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  Kickflip   Anyone who has been even tangentially involved with the beer community and scene throughout Maine and in Portland over the past decade or so, would very likely to happen to know Seth Vigue. Or, at the very least, y’all should.  Seth Vigue, affectionately better known to some as  Viggy 3 Flip  (or simply “Viggy” or “Viggs”), first cut his teeth in the industry behind the bar at the “hallowed” Barnacle Billy’s in Ogunquit, you may well know him from his years there. Or, perhaps you met him at the beloved Thai Smile in Farmington, Maine as he poured you a beer—after all, that’s where Noah first met and befriended Seth when Noah was living in Western Maine, attending school. Maybe you know Seth from his time at Bissell Brothers in Portland, literally here from day one, the first employee. Doing anything and everything to help our brewery succeed.  Perhaps you’ve seen Seth zipping around One Industrial Way on his skateboard, a talented athlete in that sense. Balanced and poised. Or maybe you’ve shared a pint with him at The Pig, or at one of the other better beer bars around town. And if you’ve have that pleasure, then you’d know that Seth is truly a good, good “(beer) dude.”  He’s also an incredibly skilled homebrewer. Starting in on the hobby in 2015, notably  after  he was already a professional brewer with us at Bissell Brothers, Seth brewed a number of different beers and styles—motivated by curiosity and initiative and a self-directed drive to learn more about beer and be a better brewer. In Seth’s mind, a Cream Ale just “sounded good,” the style intrigued him. And his version of that beer is the one homebrew that truly became his, a beer he befittingly named Kickflip for the skateboard trick, one of Viggs’ favorites.  After brewing the beer four or five times at home, we all fell in love with it as Seth would kindly share bottles of his homebrew that he had filled by hand. After brewing the beer twice on the pilot system, Noah saw merit in what was a really, really good beer entirely in its own right. Standing out so far and above any of the other twenty to twenty-five pilot beers we’d done, Noah decided to green light a beer that wasn’t his own recipe for the first time, calling for a full commercial batch of Kickflip to be brewed just as soon as we had the capacity and resources to do so....  If you think about it, the Cream Ale beer style personifies Seth in many ways. It’s modest and humble. It’s hard-working and reliable. It’s friendly and approachable. Balanced and poised? You bet. After a hard day, you look in the fridge and there in the corner are a few cans of Cream Ale, seemingly always there, dependable. When things are going to hell at the brewery, yep, Viggy is there for you to lend a helping hand. At the end of the day, Cream Ales are just plain awesome. Clean and crisp, they are simply fun and easy beers to enjoy.  But first off, there is no “cream” in a Cream Ale, there’s no lactose, no nonsense. Instead, a traditional Cream Ale is a light bodied ale, typically brewed with corn and/or rice, low in esters, and balanced—neither the hops nor the malt should prevail. Sessionable strength ABV. Absolutely drinkable and delicious, a beer-flavored beer.  With his recipe, Viggy sought out to brew a traditional Cream Ale. Inspired deeply by Frank Lever, the owner of now-defunct Kennebec Brewing in Gardiner, Maine, Seth hoped to recreate something in the vein of the “iconic” Kennebec Cream Ale. A Cream Ale brewed in the true spirit of the state of Maine.  The grist on Kickflip is simple. 2-Row Barley Malt, almost entirely Maine-grown Buck Farms Mapleton Pale 2-Row, serves as the base for the beer, and there are equal parts Flaked Corn and Flaked Rice added. These flaked adjuncts lend a defining zippy smoothness and crispness to the beer, drying it out, creating drinkability. The hop profile is, fittingly, simple as well. A light addition of Cluster hops, one of the oldest, most classic American hops, is utilized in the kettle and whirlpool. Hallertau CalLista, a low-alpha, highly aromatic hop, serves as the dry-hop. It’s an incredibly balanced beer, an homage to Kennebec Cream. Kickflip is truly a Cream Ale brewed in the spirit of Maine, with Maine-grown ingredients at that.  And although ironically the Cream Ale was developed in the 1950’s and 60’s as a quick fermenting Ale, a beer that could be turned around faster than a Lager, but could “compete” with macro Lagers having similar flavors, Seth’s goal was the opposite. We aren’t trying to “compete” with any gas station macros, and to be honest, sometimes we even love those beers for what they are. We wanted something complexly more nuanced in flavor, with similar drinkability. To that end, we fermented Kickflip for a full two weeks in a conical fermenter at low temperatures, and then condition the beer cold in a horizontal tank for nearly an entire month.  The beer is naturally carbonated on the higher end for an Ale. So, the result is a heady, and you guessed it, a creamy, delicious treat of a beer. We hope you enjoy the fruits of Seth’s—and the rest of the production and packaging crew’s—labors as much as we do.  Cheers to you, Viggy.  -- mvs

Kickflip

Anyone who has been even tangentially involved with the beer community and scene throughout Maine and in Portland over the past decade or so, would very likely to happen to know Seth Vigue. Or, at the very least, y’all should.

Seth Vigue, affectionately better known to some as Viggy 3 Flip (or simply “Viggy” or “Viggs”), first cut his teeth in the industry behind the bar at the “hallowed” Barnacle Billy’s in Ogunquit, you may well know him from his years there. Or, perhaps you met him at the beloved Thai Smile in Farmington, Maine as he poured you a beer—after all, that’s where Noah first met and befriended Seth when Noah was living in Western Maine, attending school. Maybe you know Seth from his time at Bissell Brothers in Portland, literally here from day one, the first employee. Doing anything and everything to help our brewery succeed.

Perhaps you’ve seen Seth zipping around One Industrial Way on his skateboard, a talented athlete in that sense. Balanced and poised. Or maybe you’ve shared a pint with him at The Pig, or at one of the other better beer bars around town. And if you’ve have that pleasure, then you’d know that Seth is truly a good, good “(beer) dude.”

He’s also an incredibly skilled homebrewer. Starting in on the hobby in 2015, notably after he was already a professional brewer with us at Bissell Brothers, Seth brewed a number of different beers and styles—motivated by curiosity and initiative and a self-directed drive to learn more about beer and be a better brewer. In Seth’s mind, a Cream Ale just “sounded good,” the style intrigued him. And his version of that beer is the one homebrew that truly became his, a beer he befittingly named Kickflip for the skateboard trick, one of Viggs’ favorites.

After brewing the beer four or five times at home, we all fell in love with it as Seth would kindly share bottles of his homebrew that he had filled by hand. After brewing the beer twice on the pilot system, Noah saw merit in what was a really, really good beer entirely in its own right. Standing out so far and above any of the other twenty to twenty-five pilot beers we’d done, Noah decided to green light a beer that wasn’t his own recipe for the first time, calling for a full commercial batch of Kickflip to be brewed just as soon as we had the capacity and resources to do so....

If you think about it, the Cream Ale beer style personifies Seth in many ways. It’s modest and humble. It’s hard-working and reliable. It’s friendly and approachable. Balanced and poised? You bet. After a hard day, you look in the fridge and there in the corner are a few cans of Cream Ale, seemingly always there, dependable. When things are going to hell at the brewery, yep, Viggy is there for you to lend a helping hand. At the end of the day, Cream Ales are just plain awesome. Clean and crisp, they are simply fun and easy beers to enjoy.

But first off, there is no “cream” in a Cream Ale, there’s no lactose, no nonsense. Instead, a traditional Cream Ale is a light bodied ale, typically brewed with corn and/or rice, low in esters, and balanced—neither the hops nor the malt should prevail. Sessionable strength ABV. Absolutely drinkable and delicious, a beer-flavored beer.

With his recipe, Viggy sought out to brew a traditional Cream Ale. Inspired deeply by Frank Lever, the owner of now-defunct Kennebec Brewing in Gardiner, Maine, Seth hoped to recreate something in the vein of the “iconic” Kennebec Cream Ale. A Cream Ale brewed in the true spirit of the state of Maine.

The grist on Kickflip is simple. 2-Row Barley Malt, almost entirely Maine-grown Buck Farms Mapleton Pale 2-Row, serves as the base for the beer, and there are equal parts Flaked Corn and Flaked Rice added. These flaked adjuncts lend a defining zippy smoothness and crispness to the beer, drying it out, creating drinkability. The hop profile is, fittingly, simple as well. A light addition of Cluster hops, one of the oldest, most classic American hops, is utilized in the kettle and whirlpool. Hallertau CalLista, a low-alpha, highly aromatic hop, serves as the dry-hop. It’s an incredibly balanced beer, an homage to Kennebec Cream. Kickflip is truly a Cream Ale brewed in the spirit of Maine, with Maine-grown ingredients at that.

