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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Free Range: Beer Spirit


^^ So that is a donut...maple glazed with bacon. But this post isn't about donuts, it's about beer...and a little about lobster rolls...but mostly about beer.



I finally got the chance to explore Portland, ME. I had been more than a few times over the last couple years for work, but had not been able to enjoy everything that Portland has to offer. I still really haven't been able to enjoy everything Portland has to offer...that's how great of a city it is! This is what 8 hours in Portland looks like in photos of donuts beer and lobster rolls.

Our first stop was a well deserved morning treat from The Holy Donut due to the early morning drive and not having eaten a full breakfast (on purpose) before we left the house. It was worth it. Maple glazed with bacon, sweet potato with cinnamon sugar, holy canoli (not an expression, but a name of a donut). I could have sampled them all, but was at least able to get out of splitting one with my husband (didn't take much convincing once he saw them). On a Sunday morning, there was a tiny bit of an expected line...but it moved fast and there were donuts at the end.



We walked off the donut for a somewhat early lunch at 3 buoys. We had done our lobster roll research before we made the drive (was one of our primary objectives) and aside from some fancy shmancy places that we wouldn't be able to get into without a reservation well in advance (which I'm sure are worth it), 3 buoys was highly rated for their enormous lobster rolls and other food. Everything was made from scratch, right there in front of you and the soups were fresh. We ordered a large lobster roll with a side of onion rings (more than enough for 2 people) and a cup of a Cajun haddock and sweet sausage soup. We were sooo full, but knew that there was good beer to drink just a short waddle away.


"Oxbow tickled my beer spirit" - quote of the year from my husband. But it was true. In a world full of mediocre pale ales, Oxbow was so much fun. We sampled everything that was on tap from top to bottom, including their guest taps. 






^^ three delicious guest taps 

My favorite (and I'm sure many other people's favorite) was the Liquid Swords, which they conveniently still had on tap from the tail end of Portland Beer Week. I love tart and funky beers, so it's pretty exciting that people are finally swinging in that direction. I took an Oxtoberfest (a blend from 2012, 2013, and 2014) to continue aging for a year at home. I started a new job the next day, so my plan is to crack this open in a year and reflect on the change. Beer is good for these types of moments in time. 




The space was pretty cool too and even for a Sunday afternoon, the bar was starting to fill up and everyone was drinking good beer and having an even better time. I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday.


We ended the day with dinner and a beer at Novare Res which I had been to a few times before on work trips, but got to enjoy it this time with my parents (who were there on a work trip...ironically) and my husband who claimed he couldn't find this place his first time in Portland for his bachelor party. It is a little tricky to find because it's tucked away from Exchange Street, but worth the hunt. They have an enormous amount of beer in the bottle and on tap and some really tasty food. 

We went home with full bellies and a cooler full of seafood (you must always bring a cooler if you are in driving distance from Maine). I'm looking forward to going back for a long weekend sometime soon for more donuts and way more beer. 

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