Sometimes life can feel overwhelming; sadness and despair threaten to swallow us when we see what is happening in the world. There seems to be so much hate, anger, and destruction; sometimes I want to stick my head in the sand and never look up again. Yet despite all the sadness and anger in the world, there are still people, things, and stories that have the ability to lift us up, to inspire us, and to encourage us to continue working to make a positive impact on the world. This blog is about the craft beer scene in Maine, and I don’t want to change that, but I do think it’s important to take a minute and be grateful for the things we have in our lives, the people we sometimes take for granted, and the good that is being done around us every day. I believe the love and passion that goes into brewing beer, drinking beer, and sharing stories with friends over a pint of beer is a testament to that spirit.
You can’t make good beer if your heart isn’t in it and you can’t fully appreciate craft beer unless you fully understand the level of dedication, passion, and love that inspire brewers to bring that beer to you. Craft beer is about more than just consuming the beverage; it’s also about community, friendship, and the desire to in some small way improve the world. A brewer decides to brew a beer because they hope it will bring some small level of joy to another person, who can then spread that joy by sharing with others. Something I truly love about the craft beer industry in Maine is the desire of the brewing companies to give back and do what’s right by their community: I believe no other brewery holds themselves to such a high standard as Maine Beer Company in Freeport.
“Do what’s right” is Maine Beer Company’s motto and they really live up to it. The Kleban brothers work hard to make sure all their employees are made to feel like family, that they receive excellent wages, and benefits, all while giving back generously to their community. 1% of all profits are donated to different environmental charities, as are the tips given to employees in the tasting room.
In addition to giving back to the community, Maine Beer Co. also strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible. 50% of their energy needs are fulfilled by solar panels on the roof and in the front yard of the brewery, while the other 50% is powered by their purchase of wind credits, making them a 100% renewably powered brewery.
Maine Beer Co. is a great brewery that produces outstanding beer centered on the philosophy of quality over quantity, all while holding themselves to the highest of standards. I would know, I worked there for over two months and got to know the people who make the place tick. Every employee of the company, from the Kleban brother’s who own it, to the brewery workers and tasting room staff, understands just how special of a brewery it is and they all strive every day to not only provide the best beer to their customers, but the best overall experience. On any given day you will find the staff happily bragging about the company to patrons while pouring them a beer.
Maybe you’ve heard of Lunch (their most popular IPA), or Peeper (their flagship ale and the first beer from Maine Beer I ever tried), but they also have an outstanding selection of other beers on tap daily. Their Woods and Waters IPA (named after our new Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument) is a beer brewed with 30% wheat in the grains to provide the beer with a light, refreshing body—reminiscent of a stream in the forest—while the dominant hop flavor transports the drinker to a pine forest on a sunny afternoon that I highly recommend trying.
If you’re in the Freeport area next weekend be sure to stop in to try their Dinner DIPA being released next Saturday, October 14 in the tasting room. If you haven’t already bought a ticket for bottles don’t expect to be able to buy any, but their world famous DIPA should be available on tap for at least a week!
All of their beers are delicious and worthy of a taste, and their tasting room is more than worth a visit. The beer is great, but it is the people that provide the total experience you can only find at Maine Beer. So as I transition to a different chapter in my life I just wanted to say, thanks for the memories.
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