Maine ♥ Allen’s Coffee Brandy

allensPunch has published an article about Allen’s Coffee Brandy.

To call the stuff a cultural phenomenon in Maine is an understatement. Statistically, one in eight bottles of alcohol purchased in Maine is Allen’s. The top-selling spirit in the state is the Allen’s 1.75-liter bottle, and its sales dwarf those of the number-two contender, Orloff Vodka. Overall, the coffee brandy occupies four out of the ten top-selling SKUs in the state, with popularity decreasing by the size of the bottle. On YouTube, you’ll find songs detailing nicknames for the product: The Champagne of Maine, Bitch Whiskey, the Trailer Park Toddy.

Portland Spirits Society

Maine Today has published an article about the Portland Spirits Society.

But with the formation of Portland Spirits Society (and the not-so-tough work of distillery visits and repeated sampling) McCarty aims to turn that ignorance into educated appreciation for herself and any other Portland-area women interested in learning more about their booze.

Judging by the early enthusiasm for Portland Spirits Society, there are a lot of women who are interested.

Women aren’t happy to just drink Stoli any more, she joked. Instead, women are saying, “I’d be interested to know how (liquor) is made and who’s making it,” just like so many locals already do with their food.

New Spirits from MCD

Sprigge-Tashtego-(600x800)Maine Craft Distilling has announced the upcoming launch of two new products:

  • Sprigge is a version of Alchemy gin aged in MCD’s whiskey and rum oak barrels. “The combination of used whiskey barrel and Alchemy Gin creates a hearty, full flavored spirit combining hints of juniper with the barrel richness of vanilla.”
  • Tashtego is a pot distilled white rum named for a harpooner in the Melville’s Moby Dick.

Both will available for sale starting this Saturday at Maine Craft Distilling’s tasting room on Fox Street and in Freeport.

Interviews with Jason Loring and Ned Wight

Last week’s edition of the Portland Phoenix includes an interview with Ned Wight, co-owner of New England Distilling, about the craft spirits industry,

Why the giant push in the craft brewing industry, and a seemingly less robust one in distilling?
I don’t think it’s a less robust push, really. Breweries are growing on a larger base. There’s been more exposure in the market to what craft beer can be. I think it’s a difference in the number of people who are drinking spirits. In the last three or four years we’ve gone from around 100 distilleries nationally, to something like 600. Quieter growth, but a lot of it.

and as part of a new series, an interview with Nosh/Slab co-owner Jason Loring on his favorite dish at a local restaurant.

Describe the dish. Why is [Central Provisions’ Spicy Beef Salad] your favorite menu item?
It’s really the contrast of the spicy, the sweet and the salty. It has every element you want in a dish. Between the hot sauce, whatever they are using for sugar, the acid with the lime, and the peanuts, it’s perfect for me. It’s what I want all the time.

US Bartendenders Guild, Portland Chapter

Local bartender, Paul Russellusbg_logo, is heading up an effort to establish a Portland chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild. Russell and the local planning committee have achieved provisional status for the local chapter and will be holding a bar crawl on December 1st to reach out to and sign-up up local members.

According to the organizations website, the benefits of membership include meetings with fellow local bartenders, discounts on accreditation, networking, access to industry events run by the USBG and assistance signing-up for health insurance. The local chapter plans on running tastings, pop up competitions, educational events and presentations by vendors.