And although ironically the Cream Ale was developed in the 1950’s and 60’s as a quick fermenting Ale, a beer that could be turned around faster than a Lager, but could “compete” with macro Lagers having similar flavors, Seth’s goal was the opposite. We aren’t trying to “compete” with any gas station macros, and to be honest, sometimes we even love those beers for what they are. We wanted something complexly more nuanced in flavor, with similar drinkability. To that end, we fermented Kickflip for a full two weeks in a conical fermenter at low temperatures, and then condition the beer cold in a horizontal tank for nearly an entire month.

The beer is naturally carbonated on the higher end for an Ale. So, the result is a heady, and you guessed it, a creamy, delicious treat of a beer. We hope you enjoy the fruits of Seth’s—and the rest of the production and packaging crew’s—labors as much as we do.

Cheers to you, Viggy.

-- mvs

  Preserve & Protect   Percival P. Baxter, the former Mayor of Portland and Governor of Maine, had a “magnificent obsession.” We all have them, so you know what I mean. An idea, or a thought, something so pervasive and important to you that it wholly and continuously preoccupies every waking moment in your mind. And then of course, you dream about it too…  Percival Baxter’s magnificent obsession, his dream, was to create a place in Northern Maine, a place that would be forever wild. A massive landscape, rugged terrain, an inescapable beauty. A place that would be home to Katahdin, the mountain that rests in the Northeast, peacefully with enduring glory. A true wilderness in every sense of the word.  Yet unlike so many obsessions that are held onto so tightly for selfish reasons, or personal pleasure or gain, Percival Baxter ending up giving away his obsession to each and every resident of Maine, past, present, and future, in perpetuity. Amazingly, Governor Baxter would grant the land that would become Maine Baxter State Park through 28 donations, in trust, from 1931 - 1962. The gift was unconditional—save for one thing. The land must be preserved, it must be protected. It must remain unchanged, and true. Forever wild. It would take a hell of a lot of work to do that, however, and it would take strong minded, dedicated people to carry on Governor Baxter’s vision.  Jensen Bissell is such a person. Among many others, he heedlessly answered the call. Beginning his career at the park as Resource Manager in 1987, Jensen would help steward and carry on Percival’s obsession. It wasn’t easy. Jensen gave so much to the park in his 31 years of service, commuting nearly an hour each way, back and forth to the Park, to make sure that this gift to Maine would always remain unchanged. He stood his ground, sometime unpopularly, to resist seeming inevitable changes. In 2005, he was appointed to Director of the Park, but that wasn’t the extent of his responsibilities. He was (and still is) a Husband and a Father. He was instrumental in providing the support needed to make the brewery a reality, believing that the college homebrewer in Noah, and the budding entrepreneur in Peter, could make this thing succeed.  When Jensen was transitioning into retirement from his years and years of service at the Park, Peter and Noah (and all of us at the Brewery) knew that they wanted to do something incredibly special to send him off. We had just celebrated our fourth anniversary at Bissell Brothers, and we had done so with an anniversary beer called “Nuclear Whim with the Fuse of a Mile,” named for the Tokyo Police Club lyric. Unfortunately, we hoped that that beer would enter regular rotation, but it was immediately relegated to a one-off thanks to the AB-InBev monopolization of the African hop varietals that we had used in the beer.  But, we really liked Nuclear Whim (and we certainly still do, just trust us on that one). There was something about the grain bill and the grist profile that perfectly fit the mold for a double IPA on the lower-side of the ABV spectrum, a beer being so eminently drinkable while still being so big and impactful. Undoubtedly, it is the kiss of Honey Malt that brings together a base of 2-Row barley malt and malted wheat and flaked oats for the grist. Presenting a hyper-caramelized flavor on its own, the light, judicious use of Honey Malt in the beer adds a subtle, but critical, balancing sweetness to the beer.  Building out the beer off of this grist recipe, we selected Simcoe and Citra hops, a tried and true “West Coast-inspired” hop combination. We’re talking a classic combo here, flavors that will always taste good together. Along with this pair, we would use Denali, a hop that we loved having explored its use in the beer Engram. The intense, dank, dank, pineapple of Denali would pair well with the predictably eclectic notes in Citra and Simcoe. And a dry-hop addition of Vic Secret would lend that classic Australian-hop character to the beer that we’ve talked about before, one that we truly love, yet wouldn’t be overbearing in any way.  The label on the can ties everything together for this special beer, an iconic image of Percival P. Baxter, the man whose incredible gift is beloved by so many here in Maine, even to this day. Superimposed with an iconic image of Jensen Bissell, the man whose incredible dedication is (part of) the reason why Katahdin and Park remain unchanged, forever wild, even to this day. The beer is our substantiation of gratitude for the tremendous acts of hard work, vision, and selfless giving exuded by these two men for so many, many years.  And not that there is any way that we could ever repay these two men for all that they have given, but a percentage of sales from each four-pack of Preserve & Protect are donated to Friends of Baxter State Park, an independent citizen group, found in 2000, with a mission to preserve and support, and enhance the wilderness character of Baxter State Park. This donation is our small gift in return for so much.  The beer is delicious, and satisfying to drink, sure. But the next time you open a can of Preserve & Protect, we urge you to take a moment and reflect on Percival P. Baxter, Jensen Bissell, Katahdin, and the wilderness of Baxter State Park, and think about how much we really have been given.  --mvs

Preserve & Protect

Percival P. Baxter, the former Mayor of Portland and Governor of Maine, had a “magnificent obsession.” We all have them, so you know what I mean. An idea, or a thought, something so pervasive and important to you that it wholly and continuously preoccupies every waking moment in your mind. And then of course, you dream about it too…

Percival Baxter’s magnificent obsession, his dream, was to create a place in Northern Maine, a place that would be forever wild. A massive landscape, rugged terrain, an inescapable beauty. A place that would be home to Katahdin, the mountain that rests in the Northeast, peacefully with enduring glory. A true wilderness in every sense of the word.

Yet unlike so many obsessions that are held onto so tightly for selfish reasons, or personal pleasure or gain, Percival Baxter ending up giving away his obsession to each and every resident of Maine, past, present, and future, in perpetuity. Amazingly, Governor Baxter would grant the land that would become Maine Baxter State Park through 28 donations, in trust, from 1931 - 1962. The gift was unconditional—save for one thing. The land must be preserved, it must be protected. It must remain unchanged, and true. Forever wild. It would take a hell of a lot of work to do that, however, and it would take strong minded, dedicated people to carry on Governor Baxter’s vision.

Jensen Bissell is such a person. Among many others, he heedlessly answered the call. Beginning his career at the park as Resource Manager in 1987, Jensen would help steward and carry on Percival’s obsession. It wasn’t easy. Jensen gave so much to the park in his 31 years of service, commuting nearly an hour each way, back and forth to the Park, to make sure that this gift to Maine would always remain unchanged. He stood his ground, sometime unpopularly, to resist seeming inevitable changes. In 2005, he was appointed to Director of the Park, but that wasn’t the extent of his responsibilities. He was (and still is) a Husband and a Father. He was instrumental in providing the support needed to make the brewery a reality, believing that the college homebrewer in Noah, and the budding entrepreneur in Peter, could make this thing succeed.

When Jensen was transitioning into retirement from his years and years of service at the Park, Peter and Noah (and all of us at the Brewery) knew that they wanted to do something incredibly special to send him off. We had just celebrated our fourth anniversary at Bissell Brothers, and we had done so with an anniversary beer called “Nuclear Whim with the Fuse of a Mile,” named for the Tokyo Police Club lyric. Unfortunately, we hoped that that beer would enter regular rotation, but it was immediately relegated to a one-off thanks to the AB-InBev monopolization of the African hop varietals that we had used in the beer.

But, we really liked Nuclear Whim (and we certainly still do, just trust us on that one). There was something about the grain bill and the grist profile that perfectly fit the mold for a double IPA on the lower-side of the ABV spectrum, a beer being so eminently drinkable while still being so big and impactful. Undoubtedly, it is the kiss of Honey Malt that brings together a base of 2-Row barley malt and malted wheat and flaked oats for the grist. Presenting a hyper-caramelized flavor on its own, the light, judicious use of Honey Malt in the beer adds a subtle, but critical, balancing sweetness to the beer.

