Winter is always a slower season for us at Dandelion Catering, which means it is a great time for us to work on new menus, play with ingredients, and fine tune our operation. This winter, to coincide with our new blog, we’ve decided to reach out to other Maine businesses that we not only work with but also really admire. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to get to know our industry neighbors, spotlight purveyors and companies, and shed some insight into the inner workings of businesses that we are proud to work alongside.
This week we took a rather short drive up the road to Freeport to visit Maine Beer Company. To be brutally honest, I didn’t do my research ahead of time. I knew I liked their beer. If it’s offered in a restaurant, I almost always get one. I also knew that they were environmentally friendly, indicated mainly by their huge solar panels outside their building.
After sitting down with Margaret Weare (sales/marketing), I was not only impressed by their commitment to making great beer and giving back to the planet, I was genuinely inspired.
Having a quality product is always at the forefront of everything we do here at Dandelion. At Maine Beer Co., they noticeably share that same principle. Jesse Wyle took time out of his day to show us around their brewery. Not only do they check their beer numerous times before bottling it, the beer is bottle conditioned 11 days before reaching consumers. Everything is bottled and packaged on site at the facility in Freeport. While sipping at our beers, Margaret talked to us about the owners, Dave and Dan, and their beliefs in an ethical and eco-friendly work environment. “Do What’s Right” is what the company believes in. Make an amazing product, treat your employees well, have the lowest impact on the environment as possible, and give back.
You can read most of this on their website but I wanted to highlight a few of the things that Maine Beer Company does to support sustainability. 100% of their electricity is offset by e-certified wind credits, solar power, and their use of radiant flooring and LED bulbs. They also offset their waste by giving grain and organic liquid waste to farmers for compost, fertilizer and feed. They also participate in 1% for the Planet . For those who might not know what that entails, Maine Beer Co. gives 1% of their gross sales to environmental causes. You can learn more about who they support under their “Be Generous” section on their website.
Ok, so now that I have highlighted how remarkable of a company they are, we can talk about the beer. This was my first official beer tasting. In terms of beer, I am thoroughly educated with the techniques of drinking it. That’s about it. I was excited to get insight into the flavor profiles of the various brews we were being served, and perhaps a little intimidated at the thought of participating. Angela, our bar manager, on the other hand, has plenty of bar acumen, so I knew I was in good hands. She asked the questions while I enjoyed the beer.
Angela and Margaret picked out 5 beers that would appeal to our clients the best. Peeper, Mo, Lunch, A1 (Another One), and Mean Old Tom. I won’t go into details about the nuances, etc. You should go try them! But what I will say is, I have always thought Peeper was my favorite brew from Maine Beer, but now I can’t stop thinking about Mo and Lunch. They were both outstanding. And another surprise for me was how amazing Mean Old Tom is. I usually don’t enjoy stouts, but this American Stout blew both Angela and I away. I would love to offer this beer as an alternative for coffee with dessert.
Our experience at Maine Beer Company has left a lasting impression. We were treated with such kindness. You can really feel how proud and excited their team is about the product they are producing. Thank you so much to Margaret and Jesse for taking the time to talk with us and show us around with open arms and genuine kindness. And a big thank you to everyone else on staff who joined in and spoke with us. It was a great learning experience, and I was truly inspired.
Maine Beer Company’s tasting room is located at 525 U.S Route 1, Freeport, across from Buck’s Naked BBQ. Look for the ‘Fresh Beer’ sign and solar panels. ‘Like’ them on Facebook and stay up to date on the many upcoming events and collaborations they participate in around the state.