Black is Beautiful Beer Collaboration

A growing number of Maine breweries including Allagash andd Bissell Brothers are participating in the Black is Beautiful international beer collaboration project. They are joining 800+ breweries from 50 states and 13 countries in producing a beer recipe developed by Weathered Souls Brewing in Texas.

Maine breweries participating so far are Allagash, Atlantic, Austin Street, Bissell Bros, Blaze, Definitive, Fogtown, Mast Landing and Orono. Check with the individual breweries on their release schedule and the local organization to which they’ll be donating proceeds to.

Brewers Push for Changes to Re-Opening Plan

The Press Herald reports on an effort by the Brewers Guild to move up the date breweries can re-open their tasting rooms.

The Maine Brewers Guild said Tuesday that the current plan puts the breweries and brew pubs in the same category as bars, which aren’t allowed to reopen until July 1. But many of the breweries in Maine offer outdoor seating and are at least as safe as the restaurants, said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the guild.

Beer and Beards

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes articles on the stickiness of new curbside beer pick-up and beer delivery services post-pandemic,

Though curbside pick-up and delivery were forced upon brewers by the pandemic, many have discovered how much customers like these services and may keep the systems in place for the foreseeable future. Sullivan surveyed more than 70 breweries about these services and found that 35 percent were interested in keeping some sort of curbside pickup available even after their tasting rooms re-open, while more than 21 percent said they’d be interested in continuing delivery.

and a look at the impact of being a Beard Award nominee during the pandemic.

Desjarlais knows this better than most. Between The Purple House and her much-missed Portland restaurant, Bresca, she has made the semifinal round seven times and the finals twice.

“Every time, it’s great for you personally,” she said. “And it also great for your staff and team, because obviously they’re doing a great job, but it gives them a kick in the pants because the nomination brings a new burst of business and things get can get really busy. But now there’s no chance for that.”

Definitive Brewing Expanding to Kittery

Boston magazine reports that Definitive Brewing is expanding to Kittery.

For Definitive Brewing Company, the past month has been a rollercoaster. The almost-2-year-old brewery has temporarily closed its Portland, Maine taproom, and completely changed its business model to focus on to-go sales and home delivery in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The owners have also continued to oversee buildout of a second Definitive location in Kittery, which cofounder and CEO Michael Rankin expects to open soon after the government allows businesses to reopen.

Maine Made Hand Sanitizer

The Press Herald has published a report on an ongoing collaboration among breweries, distilleries and UMaine to produce hand sanitizer for Maine hospitals.

Breweries in southern Maine have been donating the base stock of fermented liquid – beer – and distillers have been refining it until the alcohol reaches the necessary potency. Chemical engineers at UMaine mix the alcohol with hydrogen peroxide and glycerol, and then the university distributes the final product to hospitals.

All Together Collaboration Beer

All Together is a collaboration beer being produced by brewers around the world with a common recipe and labeling to raise money to support hospitality professionals.

All Together is a worldwide, open-ended beer collaboration created to raise support for the industry we love so much. It’s an effort to raise awareness and provide relief, even in the smallest way, to those who are struggling. We’re inviting any brewer, from any corner of the planet to participate. The recipe is open source, the artwork is public, and the name is yours to use. The goal is to provide you with the tools to make the beer at the lowest possible cost.

Maine brewers participating in the project include:

Brew Bus Goes International

The Brew Bus has announced a merger with Dave’s Travel and Events from Sydney, Australia. The newly formed joint company, Vestigo Travel Group, have also announced plans to purchase a majority stake in the North Carolina firm Brews Cruise which was founded in 2006 and “licenses brewery tour operators around the United States, with nine current locations in cities such as Asheville, Boise, Charlotte, Denver, and Raleigh.”

The Brew Bus was founded in Portland in 2012 and now runs tours in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dave’s Travel and Events “was originally founded as Dave’s Brewery Tours in Sydney, Australia in 2014, and has grown to become the largest provider of tours and activities in Sydney.”

“We have always wanted to work together in some way since we met at a beer tourism conference several years ago,” said Zach Poole[, founder of The Brew Bus]. “Dave has quickly become part of the Portland community and we have plans to create new opportunities not only here in Maine but in other parts of the country.”

Maine’s Craft Brewers Focus on Sustainability

Today’s Sunday Telegram reports on the focus on sustainability of Maine’s craft breweries.

But overall, Maine’s craft breweries have embraced sustainable management of their breweries, to reduce or reuse waste and limit pollution. The state’s biggest brewery, Portland’s Allagash Brewing Co., has adopted practices so it uses only 4 gallons of water to make a gallon of beer – about half the national average.

“The type of person who decides to get into craft beer, there is a high likelihood they care about their community and the earth,” said Allagash head brewer Jason Perkins.

But it’s not just an environmental ethos that drives craft brewers to adopt “green” practices. It often also makes sound financial sense.