Building out the beer off of this grist recipe, we selected Simcoe and Citra hops, a tried and true “West Coast-inspired” hop combination. We’re talking a classic combo here, flavors that will always taste good together. Along with this pair, we would use Denali, a hop that we loved having explored its use in the beer Engram. The intense, dank, dank, pineapple of Denali would pair well with the predictably eclectic notes in Citra and Simcoe. And a dry-hop addition of Vic Secret would lend that classic Australian-hop character to the beer that we’ve talked about before, one that we truly love, yet wouldn’t be overbearing in any way.

The label on the can ties everything together for this special beer, an iconic image of Percival P. Baxter, the man whose incredible gift is beloved by so many here in Maine, even to this day. Superimposed with an iconic image of Jensen Bissell, the man whose incredible dedication is (part of) the reason why Katahdin and Park remain unchanged, forever wild, even to this day. The beer is our substantiation of gratitude for the tremendous acts of hard work, vision, and selfless giving exuded by these two men for so many, many years.

And not that there is any way that we could ever repay these two men for all that they have given, but a percentage of sales from each four-pack of Preserve & Protect are donated to Friends of Baxter State Park, an independent citizen group, found in 2000, with a mission to preserve and support, and enhance the wilderness character of Baxter State Park. This donation is our small gift in return for so much.

The beer is delicious, and satisfying to drink, sure. But the next time you open a can of Preserve & Protect, we urge you to take a moment and reflect on Percival P. Baxter, Jensen Bissell, Katahdin, and the wilderness of Baxter State Park, and think about how much we really have been given.

--mvs

  Bucolia   buc·ol·ia  /byo͞oˈkōliā/   noun   1. the state of being bucolic; 2. a reservoir of memories from Fall in New England; 3. an evolved Amber Ale  Take a moment to conjure up and imagine every cliché that you can think of about the season of Fall in New England. If you’ve ever spent an Autumn here in Maine, you know. No one is walking around the Old Port, and surely no one is out there in the woods on a hike in Baxter State Park, going around saying “man, Fall freakin’ sucks.” Fall is pretty magical here. There is a reason those clichés are clichés.  There is something about experiencing Autumn in Maine, the perfect time of the year, that is, simply put, so special. Everything about it—the way the cool air feels against your skin, the smell of the outdoors that permeates every moment of being in it, the sound that dry leaves make underfoot when you’re walking in the light of a fading afternoon. Or perhaps it is the cool kiss of the salty ocean on your face as you paddle out to catch some surf in the magical pre-dawn sunlight at Higgins Beach. Close your eyes in Fall, and you’re swept away in a sea of involuntary memories about past-times spent in the Northeast.  It was the Fall of 2014, with two beers solidly under our belts—having now brewed Substance and then Baby Genius routinely—we started to think about what beer would come next. That Fall, our mind kept getting swept up with vivid memories, good and bad, of say, leaving home, heading to school on a Fall day. Memories of throwing the football around with your best buds. Racing your bike downhill with windswept, colored leaves trailing behind you. Those mercurial feelings of a perfect October afternoon. We decided we would brew something that would elicit those feelings, would embody and emulate those moments in the glass.  Inspired broadly by the dryly assertive malt character in our favorite European, old-world, Amber-beers, we set out to brew a beer in the vein of the Marzens and Biere de Gardes that we found so satisfying to drink. We would further draw more direct, albeit bookended, inspiration from two very different beers. First, Calico from Ballast Point, a soft, easy-drinking, dry Amber Ale. Calico was a delicious, simple yet complex, beer to drink. And second,  Zoe , Maine Beer Company’s hoppy Amber Ale, first brewed in 2009. Zoe was unlike any beer we’d ever had at the time, so hoppy but possessing a defined roasty edge and that deep, red hue and luminance when poured in a glass.  With the goal of striking a balance, and with the idea to keep alcohol in moderation, we started with a base of Golden Promise. Providing a subtle, but still very present toastiness, Golden Promise provides the platform for Munich malt to contribute a biscuity, chewy, but not inherently sweet malt profile. A touch of Dark Wheat Malt aids in head formation and retention. A kiss of Pale Chocolate malt—a softer version of the standard roasted malt—added for a subtle additional layer of color and flavor.  Finally, to complete the grist, the recipe for Ballast Point’s Calico (a recipe that was gleaned from  Can You Brew It?,  one of our favorite shows on  The Brewing Network ) provided the impetus for adding a small percentage of Carastan into the beer. An English malt, contributing toasty and caramel characters, this malt quickly became one of our favorite tools to provide balance in maltier, hoppier beers. Not yielding a burnt fruit character, restrained complexity. Carastan rounds out a beer that we would want to drink on that perfect New England October afternoon.  Although it is definitively not an IPA, we do add our own thumbprint to Bucolia with hops. Simcoe seemed ideal, imparting a brightly fruity, sweet juicy character, with the distinct character of pine that can evoke the scents of an Autumn day. The beer is delicately balanced with both Centennial and Chinook hop additions. It’s a hoppy beer, for sure, but the hops don’t steamroll the malt profile that we’ve so thoughtfully crafted, the entire time with Fall in Maine in mind. And every bit as delicious to drink…  Whenever you sip Bucolia—Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall—we hope that you too experience the sensation of a bucolic New England Autumnal day. Maybe you are with your friends, sitting around a campfire, wearing your favorite pair of jeans, worn-in just right, and your most comforting flannel shirt. Your crew altogether, cans of Bucolia in hand, laughter and smiles peeking through the flames, celebrating Fall in Maine. Sound cliché? Sure is.  --mvs

Bucolia

buc·ol·ia

/byo͞oˈkōliā/

noun

1. the state of being bucolic; 2. a reservoir of memories from Fall in New England; 3. an evolved Amber Ale

Take a moment to conjure up and imagine every cliché that you can think of about the season of Fall in New England. If you’ve ever spent an Autumn here in Maine, you know. No one is walking around the Old Port, and surely no one is out there in the woods on a hike in Baxter State Park, going around saying “man, Fall freakin’ sucks.” Fall is pretty magical here. There is a reason those clichés are clichés.

There is something about experiencing Autumn in Maine, the perfect time of the year, that is, simply put, so special. Everything about it—the way the cool air feels against your skin, the smell of the outdoors that permeates every moment of being in it, the sound that dry leaves make underfoot when you’re walking in the light of a fading afternoon. Or perhaps it is the cool kiss of the salty ocean on your face as you paddle out to catch some surf in the magical pre-dawn sunlight at Higgins Beach. Close your eyes in Fall, and you’re swept away in a sea of involuntary memories about past-times spent in the Northeast.

It was the Fall of 2014, with two beers solidly under our belts—having now brewed Substance and then Baby Genius routinely—we started to think about what beer would come next. That Fall, our mind kept getting swept up with vivid memories, good and bad, of say, leaving home, heading to school on a Fall day. Memories of throwing the football around with your best buds. Racing your bike downhill with windswept, colored leaves trailing behind you. Those mercurial feelings of a perfect October afternoon. We decided we would brew something that would elicit those feelings, would embody and emulate those moments in the glass.

Inspired broadly by the dryly assertive malt character in our favorite European, old-world, Amber-beers, we set out to brew a beer in the vein of the Marzens and Biere de Gardes that we found so satisfying to drink. We would further draw more direct, albeit bookended, inspiration from two very different beers. First, Calico from Ballast Point, a soft, easy-drinking, dry Amber Ale. Calico was a delicious, simple yet complex, beer to drink. And second, Zoe, Maine Beer Company’s hoppy Amber Ale, first brewed in 2009. Zoe was unlike any beer we’d ever had at the time, so hoppy but possessing a defined roasty edge and that deep, red hue and luminance when poured in a glass.

With the goal of striking a balance, and with the idea to keep alcohol in moderation, we started with a base of Golden Promise. Providing a subtle, but still very present toastiness, Golden Promise provides the platform for Munich malt to contribute a biscuity, chewy, but not inherently sweet malt profile. A touch of Dark Wheat Malt aids in head formation and retention. A kiss of Pale Chocolate malt—a softer version of the standard roasted malt—added for a subtle additional layer of color and flavor.

Finally, to complete the grist, the recipe for Ballast Point’s Calico (a recipe that was gleaned from Can You Brew It?, one of our favorite shows on The Brewing Network) provided the impetus for adding a small percentage of Carastan into the beer. An English malt, contributing toasty and caramel characters, this malt quickly became one of our favorite tools to provide balance in maltier, hoppier beers. Not yielding a burnt fruit character, restrained complexity. Carastan rounds out a beer that we would want to drink on that perfect New England October afternoon.

