The Press Herald has published a report on Maine-produced nonalcoholic beers.
Nonalcoholic beer is currently having, it would seem, a moment. Or, if we look at Maine’s brewing history, a revival. In previous decades, the production of nonalcoholic beer (which legally means a beer with no more than 0.5% ABV) was dominated by brands from multi-national and mass-market breweries. But today, we now have local options that drink much more like craft beer than the infamous O’Doul’s.
This week’s Portland Phoenix reports on Rupee Beer which was developed by brothers Van and Sumit Sharma in conjunction with Alan Pugsley the co-founder of Shipyard Brewery.
With [Alan] Pugsley’s help, the brothers took a year to do test brews, figure out what ingredients they wanted, and finally settle on a product: Rupee Beer, which Sharma described as a refreshing and smooth lager, light on the carbonation and brewed to pair well with traditional Indian food.
The brothers’ family founded Bombay Mahal in Brunswick and operate Tandoor in Portland’s Old Port.
To learn more about Rupee Beer visit their website: www.rupeebeer.com.
Good Beer Hunting has published a report on a recent visit to Portland.
If I have a problem, it’s time: There’s not enough of it, and I can’t eat and drink everywhere I want to. On the drive up to the city, soundtracked by Taylor Swift’s “Folklore,” I kept doing mental Tetris, unsure of how I would fit everything in. And so I stand on the corner of a crowded street, the smell of Thai-style fried chicken in the air, my feet angled in the direction of my last stop—one of the best beer bars in the world. In an alternate reality, this is how I would spend every Friday night. “I could live here,” I think, for perhaps the thousandth time.
The article highlights: Allagash, Eventide, Bissell Brothers, Crispy Gai, and Novare Res.
Stars and Stripes Brewing Co. (website, facebook, instagram) has leased the space formerly occupied by Lio at 3 Spring Street where they plan to open a second location.
Stars & Stripes opened their original location in Freeport in November 2018. They anticipate launching their Portland tasting room this spring/summer where they will serve wine, prosecco on tap and light food options in addition to their own beer.
Allagash was named the 2021 Brewery and Brewer of the Year by the Great American Beer Festival in the 15k – 100k barrels segment of the industry.
In a statement to the Press Herald founder Rob Tod shared his thoughts on the award,
“We love what we do and care deeply about the quality of the beers we make, and we’re honored and humbled to be recognized for that,” Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash, said in a written statement. “It’s been a particularly challenging and enlightening year and a half. But we’ve been able to weather the storm and, from our perspective, come out on the other side even stronger. Being honored at GABF feels like validation for all of the hard work we’ve put in.”
Hi-Fidelity Beer (website, facebook, instagram) has launched a $7k crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. to help open the doors at their East Bayside low/mid ABV brewery.
Owners PD Wappler and Dante Maderal have leased Unit 6 at 200 Anderson Street where they are planning to launch with a 3 barrel system. The Hi-Fidelity Beer tasting room they will serve their own house beers as well as a variety of liquid refreshment with non-alcoholic options such as coffee, tea, and house-flavored seltzer.
The tagline for Hi-Fidelity is “our beer, your space”. They envision operating a tasting room that melds a traditional brewery tasting room and a public space that will appeal to the members of the Portland arts community.
Maderal was formerly a brewer at Atlantic Brewing in Bar Harbor, and Wappler is a musician. They hope to open Hi-Fidelity Beer by the end of this summer.
MaineBiz has published an article on a new crop of Maine breweries and the approaches they’re taking to differentiate themselves.
With the count now up to 150 breweries in Maine, new craft beer makers are seeking to differentiate themselves from the pack in creative ways, with a focus on niche styles and offering more than just beer.
Playing off a sense of nostalgia for favorite childhood treats, Odd by Nature Brewing, which opened recently in Cape Neddick, focuses on ice cream IPAs, candy beers and pastry stouts. The brewpub also offers beer cocktails.
One of the businesses mentioned in the article, Lucky Pigeon Brewing Company, has announced they plan to open on August 20th. Lucky Pigeon will be Maine’s first dedicated gluten-free brewery. They are located in Biddeford.
A new brewery producing nonalcoholic beer is under construction in West Bayside. KitNA Brewing (website, instagram) will be Maine’s first brewery dedicated to making nonalcoholic beer. KitNA is a collaboration between Rob Barrett, the owner Barrett Made, and Will Fisher, the cofounder of Austin Street Brewing.
According the press release,
[Barrett and Fisher] aim to provide a premium, high-quality alternative to alcoholic beer, with the goal to master a product that satisfies the discerning palate of beer drinkers and beyond. The duo brought on local experienced brewers, Adrian Beck-Oliver and Simon Burhoe to join KITna as Co-Head Brewers. The two have been working day in and day out to create the brewery’s core beer lineup while simultaneously launching the production side of the brewery. Headquartered in an old workshop-turned-brewery in Barrett’s West Bayside building, KITna will announce the name of its first beer in the coming weeks. All of their offerings will deliver on the founding intent to bring the quality, consistency, and integrity of craft beer without the alcohol.
Their first beers are expected to be available later this year.
Mast Landing (website, facebook, instagram) has announced they’ll be partnering with Nighthawk’s Kitchen (instagram) in the launch of their new 11,000 sq ft brewery and tasting room in Freeport. While the kitchen is being built out Nighthawk’s will initially open as a food truck and then expand into a brick and mortar restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating.
According to the press release, the menu will feature “original and approachable menus of American and international comfort foods utilizing the freshest locally sourced ingredients” including options for vegans and a children’s menu.
Nighthawk’s Kitchen is the creation of Christian “Nighthawk” Noe who moved to Yarmouth from NYC in 2020 where in addition to operating Nighthawk’s Kitchen at LIC Flea and Food and Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City he also founded a catering company called Film Eats.
Mast Landing anticipates opening their new Freeport location in July where they will be “showcasing small-batch recipes made and offered exclusively at the Freeport location, as well as its lineup of flagship beers”.
Westbrook-based Mast Landing Brewing will be opening an 11,000 square foot brewery and tasting room in Freeport later this year at Freeport Crossing.
Mast Landing’s two-story home at Freeport Crossing will serve as a year-round destination that showcases small-batch recipes made and offered exclusively at the Freeport location, as well as some of the brewery’s flagship beers. The venue will feature Freeport Crossing’s signature all-glass curtain wall, allowing for tremendous natural light, as well as a spacious outdoor area accessible from a garage door style entrance. The tasting room will prioritize a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and will accommodate guests with high top tables, comfortable lounge seating, and bar service.