January 31, 2018
Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, February 14th this year. And now you can take that special someone along on a late-afternoon tour that will ask…will you BEer Mine?
We will start off at our official home, Old Port Spirits and Cigars on Commercial Street in Portland.
Our first stop is in Westbrook is to learn how to make chocolate treats with Black Dinah Chocolatiers.
Black Dinah first took root in the personal kitchen of chocolatier Kate Shaffer’s home, located in the exquisite island town of Isle au Haut, ME. In 2012, they opened a Tasting Room on the mainland in Blue Hill, ME where they were able to showcase the uniqueness and creativity not only in their skill, but also in their ingredients. There, they offer chocolate confections, a full espresso bar, locally-made ice cream, and their signature cookies. Finally, In 2015, with the support of their neighbors and friends on Isle au Haut, Kate and her partner Steve packed up their island kitchen, and moved their business south, to Westbrook, Maine. During this stop, Kate Shaffer and your Brew Bus tour guide will lead you in a chocolate and beer pairing, showcasing Black Dinah’s finest and the beers from Mast Landing Brewing.
For our next stop, we’ll be visiting Bissell Brothers Brewing. Bissell was founded in December 2013 by brothers Noah and Peter Bissell, along with Noah’s college friend Seth. Their original brewery was located in a warehouse previously known as the birthplace of Maine Beer Company. Their first release was The Substance, a hoppy American Pale Ale that was first released in cans in January 2014 and immediately created massive demand from beer lovers. Since those early days they have increased their production by at least 200% a year, necessitating the 2016 move of the entire brewery to Thompson’s Point in Portland. They now brew in a space 10 times the size of their old brewery that was built in 1904 and once served as a railcar repair location for the Maine Central Railroad. They received a larger brewhouse during 2017, and sent their original system north to begin brewing for their second location in their hometown of Milo, Maine.
Thinking you might need a snack by now? We’ve got a special Valentine’s Day themed creation from our bakery partner Ten Ten Pié ready for you and your sweetheart to enjoy on the bus as we make our way to our last stop.
We will find ourselves at Bunker Brewing Company for our last stop. Originally based in a tiny, brick-walled former scrapyard building in East Bayside, Bunker Brewing Company has moved to a much larger former warehouse on the West side of town. Their creative brewers make a rotating assortment of ales and lagers, making this the perfect stop during which to ask the question, “What’s the difference between an ale and a lager?” Enjoy their spacious tasting room and outside patio while pondering that important question over a well-crafted Bunker beer.
To conclude our BEer Mine tour, we will drop you off back at Old Port Spirits and Cigars to continue this day of love exploring everything our vibrant city of Portland Maine has to offer.
Chocolate and beer pairings, production tours, guided tastings… you name it! Will you BEer Mine?
Don Littlefield is the General Manager of The Maine Brew Bus. As a life-long Portland resident, he does not actually know the answer to exactly who is responsible for the work of the Valentine’s Day Bandit. It is well known that on that day (as it has been for over 40 years) there will be hundreds of paper hearts spreading the love all around town (and even on our buses), and a few larger flags and banners located on prominent structures in the city. Hop on board the tour and see where the bandit strikes this year!