Although it is definitively not an IPA, we do add our own thumbprint to Bucolia with hops. Simcoe seemed ideal, imparting a brightly fruity, sweet juicy character, with the distinct character of pine that can evoke the scents of an Autumn day. The beer is delicately balanced with both Centennial and Chinook hop additions. It’s a hoppy beer, for sure, but the hops don’t steamroll the malt profile that we’ve so thoughtfully crafted, the entire time with Fall in Maine in mind. And every bit as delicious to drink…

Whenever you sip Bucolia—Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall—we hope that you too experience the sensation of a bucolic New England Autumnal day. Maybe you are with your friends, sitting around a campfire, wearing your favorite pair of jeans, worn-in just right, and your most comforting flannel shirt. Your crew altogether, cans of Bucolia in hand, laughter and smiles peeking through the flames, celebrating Fall in Maine. Sound cliché? Sure is.

--mvs

  Baby Genius   Imagine the face of a young child, eyes steadfast and solemn, looking out at the world she inhabits. Imagine, just for a fleeting moment, perhaps, that that child had the answer to all of the world’s problems. That that little girl, her worldview unsullied, had the power to cure all of this planet’s ills. She would fittingly, for lack of a more poetic description, be the “Baby Genius.”  Now imagine sipping a beer. Perhaps it’s been a long, hard, trying day at work. Perhaps it’s just another “one of those days.” Imagine that that beer—a beer that is so full of aromas and flavors, yet a ‘small’ beer, low in ABV, and entirely soft and crushable—would, even if for that fleeting moment, solve all of your troubles. Make all of your cares melt away. That beer would, for what might be a more poetic description than warranted, be the “Baby Genius.”  When we were starting to think about the second beer that we wanted to brew commercially in the summer of 2014, it was a long time coming. We had, up to that point, been brewing one beer alone, solely The Substance. There wasn’t too much to actually inspire what we wanted to brew as the second beer, we just knew that we wanted to scale down the Alcohol-By-Volume. Although 6.6%—where The Substance clocks-in ABV-wise—isn’t all that outrageous, especially in today’s day of DIPAs and TIPAs, we were squarely intent on brewing a beer that was lower in ABV and sessionable. A beer for drinking more than just one can. Casting aside any aspirations of an ABV-arms race with our beers that we would brew regularly, a target of 4% ABV seemed the sweet spot.  Enamored, perhaps to a fault, with wanting to use Galaxy to at least some degree, we turned to the sparse, cutthroat, secondary market. Of course, we were a young upstart brewery, years away from getting our hands on any sort of Galaxy in quantity and on contract at the time. But, we ended up purchasing some Galaxy at absurd prices on the spot-market, something approaching $30/pound, nearly double what we pay today for similar hops. Even buying a few overpriced bags of Galaxy, we still couldn’t source enough of the hop for a single 20-bbl turn of the beer on our brewhouse.  So, instead of singularly hopping a beer with Galaxy, we designed a sessionable beer comprised of Galaxy and Ella (also a hop from Australia), a beer that would showcase that distinct Australian hop-profile and character that we loved. That early version of the beer that would ultimately be Baby Genius was damn delicious, but simply not sustainable, not at those Galaxy hop prices. So, as we have done seemingly time and time again, we pivoted.  We discovered Ella, an Australian hop varietal that was bred and marketed as “Galaxy’s half-sister,” somewhat by chance, by piloting single-hop IPAs on our small batch system and experimenting. We found that Ella is uniquely different from Galaxy, for sure, but it has that tried-and-true Australian hop character. We liked it. A lot. An undeniable fruitiness, flirting with coarse anise flavors. A tropical burst on the nose that carries into the taste. (Ella also happens to be the name of a young girl who, and only time may tell, may just solve the world’s problems, she may be the “Baby Genius” after all...and the inspiration for this beers’ name).  Leaving Galaxy out of the mix this time, we balanced the hop profile in the beer by using Citra to round out some of the course edges that Ella presents, without taking anything away from that Australian hop punch. Perhaps even saturating the fruity, intense flavors and aromas in the beer even further. Bright and entirely eclectic, the beer washes over the palate with a citrusy, new world punch.  For the malt bill, it was important for us to brew a beer that had more perceived mouthfeel than the drinker might expect. To brew a beer that would be soft and crushable. To achieve this, we experimented with ratios of flaked versus malted wheat, settling upon nearly a 50-50 split. Critical to this beer, however, is the addition of flaked oats. Sometimes lost in the presence of a bigger beer, flaked oats impart in Baby Genius an airy, chewy, fluffiness that ultimately makes the beer utterly so drinkable. A small percentage of Vienna malt round out the malt bill, adding a touch of hefty toastiness without getting in the way of anything.  When we packaged that first commercial batch of Baby Genius, it was still the early, “dark” days for running a canning line. Hand-canning each beer. Hand-stickering the labels onto each can. Running at a snail’s pace, it proved to be an undertaking that would consume Noah, Pete and Sniff’s, and the new guy,  Cam ’s (who suffered this exercise on his first day at Bissell Brothers) entire day. A discouraging, laborious, messy and taxing task.  But when it was all said and done, the guys opened up that first can (with several more cans to follow) of Baby Genius., and just like that, their troubles all melted away. Still to this day, when you are holding a glass of Baby Genius, if at least for that moment, there are no problems in your world. Turns out, it’s one smart beer, the “Baby Genius” of our brewery, after all…  --mvs

Baby Genius

Imagine the face of a young child, eyes steadfast and solemn, looking out at the world she inhabits. Imagine, just for a fleeting moment, perhaps, that that child had the answer to all of the world’s problems. That that little girl, her worldview unsullied, had the power to cure all of this planet’s ills. She would fittingly, for lack of a more poetic description, be the “Baby Genius.”

Now imagine sipping a beer. Perhaps it’s been a long, hard, trying day at work. Perhaps it’s just another “one of those days.” Imagine that that beer—a beer that is so full of aromas and flavors, yet a ‘small’ beer, low in ABV, and entirely soft and crushable—would, even if for that fleeting moment, solve all of your troubles. Make all of your cares melt away. That beer would, for what might be a more poetic description than warranted, be the “Baby Genius.”

When we were starting to think about the second beer that we wanted to brew commercially in the summer of 2014, it was a long time coming. We had, up to that point, been brewing one beer alone, solely The Substance. There wasn’t too much to actually inspire what we wanted to brew as the second beer, we just knew that we wanted to scale down the Alcohol-By-Volume. Although 6.6%—where The Substance clocks-in ABV-wise—isn’t all that outrageous, especially in today’s day of DIPAs and TIPAs, we were squarely intent on brewing a beer that was lower in ABV and sessionable. A beer for drinking more than just one can. Casting aside any aspirations of an ABV-arms race with our beers that we would brew regularly, a target of 4% ABV seemed the sweet spot.

Enamored, perhaps to a fault, with wanting to use Galaxy to at least some degree, we turned to the sparse, cutthroat, secondary market. Of course, we were a young upstart brewery, years away from getting our hands on any sort of Galaxy in quantity and on contract at the time. But, we ended up purchasing some Galaxy at absurd prices on the spot-market, something approaching $30/pound, nearly double what we pay today for similar hops. Even buying a few overpriced bags of Galaxy, we still couldn’t source enough of the hop for a single 20-bbl turn of the beer on our brewhouse.

So, instead of singularly hopping a beer with Galaxy, we designed a sessionable beer comprised of Galaxy and Ella (also a hop from Australia), a beer that would showcase that distinct Australian hop-profile and character that we loved. That early version of the beer that would ultimately be Baby Genius was damn delicious, but simply not sustainable, not at those Galaxy hop prices. So, as we have done seemingly time and time again, we pivoted.

We discovered Ella, an Australian hop varietal that was bred and marketed as “Galaxy’s half-sister,” somewhat by chance, by piloting single-hop IPAs on our small batch system and experimenting. We found that Ella is uniquely different from Galaxy, for sure, but it has that tried-and-true Australian hop character. We liked it. A lot. An undeniable fruitiness, flirting with coarse anise flavors. A tropical burst on the nose that carries into the taste. (Ella also happens to be the name of a young girl who, and only time may tell, may just solve the world’s problems, she may be the “Baby Genius” after all...and the inspiration for this beers’ name).

