordic baking traditions.

An Ashkenazic Jew is one whose ancestors came from eastern Europe. Farber is also of Nordic descent and said mixing the two baking traditions seemed to make perfect sense.

“As I began to work on recipes and researching the baking and culinary traditions of both communities, a lot of similarities started to unfold,” she said, including the “ubiquity of rye, rolled and filled sweet breads for holidays and special occasions, heavy use of almonds and lots of other things.”

Visit bubbeandbestemor.com for more information about the bakery.

This Week’s Events: Maycrest Dinner, Craft Beer Summit, Gasharoo, Chocolate Lover’s Flings, USBG Conference

Monday – it’s the last day to vote in the Portland Phoenix readership poll. There are dozens of food and drink categories, and Portland Food Map is a finalist in the Best Blog category.

Tuesday – Victor Abascal, co-owner of Vines on the Maycrest in Paso Robles, will be at Lolita for a 4-course wine dinner, and the Maine Restaurant Association is holding their annual awards banquet.

WednesdayGrace is holding dinner inspired by the idea of Lincoln’s inaugural dinner, tickets go on sale for the Flanagan’s Table Full Plate Full Potential fundraiser with Rob Evans, Ilma Lopez and Damian Sansonetti, the Portland House of Music is hosting the Beer Bracket Championship Happy Hour, and the Restaurant and Lodging Expo is being held at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Thursday – The Great Lost Bear will be featuring beer from Norway Brewing.

Friday – the New England Craft Beer Summit is taking place, Slab is hosting a Stoneface Brewing tap takeover, there will be a wine tasting at the east end Rosemont, and Black Tie is holding a Winter Graze Dinner in Yarmouth.

Saturday – Novare Res will have 32+ Allagash beers on tap for their annual Gasharoo event, and the Winter Farmers’ Market is taking place.

Sunday –the 31st Annual Chocolate Lover’s Fling is taking place, and it’s the first day of the US Bartenders Guild Northeast Regional Conference.

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.

Brew Bus Acquires Maine Beer Tours

The Maine Brew Bus has announced their acquisition of  Maine Beer Tours.

According to the press release,

The purchase will allow The Maine Brew Bus increased passenger capacity and expansion of tour concepts, as well as provide new itineraries for the millions of people that visit Southern Maine. Adding a bus to the existing fleet will also allow The Maine Brew Bus to have new transportation options for their thirsty guests.

It also explains that “The Maine Brew Bus will add at least five new employees as a result of the acquisition.”

Reviews: Baharat, Izakaya Minato, Escobar

The Golden Dish has posted the first review of Baharat,

A great addition to Portland dining, this take on Middle Eastern street food is already a hit with the city’s dining cognoscenti in the up and coming East Bayside neighborhood with all of its breweries, coffee houses, farmer’s market and industrial holdovers.

Portland Magazine has reviewed Izakaya Minato, and

Starting Off, we choose the Kinoko Salad ($8). Tender sautéed mushrooms and roasted vegetables rest on a bed of spinach, artfully drizzled with a creamy ponzu dressing. Next up is Okonomiyaki ($10), a cabbage pancake that comes with either mushroom or bacon, depending on your conscience. Filling and rich, this is exotic comfort food. Equally irresistible is the Sakana Misoyaki ($7), broiled seasonal fish marinated in miso.

Peter Peter Portland Eater has reviewed Taco Escobarr.

It took some time, but I finished the burrito and settled my tab which came to somewhere around $25 bucks prior to tip. Taco Escobarr is a fun place to go. While their happy hour specials aren’t anything to write home about, it’s the drinks and the atmosphere that make it a worth while place to stay for a spell. And though I had a slight issue with the temperature of my food, it was really solid otherwise.

Edible Maine Launches This Summer

Chris Ellis and Dylan Jacobs, residents of Boston and Greenwood Maine, have licensed the Maine region from the Edible organization that links a network of more than 90 regional food magazines in the US and Canada. Ellis and Jacobs have hired Michael Sanders to serve as the magazine’s editor.

The magazine’s mission statement provides a  sense of the range of topics they plan to address:

There is a movement that has been gaining ground all across the land, a movement of people who desire a connection with their food once again. Here at Edible Maine, we intend to nurture that connection very deeply and fully, in the hopes of cultivating a healthy and well-informed public, a diverse and safe environment and a thriving local economy.

The first issue of Edible Maine is due out in Summer and will be a quarterly publication of about 50 pages.

Follow Edible Maine on facebook, twitter and instagram to keep updated as they work on launching their first issue of the magazine.