Friday, September 16, 2011

Beer Disappointment :( And a New Happy Find :) in Brunswick, Maine

We are in Maine visiting the in-laws and one of our favorite "haunts" is the Sea Dog Brewpub because it is so close we can sneak out, have a few brews and get back before we get into too much trouble for being gone. Today we saw and opening and headed out to partake in some delicious brews.... imagine our surprise when they were slightly less so...

We ambled in and took a seat at the bar (frankly all we wanted was beer - we get so much more food than we need while staying with our in-laws that we didn't need any grub though the food there is generally quite good). We decided since it had been about a year and a half since we had been there that we would get a beer sampler just for the heck of it. Now to be fair - the price of the sampler is fantastic! 10 - 4oz tasters for $10.70  We started with the Owls Head Light (as you do) and it's a decent light, not earth shattering but you could definitely drink it all day. Next up was the blonde which was so average to below par as far as taste that we were definitely disappointed. Next up - the Blue Paw Wheat... let me preface with neither of us like fruity beers and especially neither of us like artificially flavored fruity beers.... this was all of the latter... I took one for the team and finished it. The Sea Dog Pale Ale was a decent find - bitter in the ways you want it to be but not exceptional. The Old Gollywobbler Brown had a nice nutty finish but lacked complexity. I am not a fan of IPAs in general but Ken was disappointed that the Old East India Pale Ale was just not hoppy enough. The Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter was heavy on the Hazelnut but not much else taste. The Sea Dog Stout (on nitrogen) had a decent mouthfeel but still seemed a little flat to me. All in all we were disappointed especially considering that usually they have several beers I really enjoy at the brewpub so I usually have a hard time deciding! We're not sure if they have a new brewmaster or what but we decided after we finished the sampler to forgo a full pint and head off elsewhere in search of imbibements...

Next stop - The new Inn & Tavern right near where the new railroad line is going in. This place is brand new and you can tell the moment you walk in the door. We ambled back to the tavern portion and were greeted quite cheerfully by the gal behind the bar. I was SUPER pleased to see that they had a total of 6 beers on tap and all were craft/micro and all were local!! Yay for good beer! We inquired if perhaps there was a sampler offered and her response was we could sample any and all we were interested in on her! Woo hoo! Total bonus! Ken ended up with a local IPA (Darn it that I didn't get the name of it because we were involved in conversation with the folks next to us!) that he LOVED! And I had Gritty's Halloween (Gritty's is out of Freeport).  While we weren't able to stay for dinner the menu looked amazing and the "deconstructed french onion soup" they gave us as a complimentary taster was delicious! Bottom line - we will certainly be back to the Inn & Tavern for more great beer, hospitality and food!

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