Leaving Galaxy out of the mix this time, we balanced the hop profile in the beer by using Citra to round out some of the course edges that Ella presents, without taking anything away from that Australian hop punch. Perhaps even saturating the fruity, intense flavors and aromas in the beer even further. Bright and entirely eclectic, the beer washes over the palate with a citrusy, new world punch.

For the malt bill, it was important for us to brew a beer that had more perceived mouthfeel than the drinker might expect. To brew a beer that would be soft and crushable. To achieve this, we experimented with ratios of flaked versus malted wheat, settling upon nearly a 50-50 split. Critical to this beer, however, is the addition of flaked oats. Sometimes lost in the presence of a bigger beer, flaked oats impart in Baby Genius an airy, chewy, fluffiness that ultimately makes the beer utterly so drinkable. A small percentage of Vienna malt round out the malt bill, adding a touch of hefty toastiness without getting in the way of anything.

When we packaged that first commercial batch of Baby Genius, it was still the early, “dark” days for running a canning line. Hand-canning each beer. Hand-stickering the labels onto each can. Running at a snail’s pace, it proved to be an undertaking that would consume Noah, Pete and Sniff’s, and the new guy, Cam’s (who suffered this exercise on his first day at Bissell Brothers) entire day. A discouraging, laborious, messy and taxing task.

But when it was all said and done, the guys opened up that first can (with several more cans to follow) of Baby Genius., and just like that, their troubles all melted away. Still to this day, when you are holding a glass of Baby Genius, if at least for that moment, there are no problems in your world. Turns out, it’s one smart beer, the “Baby Genius” of our brewery, after all…

--mvs

  Big Small World   If you’ve been drinking better beer for a long enough time now, you’ve most likely heard the phrase: “Drink Local.” That mantra to drink locally, buy local, support local breweries is often criticized in today’s brewing day-and-age. Just because a beer is brewed locally, doesn’t mean it’s inherently a good beer. And, with a few exceptions to the norm, not much about the ingredients in the beer you have in your glass right now is actually all that “local.”  But, it wasn’t always that way. There is an inherent beauty, something fascinatingly romantic, about locality. And historically, there are numerous examples of beer traditions and beer styles that were born out of “local” elements. Take for example, the water in Plzen that gave the world the  Pilsner  (and thank the beer gods for that one).  Lambic  born of the microflora in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (and thank the beer gods for that one). The smoked German malts from Bamberg that gave the world the Rauchbier (and derivatively speaking, thank the beer gods for  Schlenkerla Helles , while we are at it). The locally grown, complex grains and other herbs and spices that fueled the Belgian traditional of brewing Saison. And so on…  But in today’s modern age of brewing, there are very few global boundaries. As a production brewery in Maine, we have access to ingredients sourced from all over the world. Those ingredients will literally show up on a truck to our loading dock in sometimes under 2-days’ time. It’s a small world, after all. And given that that’s the case, there really isn’t inherently any good, rational reason to utilize a “local” ingredient when developing a recipe and brewing a beer. Unless, of course, there is.  When we were beginning to receive our supply of  Maine Malt House  malts in quantity, we were blown away with the consistency in the malting qualities of the 2-Row, Maine-grown malt that was available to us. That Buck Family, Mapleton Pale malt possesses an indescribable quality that adds an element and depth of character that isn’t available in other 2-Row base malts that are accessible to us from really any other supplier around the globe.  We were looking to brew another lower ABV Pale Ale offering on a yearly basis, something that we could drink a few glasses of in one sitting and still be able to go about the rest of the evening. That Maine-grown Mapleton Pale malt from just hours up North of our home in Portland, Maine, in conjunction with the Flaked Oats and Flaked Wheat that  Maine Grains  in Skowhegan is able to offer up to us locally, proved to us to be local ingredients that really tasted different and delicious in a way we couldn’t find if we looked outside of Maine. Maybe it’s actually a big world, here in our home state.  Embracing the duality of the use of all-local ingredients in the malt bill, we decided to embrace the locality of other global regions when it came to hops. If you’ve had hoppy beers before, single-hop beers in particular, you’ll notice that hops grown in different regions have different, well, regional characteristics. German hops are generally known to be clean, spicy, floral. UK hops are known to be earthy and pungent. Australian hops are tropical, juicy, and often cast a hop-haze. American hops are typically brightly dank and piney. New Zealand hops, zingy and citrusy.  Using the contracts and quantities we had available, we selected Galaxy from Australia to provide that tropical citrus, a blast of passionfruit. We selected Hallertau Blanc from Germany to support the aromatic floral characteristics in the beer with a cleaner, rounded nature. We also selected Motueka from New Zealand to add a slight lemon-lime accent to compliment a hop-forward, yet not overly impactful overall profile to be found in our “Transatlantic” Pale Ale.  An example of the hyper-local coming together with the utterly global. Maine. Germany. Australia. New Zealand. It’s a Big Small World.  Yet, you don’t need to necessarily know any of that. When you take a sip of Big Small World, it is truly a local beer in perhaps the  most  literal sense. It is the glass of beer that’s in your hand. I mean, look down at the beautiful foam atop on your beer… Doesn’t get more “localized” than that.  And when you’re drinking Big Small World, you don’t need to know where the malt comes from, or where the hops were sourced, in order to enjoy all that it has to offer. We know it’s a beer we are proud of, and we know it’s a good beer. When you take that second sip, you will know it’s a good beer too. We hope you enjoy it, wherever in the world you might be.  --mvs

Big Small World

If you’ve been drinking better beer for a long enough time now, you’ve most likely heard the phrase: “Drink Local.” That mantra to drink locally, buy local, support local breweries is often criticized in today’s brewing day-and-age. Just because a beer is brewed locally, doesn’t mean it’s inherently a good beer. And, with a few exceptions to the norm, not much about the ingredients in the beer you have in your glass right now is actually all that “local.”

But, it wasn’t always that way. There is an inherent beauty, something fascinatingly romantic, about locality. And historically, there are numerous examples of beer traditions and beer styles that were born out of “local” elements. Take for example, the water in Plzen that gave the world the Pilsner (and thank the beer gods for that one). Lambic born of the microflora in the Pajottenland region of Belgium (and thank the beer gods for that one). The smoked German malts from Bamberg that gave the world the Rauchbier (and derivatively speaking, thank the beer gods for Schlenkerla Helles, while we are at it). The locally grown, complex grains and other herbs and spices that fueled the Belgian traditional of brewing Saison. And so on…

But in today’s modern age of brewing, there are very few global boundaries. As a production brewery in Maine, we have access to ingredients sourced from all over the world. Those ingredients will literally show up on a truck to our loading dock in sometimes under 2-days’ time. It’s a small world, after all. And given that that’s the case, there really isn’t inherently any good, rational reason to utilize a “local” ingredient when developing a recipe and brewing a beer. Unless, of course, there is.

When we were beginning to receive our supply of Maine Malt House malts in quantity, we were blown away with the consistency in the malting qualities of the 2-Row, Maine-grown malt that was available to us. That Buck Family, Mapleton Pale malt possesses an indescribable quality that adds an element and depth of character that isn’t available in other 2-Row base malts that are accessible to us from really any other supplier around the globe.

We were looking to brew another lower ABV Pale Ale offering on a yearly basis, something that we could drink a few glasses of in one sitting and still be able to go about the rest of the evening. That Maine-grown Mapleton Pale malt from just hours up North of our home in Portland, Maine, in conjunction with the Flaked Oats and Flaked Wheat that Maine Grains in Skowhegan is able to offer up to us locally, proved to us to be local ingredients that really tasted different and delicious in a way we couldn’t find if we looked outside of Maine. Maybe it’s actually a big world, here in our home state.

Embracing the duality of the use of all-local ingredients in the malt bill, we decided to embrace the locality of other global regions when it came to hops. If you’ve had hoppy beers before, single-hop beers in particular, you’ll notice that hops grown in different regions have different, well, regional characteristics. German hops are generally known to be clean, spicy, floral. UK hops are known to be earthy and pungent. Australian hops are tropical, juicy, and often cast a hop-haze. American hops are typically brightly dank and piney. New Zealand hops, zingy and citrusy.

Using the contracts and quantities we had available, we selected Galaxy from Australia to provide that tropical citrus, a blast of passionfruit. We selected Hallertau Blanc from Germany to support the aromatic floral characteristics in the beer with a cleaner, rounded nature. We also selected Motueka from New Zealand to add a slight lemon-lime accent to compliment a hop-forward, yet not overly impactful overall profile to be found in our “Transatlantic” Pale Ale.

