Monday, July 14, 2008

New England, July 2005: Part 4 - Kennebec River Brewery, Quebec City and the Seas Dog

(I kept putting this last installment off because I thought I had pics from this leg of the trip. I guess I was wrong. So here it is...)

We arrived at The Forks, Maine early on Saturday afternoon. Our target was the Northern Outdoors resort where we would be camping out and taking advantage of a fringe benefit; that this resort also has a working brewery/brewpub.

We pitched our tent right at a site within a stone's throw of the Kennebec River and headed up to the lodge for some lunch.

We ordered some burgers and some brews. I had the Penobscot Porter with my burger and it was very tasty. Creamy and roasty, very smooth and sessionable. Did I mention they serve their beers in mason jars?

At the time, they also had a blueberry ale (not bad), a hazelnut brown ale (a tad heavy handed with the hazelnut) and their Magic Hole IPA. Magic Hole is one of the overlooked IPA's in New England. It is hopped exclusively with East Kent Goldings (at least it was at the time) and is just a fine, snappy and tasty IPA. In the age of the Imperial IPA, I guess I can see how many would overlook it.

Over the course of the day and a half we were at the resort, all the beers were sampled. In between the kayaking, the hiking or the hot tub, we found ourselves in the pub drinking beer or at our campsite drinking the beer we got at Oak Pond Brewery the day before. Not a bad way to spend a couple of days. My only regret is I didn't snap a few pictures on this part of the trip!

Sunday morning we decided to take a cannonball trip across the border and go beer hunting in Quebec City. We arrived late in the morning and found a pub to grab a sandwich and a couple beers.

At the Pub St-Alexandre, I enjoyed a Blanche de Bruxelles witbier with my ham and cheese panino and followed that up with the excellent Raftman from Unibroue, a Belgian-style ale made with smoked whiskey malt.
After lunch, we took a stroll around Le Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec, what could best be described as a sort of indoor farmer's market on the St. Lawrence River. We bought some outstanding artisinal cheeses and some Canadian ice wine and started the drive home.

On our way out of town, we stopped off at a Metro grocery store to look for beer. I picked up some Raftman, some Ephemere Cassis and some Irresistible Blonde and Brune, all from Unibroue. Dave picked up some Leffe Brune and we made our way back to Bangor.

On Monday, I had some time to kill before driving back to Logan Airport. I visited one of my favorite places for beer in Bangor, the Sea Dog Brewpub. The beer they serve are always tasty and, more importantly, they always have an offering on cask. Today it was a brown ale called Old Gollywobbler and I had one with lunch. I can't always recommend the food at the Sea Dog but the lobster roll I had that day was pretty good.

Rental car returned and bags checked, I headed to the Harpoon Brewery tap at the terminal to have a couple beers before the plane took off. I started with a Harpoon UFO (an unfiltered wheat which was fair at best) and then realized they had an offering from their 100 Barrel series...Triticus Wheat Wine. The Triticus was very, very good and weighs in at 11.5% ABV. As you might imagine, I was feeling very mellow as I boarded the plane for home.

All in all, a very good trip and quite a nice haul of beer was brought home.

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