Northeastern Spirits

After visiting three breweries, a meadery and a distillery, our trip certainly looked like a booze crawl, but we managed to learn a thing or two.

Maine Mead Works
Maine Mead Works was founded in 2007 to promote the ancient tradition of the oldest of all fermented beverages, mead. Using honey, water and a special yeast, this Portland meadery makes some very tasty drinks. Imagining myself as a Viking about to drink from a ram’s horn, I ordered a few samples. I expected the drink to be like a stout or porter, but it’s actually very similar to wine.  After the tasting, I got a nice set of slate coasters with their slick logo.

 

Alexander Keith’s Brewery
Founded in 1820 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this brewery is one of the oldest commercial breweries in all of North America. Its namesake was a Canadian politician, brewer and philanthropist.  Located right in the middle of Halifax’s shopping district, the brewery offers a short but entertaining historical tour of the facility with a chance to sample a few of their ales.


Rising Tide Brewing Company
Situated in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, this tasting room & brewery for the family-owned business specializes in artisanal, hand-crafted ales. We sampled all eight of their creations, and although I only liked one or two of them (I’m not a fan of ales), I enjoyed the presentation and creativity of their offerings.

 

Maine Craft Distilling
Maine Craft Distilling is a very cool distillery located right next to Rising Tide Brewery.  On display were some familiar spirits such as rum and whiskey.  We also sampled a spirit distilled from fermented carrots – very interesting.