An example of the hyper-local coming together with the utterly global. Maine. Germany. Australia. New Zealand. It’s a Big Small World.

Yet, you don’t need to necessarily know any of that. When you take a sip of Big Small World, it is truly a local beer in perhaps the most literal sense. It is the glass of beer that’s in your hand. I mean, look down at the beautiful foam atop on your beer… Doesn’t get more “localized” than that.

And when you’re drinking Big Small World, you don’t need to know where the malt comes from, or where the hops were sourced, in order to enjoy all that it has to offer. We know it’s a beer we are proud of, and we know it’s a good beer. When you take that second sip, you will know it’s a good beer too. We hope you enjoy it, wherever in the world you might be.

--mvs

  Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time   It was late one quiet evening in the Old Port at the Thirsty Pig, and Noah was there by himself, wrapping up a shift behind the bar. Working as the bartender and line cook, Noah would occasionally choose to let the dirty glassware build up over the latter course of the night, saving that task instead for that blissful moment when the bar would empty out. In that time of peace after what might have sometimes been a chaotic shift, he’d put on a movie or a tv show, clean the pile of glasses and gaze up at the television in corner of the bar, illuminating in the onset darkness.  Noah had his favorites. Perhaps nothing more-so than the 1990s NBC sitcom,  Seinfeld . Noah had the entire series on DVD, a prized possession that usually lived at the Pig, and he’d often times select a DVD from the boxed-set and turn on an episode. That night, it was the “Sniffing Accountant,” one of the all-time classics from the fifth season. In the episode, Jerry’s accountant is suffering from a case of pronounced “sniffing.” Jerry convinces himself that his accountant is addicted to cocaine, perhaps squandering Jerry’s hard earned money. And so, Kramer, Newman, and Jerry organize a sting to find out and get to the bottom of it all.  Kramer follows the accountant into a bar wearing his sunglasses indoors, orders a mug of beer, and lights up a smoke. In that scene, Kramer nods over to the sniffing accountant, raises his glass and slightly cocks his head, and says a cheer: “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.” He proceeds to slug down the beer, cigarette in mouth, submerged in the glass the entire time, and then exhales the drag after finishing the beer.  That night, as that scene was playing, Noah echoed the line back to himself as Kramer downed the beer and exhaled. As Kramer coughed, Noah chuckled. And then he went back to washing glassware.  When Noah and Peter first got the brewery open, it was a tough go to get hop contracts. No hop proved more difficult to secure than Galaxy. And that hop, possibly more than any other, was one that we knew we wanted to brew with. Yet, last summer, after over two years of patience, it was finally coming around to the point where we’d be getting the Galaxy contract coming in. We were all excited to design a big, hoppy beer around this unique, Southern Hemisphere hop.  Galaxy is unmistakable. A hugely aromatic, passionfruit-forward hop variety that is fantastic in singularly hopped IPAs. Although we knew we loved Galaxy on it’s own, we wanted to be able to make the most of the relatively limited supply we could get on contract, and so we would brew a beer that would utilize a blend of hops and not a single hop alone.  In support, we choose Mosaic, a hop with similar notes to Galaxy, but leaning more peachy than passionfruit-forward, and possessing a categorically American dankness. We also choose Simcoe, a hop with a relatively shifting profile based on crop-year and farm, but one that tends to present pine and notes of passionfruit as well. Together, these three hops create a rounded, delicious, but Galaxy-prominent, but not overbearing, soft and aromatic hop profile.  For the grist, we selected Spelt, a grain that we’d not really used in many applications. Where malted wheat is an accent in Reciprocal, and malted rye is an accent in Lux, spelt would serve to accent this beer. Spicier and nuttier than wheat, but not quite as impactful as rye, Spelt would add that top note to a base of Pilsner malt, a subtle but almost imperceptible twist to the malt character in this lower-strength double IPA that we were brew with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Simcoe.  When it came time to name the beer, Noah happened to be re-watching the beloved  Seinfeld  at the time, in fact the “Sniffing Accountant” episode. And as soon as Kramer uttered the salutation, “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time,” he had the name.  With a name chosen, we turned to a long-time friend of the brewery and fellow Seinfeld superfan, Sam Dunning ( @itsfusilijerry ) to create the label for the can. In a work of artistic genius, Sam designed one of our favorite labels to-date: a mash-up, hybridization of  Where’s Waldo? , of  Seinfeld , and of Bissell Brothers, our collective selves as a brewery. Everytime you look at the artwork on the can, you discover something new and amazing. And everytime you sip this beer, you do exactly the same.   “Well, Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.”   --mvs

Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time

It was late one quiet evening in the Old Port at the Thirsty Pig, and Noah was there by himself, wrapping up a shift behind the bar. Working as the bartender and line cook, Noah would occasionally choose to let the dirty glassware build up over the latter course of the night, saving that task instead for that blissful moment when the bar would empty out. In that time of peace after what might have sometimes been a chaotic shift, he’d put on a movie or a tv show, clean the pile of glasses and gaze up at the television in corner of the bar, illuminating in the onset darkness.

Noah had his favorites. Perhaps nothing more-so than the 1990s NBC sitcom, Seinfeld. Noah had the entire series on DVD, a prized possession that usually lived at the Pig, and he’d often times select a DVD from the boxed-set and turn on an episode. That night, it was the “Sniffing Accountant,” one of the all-time classics from the fifth season. In the episode, Jerry’s accountant is suffering from a case of pronounced “sniffing.” Jerry convinces himself that his accountant is addicted to cocaine, perhaps squandering Jerry’s hard earned money. And so, Kramer, Newman, and Jerry organize a sting to find out and get to the bottom of it all.

Kramer follows the accountant into a bar wearing his sunglasses indoors, orders a mug of beer, and lights up a smoke. In that scene, Kramer nods over to the sniffing accountant, raises his glass and slightly cocks his head, and says a cheer: “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.” He proceeds to slug down the beer, cigarette in mouth, submerged in the glass the entire time, and then exhales the drag after finishing the beer.

That night, as that scene was playing, Noah echoed the line back to himself as Kramer downed the beer and exhaled. As Kramer coughed, Noah chuckled. And then he went back to washing glassware.

When Noah and Peter first got the brewery open, it was a tough go to get hop contracts. No hop proved more difficult to secure than Galaxy. And that hop, possibly more than any other, was one that we knew we wanted to brew with. Yet, last summer, after over two years of patience, it was finally coming around to the point where we’d be getting the Galaxy contract coming in. We were all excited to design a big, hoppy beer around this unique, Southern Hemisphere hop.

Galaxy is unmistakable. A hugely aromatic, passionfruit-forward hop variety that is fantastic in singularly hopped IPAs. Although we knew we loved Galaxy on it’s own, we wanted to be able to make the most of the relatively limited supply we could get on contract, and so we would brew a beer that would utilize a blend of hops and not a single hop alone.

In support, we choose Mosaic, a hop with similar notes to Galaxy, but leaning more peachy than passionfruit-forward, and possessing a categorically American dankness. We also choose Simcoe, a hop with a relatively shifting profile based on crop-year and farm, but one that tends to present pine and notes of passionfruit as well. Together, these three hops create a rounded, delicious, but Galaxy-prominent, but not overbearing, soft and aromatic hop profile.

For the grist, we selected Spelt, a grain that we’d not really used in many applications. Where malted wheat is an accent in Reciprocal, and malted rye is an accent in Lux, spelt would serve to accent this beer. Spicier and nuttier than wheat, but not quite as impactful as rye, Spelt would add that top note to a base of Pilsner malt, a subtle but almost imperceptible twist to the malt character in this lower-strength double IPA that we were brew with Galaxy, Mosaic, and Simcoe.

When it came time to name the beer, Noah happened to be re-watching the beloved Seinfeld at the time, in fact the “Sniffing Accountant” episode. And as soon as Kramer uttered the salutation, “Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time,” he had the name.

With a name chosen, we turned to a long-time friend of the brewery and fellow Seinfeld superfan, Sam Dunning (@itsfusilijerry) to create the label for the can. In a work of artistic genius, Sam designed one of our favorite labels to-date: a mash-up, hybridization of Where’s Waldo?, of Seinfeld, and of Bissell Brothers, our collective selves as a brewery. Everytime you look at the artwork on the can, you discover something new and amazing. And everytime you sip this beer, you do exactly the same.

