2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Portland. No, the other Portland.



Saturday afternoon, Sean, myself, Kristen and Amber headed up to Portland, Maine for a weekend of beer adventures.

We started off early, as we went straight to Sebago Brewing in Gorham to meet with Tom Abercrombie. He took us inside, gave us a sample, and took us on a tour of the facility. He talked about the brewing system that they purchased from Rocky River Brewing Company in Tennessee two years ago. They literally acquired everything from them, from the grain silo to the kitchen cabinets. The system is a DME system, and it takes four people to operate the brewery on a brewing day. We talked about sales and marketing opportunities on the North Shore with Tom before leaving for Portland.

We went to the hotel, checked in, and headed out to Gritty McDuffs for dinner and a couple beers. I was personally not very impressed with their beers. We left Grittys and went to the Sebago Brewpub.

We had a few beers there, really enjoyed the Fryes Leap IPA, Slick Nick, and Runabout Red Ale, all while watching Gerald Green win the slam dunk competition. We left Sebago and, on the way back to the hotel, detoured and stopped in at the Brian Boru Publick House.

Kristen had her first ever Guinness, then Sean and I hung out on the roof deck for a while and talked up 2 Beer Guy site. After a while, we went inside and found Kristen and Amber. They were talking up 2 Beer Guys to the band, and we generated some goodwill with them. We went back to the hotel and goofed around for a while. The highlight was when Amber opened a beer bottle (not the twist type) with her hand and a cutting block. Then all went to bed.

Next morning, Kristen, Amber and I went to breakfast downstairs. Amber and Kristen headed off for their spa appointments, and Sean and I packed up the hotel room, got the car, and went to pick up the girls after their treatments. We went over to Shipyard Brewing and met up with Jason Silevinac. We spent 3 hours at Shipyard, as he took us all the way through the four floors of the brewery, from the brick surround, gas fired Peter Austin boilers to the open air fermenters that were all doing work.

They have six 50 bbl, nine 100 bbl and three 300 bbl fermenters. They brew about 65 different beers, with a bunch of contracts in addition to their house brews. We went into the hop room, then saw the grain room with all the original graffiti that was in the building. The facility was unoccupied for 12 years before Shipyard moved in. After touring the facility, we went into the tasting room, had samples of the beer, and just chatted for over an hour. The Ringwood strain of yeast is unique to Peter Austin installed brewing systems, and imparts diacetyl into the beers. In lower alcohol beers, it provides a smoothness. In higher alcohol beers, it contributes a buttery/butterscotch taste.

On Jason's recommendation, we left Shipyard and went to Rosies for some food and one last beer before we left Portland. It was a good recommendation. Overall, it was an excellent beer journey.

3 Comments:

  • At Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 9:14:00 AM EST, Blogger Curley Stout said…

    Nice, sounds like a great weekend! What's a DME system? Do brewers who use open open air fermenters have to do anything special to try to control for contamination in the beer?

     
  • At Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 9:22:00 AM EST, Blogger Ian said…

    Andy,

    Thanks for asking such a good question! DME is the name brand of a company that manufactures brewing equipment. You can read more about them here.

    As far as the open air fermentation, Shipyard specifically is able to do it because their strain of yeast is so aggressive, it can fight off bacteria. However, Jason did request that we don't stick our hands into the fermentation tank, so I suppose that's a level of quality control too!

     
  • At Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 12:02:00 PM EST, Blogger Ignace said…

    Open air fermentation... that sounds familiar.
    What kind of beer does that yield and is it in any way resembling the gueueze style beers. I would have a really hard time believing that gueueze can be made anywhere else than in the vicinity of Brussels [something in the air there, seriously].

    What color is it, what flavor?

     

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