“Well, Here’s to Feeling Good All the Time.”

--mvs

  Dangol   There is absolutely no denying it, delivering beer is hard, physical work. A ½ bbl keg of beer, the typical size keg you might remember seeing at a college tailgate, weighs just about 160 lbs. Imagine hauling these oddly shaped masses of stainless all around Maine, from our brewery at the Industrial Park, into the back of a van, out of the van, and then finally through a crowded kitchen or a bar. Imagine doing that in the middle of a hot, humid, Maine summer scorcher. It’s hard, hot work. You get thirsty.  It was the first summer we were open in 2014, and our second employee, Josh (affectionately known to most as “Sniff”) was the man usually tasked with this sweaty, relatively thankless exercise that summer. He did the job, and he did it well and with a smile. But he got thirsty. You would too.  That Memorial Day weekend, Sniff was enjoying some much-needed and well-earned time off with friends, a venture down to the beach to relax and share some drinks. Finding himself with a Bud Light Lime in his hand, on an 80 degree, humid afternoon, that beverage was the definition of thirst-quenching. Undeniable refreshment. Sniff would look down at that silver and green can, a flashy-macro gimmick of a beer in most every sense, and he would think to himself in his typical, sardonically honest way, “this is the best drink ever.”  That next Monday, Sniff arrived at the brewery with a 12-pack of “Limes” in hand and introduced the beer to Noah. There was skepticism at first, after all it seems like such a silly, simple beer. But surely, Noah was sensible enough of a “craft” brewer to come to the eventual realization, and accepted the fact, that Bud Light Lime is straight-up delicious and awesome. Noah approached Sniff, mostly in homage to one of the hardest working guys in the industry, and said “I’m going to brew the Bissell Brothers version of this beer for you.”  The first time we brewed the beer that would become “Dangol,” we went down to the homebrew store on Forest Avenue and bought them out of flaked corn. Brewing the beer on our small pilot system, we did the best we could to replicate the true showcase of Lime that is a can of Bud Light Lime. Fermenting the beer with our house yeast at a cold temperature, and then putting the beer through a mini-lagering phase—there were constraints on what we were hoping to do, but we were trying. A slight creative twist that we would add to our beer would be to feature Motueka as the hop, a pungent New Zealand varietal, hoping to enhance the lemony, limey, spritzy character.  Tasting Dangol the first year, we were, frankly, stoked. Light, refreshing, drinkable, full of those flavors we love. Just right for what it is. We celebrated—Sniff brought in his grill and we threw a party at the brewery, with Josh cooking up and serving burgers and with the Dangol flowing. Pure Maine-summer refreshment at its finest. We knew then that this beer would be one that we’d brew every summer, first and foremost for Sniff, but for everyone who worked (and who would come to work) at the brewery. And, of course, also for Maine, itself.  Now in our fifth “Dangol season,” this year’s release represents the full actualization of what we might have hoped to set out to do to recreate Bud Light Lime. The beer still uses Motueka as the showcase hop, and it is still brewed (in part) for Sniff, although he’s since started his own company, Sleek Machine Distribution. He’s still slinging kegs for us (and a few other breweries, from time to time), and he still gets thirsty—this is summertime in Southern Maine, after all.  However, this year we have the time,  most  of the equipment, and the resources to do it right. We are proud to use all Maine grown corn in this year’s recipe, with the grist made up of nearly 20% corn. All that corn isn’t already primed for enzymatic activity in a mash tun, like say a barley malt already is, so we needed to “cereal mash” the corn in our brew kettle, essentially cooking it prior to use. And given the fact that we don’t have the true equipment needed to do this process, that undertaking is a lot of (you guessed it) hard, hot work.  Each 40-barrel batch gets a solid dose of lime, equating to roughly 8 lbs. of zest, all told. We’re talking 900 limes, each one zested by hand, more hard work. An absolute labor of love. We fermented this year’s batch with our lager yeast and then put it to rest at near freezing temperatures for five weeks in one of our horizontal tanks. The result is a beer that is perfect for this Maine summer, perfect for BBQs, perfect for the pool, perfect for drinking by the four-pack. Undeniable refreshment after a day of hard, hot work.  The name is drawn from Noah and Sniff’s time working at The Thirsty Pig, where two regulars (one of whom had a thick Southern accent) would come in almost daily—Dangol Craig and David. So, it was “Dangol this” or “Dangol that” around the brewery, becoming a joke we would ride (in all likelihood) way too hard at the time. And thus, Dangol is our adjunct lager brewed with lime. It’s a beer we brew for summer. It’s a beer we brew for Sniff. It’s a beer we brew for Maine, and it’s a beer we brew because, honestly, we love it. We hope you do too.  --mvs

Dangol

There is absolutely no denying it, delivering beer is hard, physical work. A ½ bbl keg of beer, the typical size keg you might remember seeing at a college tailgate, weighs just about 160 lbs. Imagine hauling these oddly shaped masses of stainless all around Maine, from our brewery at the Industrial Park, into the back of a van, out of the van, and then finally through a crowded kitchen or a bar. Imagine doing that in the middle of a hot, humid, Maine summer scorcher. It’s hard, hot work. You get thirsty.

It was the first summer we were open in 2014, and our second employee, Josh (affectionately known to most as “Sniff”) was the man usually tasked with this sweaty, relatively thankless exercise that summer. He did the job, and he did it well and with a smile. But he got thirsty. You would too.

That Memorial Day weekend, Sniff was enjoying some much-needed and well-earned time off with friends, a venture down to the beach to relax and share some drinks. Finding himself with a Bud Light Lime in his hand, on an 80 degree, humid afternoon, that beverage was the definition of thirst-quenching. Undeniable refreshment. Sniff would look down at that silver and green can, a flashy-macro gimmick of a beer in most every sense, and he would think to himself in his typical, sardonically honest way, “this is the best drink ever.”

That next Monday, Sniff arrived at the brewery with a 12-pack of “Limes” in hand and introduced the beer to Noah. There was skepticism at first, after all it seems like such a silly, simple beer. But surely, Noah was sensible enough of a “craft” brewer to come to the eventual realization, and accepted the fact, that Bud Light Lime is straight-up delicious and awesome. Noah approached Sniff, mostly in homage to one of the hardest working guys in the industry, and said “I’m going to brew the Bissell Brothers version of this beer for you.”

The first time we brewed the beer that would become “Dangol,” we went down to the homebrew store on Forest Avenue and bought them out of flaked corn. Brewing the beer on our small pilot system, we did the best we could to replicate the true showcase of Lime that is a can of Bud Light Lime. Fermenting the beer with our house yeast at a cold temperature, and then putting the beer through a mini-lagering phase—there were constraints on what we were hoping to do, but we were trying. A slight creative twist that we would add to our beer would be to feature Motueka as the hop, a pungent New Zealand varietal, hoping to enhance the lemony, limey, spritzy character.

Tasting Dangol the first year, we were, frankly, stoked. Light, refreshing, drinkable, full of those flavors we love. Just right for what it is. We celebrated—Sniff brought in his grill and we threw a party at the brewery, with Josh cooking up and serving burgers and with the Dangol flowing. Pure Maine-summer refreshment at its finest. We knew then that this beer would be one that we’d brew every summer, first and foremost for Sniff, but for everyone who worked (and who would come to work) at the brewery. And, of course, also for Maine, itself.

Now in our fifth “Dangol season,” this year’s release represents the full actualization of what we might have hoped to set out to do to recreate Bud Light Lime. The beer still uses Motueka as the showcase hop, and it is still brewed (in part) for Sniff, although he’s since started his own company, Sleek Machine Distribution. He’s still slinging kegs for us (and a few other breweries, from time to time), and he still gets thirsty—this is summertime in Southern Maine, after all.

However, this year we have the time, most of the equipment, and the resources to do it right. We are proud to use all Maine grown corn in this year’s recipe, with the grist made up of nearly 20% corn. All that corn isn’t already primed for enzymatic activity in a mash tun, like say a barley malt already is, so we needed to “cereal mash” the corn in our brew kettle, essentially cooking it prior to use. And given the fact that we don’t have the true equipment needed to do this process, that undertaking is a lot of (you guessed it) hard, hot work.

Each 40-barrel batch gets a solid dose of lime, equating to roughly 8 lbs. of zest, all told. We’re talking 900 limes, each one zested by hand, more hard work. An absolute labor of love. We fermented this year’s batch with our lager yeast and then put it to rest at near freezing temperatures for five weeks in one of our horizontal tanks. The result is a beer that is perfect for this Maine summer, perfect for BBQs, perfect for the pool, perfect for drinking by the four-pack. Undeniable refreshment after a day of hard, hot work.

The name is drawn from Noah and Sniff’s time working at The Thirsty Pig, where two regulars (one of whom had a thick Southern accent) would come in almost daily—Dangol Craig and David. So, it was “Dangol this” or “Dangol that” around the brewery, becoming a joke we would ride (in all likelihood) way too hard at the time. And thus, Dangol is our adjunct lager brewed with lime. It’s a beer we brew for summer. It’s a beer we brew for Sniff. It’s a beer we brew for Maine, and it’s a beer we brew because, honestly, we love it. We hope you do too.

--mvs

  Precept   Ron’s Market off of Franklin Avenue in Farmington, Maine isn’t really all that well-known. Hell, you probably have never heard of the small grocery store situated near the University of Maine campus. But when Noah and Geoff were living in the town, roommates and friends, they’d certainly had heard about Ron’s. They actually frequented the market–from what all outside appearances was just a modest establishment–quite often.  But in reality, Ron’s is so much more than the dime-a-dozen, pizza-by-the-slice, tobacco, and snacks store it might appear to be. It’s also one of the best beer stores in Western, Maine, while remaining totally unpretentious. It is a place to get a discounted keg of Natural Light or to pick-up that six-pack of enlightened craft beer. And speaking of enlightenment, that was where Noah went to buy the Prima Pils.   Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pils –best enjoyed fresh, by the half liter, and with good friends–would serve, in part, as the beer inspiration for our lager program here at Bissell Brothers on the commercial level. It certainly provided inspiration for what would become our Pilsner. The combination of depth in the beer, dryness, with a floral and hoppy character. The sensation of entering a greenhouse, almost humid. A mouthfeel that isn’t full in the traditional sense, but an airy, pillowy roundness to the beer. The definition of refreshment and drinkability.  Drinking beers like Prima Pils, and other classic German beers Noah would discover at Ron’s, beers like Rothaus Pils and Weihenstephaner Pilsner, would inspire him to want to brew a German-style Pilsner of our own. But it was two trips, one trip to drink Prima Pils at the source at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, the other trip to drink lager in Germany, itself, that would truly get us there. The first trip solidified the fact that Prima is one of our favorite beers, ever, period. And that’s just as true for Noah as it is for most of us working here today. The other trip informed us of the German yeast that we would brew with in our lager program.  Noah and Pete and their father landed in Germany early one morning in February of last year. They drove southwest, outside of Munich to  the Andechs Brewery and Monastery , a journey to visit “The Sacred Hill.” They arrived just around 11:00 am, still early on a grey, dreary Sunday morning, and hiked up towards the picturesque mountaintop Benedictine Abbey. When they stepped into the Bierhall, the place was absolutely jam packed, hundreds of people already there–and every person was drinking lager (the sole exception were those folks there sipping the frothy delight that is Andechs’ Weissbier).  That moment of drinking lagers at Andechs is forever burned into Noah’s head, and why wouldn’t it be. You see, the brothers were there with their father to escape a bit, a respite from the daily grind in Maine. A break from the culmination of life’s occurrences that takes a toll on us all. The Sacred Hill was the first stop of the trip for the trio, the first time that any of them had been in Germany. The flight was long, the journey to that moment in time was simply exhausting, mentally and physically. But that first sip of that Andechs lager was so deeply satisfying and fulfilling. Clean, full, and delicious. Exciting, celestial, every bit awesome and every bit an inspiration.  And after that trip to Germany and the experiences there, Noah knew we wanted to brew with that Andechs lager yeast strain. In part, to try to recreate in a small way his experience sipping lager in Germany. But also in part to brew lagers of that certain disposition that we all wanted to drink. Fermenting with Andechs on the cold side results in a low gravity beer that is not quite as dry in the perception, but imparts an indescribable fullness. A true lager fermentation character. The foundation of a delicious, clean, compelling and drinkable beer.  Precept starts with a solid base of German Pilsner malt, along with a kiss of German Wheat. Although our brewhouse system in Maine is not built for a traditional decoction, the beer undergoes a three-step mash temperature schedule to enhance that Pilsner mouthfeel we love and to ensure a dry, fermentable beer. The beer is hopped generously on the hot-side with Czech Saaz and Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops, grassy low-alpha acid hops that yield a biting, definitively German Pilsner (as opposed to Czech Pilsner), hoppy character.  We ferment the beer for two weeks in a conical fermenter, much like we would any other beer, albeit at much colder fermentation temperatures suitable for lagers. Perhaps, our one new-school “American” twist is to finish the beer with a delicately light dry-hop of Motueka, a Saaz-derived New Zealand varietal that imparts a zesty crispness and just a slight bit of hop haze. Motueka does not overwhelm, but provides a slight subtle hoppy accent.  We then transfer the beer into a horizontal conditioning tank where it will undergo a long conditioning period at near freezing temperatures, maturing for up to 8 weeks. The beer drops nearly bright, a beautifully bracing yellow color. The 8-week conditioning and lagering period ensures a crispy, succinct finish. A large measure of patience for a beer that is so simple to drink.  Much like the beloved Prima Pils, our German-Style Pilsner, Precept, is best enjoyed fresh, in a large glass, and with good friends. Much like the name of the beer may hope to imply, it is our dictum of Pilsner, and of pure refreshment and drinkability.  --mvs

Precept

Ron’s Market off of Franklin Avenue in Farmington, Maine isn’t really all that well-known. Hell, you probably have never heard of the small grocery store situated near the University of Maine campus. But when Noah and Geoff were living in the town, roommates and friends, they’d certainly had heard about Ron’s. They actually frequented the market–from what all outside appearances was just a modest establishment–quite often.

But in reality, Ron’s is so much more than the dime-a-dozen, pizza-by-the-slice, tobacco, and snacks store it might appear to be. It’s also one of the best beer stores in Western, Maine, while remaining totally unpretentious. It is a place to get a discounted keg of Natural Light or to pick-up that six-pack of enlightened craft beer. And speaking of enlightenment, that was where Noah went to buy the Prima Pils.

Victory Brewing Company’s Prima Pils–best enjoyed fresh, by the half liter, and with good friends–would serve, in part, as the beer inspiration for our lager program here at Bissell Brothers on the commercial level. It certainly provided inspiration for what would become our Pilsner. The combination of depth in the beer, dryness, with a floral and hoppy character. The sensation of entering a greenhouse, almost humid. A mouthfeel that isn’t full in the traditional sense, but an airy, pillowy roundness to the beer. The definition of refreshment and drinkability.

Drinking beers like Prima Pils, and other classic German beers Noah would discover at Ron’s, beers like Rothaus Pils and Weihenstephaner Pilsner, would inspire him to want to brew a German-style Pilsner of our own. But it was two trips, one trip to drink Prima Pils at the source at Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, the other trip to drink lager in Germany, itself, that would truly get us there. The first trip solidified the fact that Prima is one of our favorite beers, ever, period. And that’s just as true for Noah as it is for most of us working here today. The other trip informed us of the German yeast that we would brew with in our lager program.

Noah and Pete and their father landed in Germany early one morning in February of last year. They drove southwest, outside of Munich to the Andechs Brewery and Monastery, a journey to visit “The Sacred Hill.” They arrived just around 11:00 am, still early on a grey, dreary Sunday morning, and hiked up towards the picturesque mountaintop Benedictine Abbey. When they stepped into the Bierhall, the place was absolutely jam packed, hundreds of people already there–and every person was drinking lager (the sole exception were those folks there sipping the frothy delight that is Andechs’ Weissbier).

That moment of drinking lagers at Andechs is forever burned into Noah’s head, and why wouldn’t it be. You see, the brothers were there with their father to escape a bit, a respite from the daily grind in Maine. A break from the culmination of life’s occurrences that takes a toll on us all. The Sacred Hill was the first stop of the trip for the trio, the first time that any of them had been in Germany. The flight was long, the journey to that moment in time was simply exhausting, mentally and physically. But that first sip of that Andechs lager was so deeply satisfying and fulfilling. Clean, full, and delicious. Exciting, celestial, every bit awesome and every bit an inspiration.

And after that trip to Germany and the experiences there, Noah knew we wanted to brew with that Andechs lager yeast strain. In part, to try to recreate in a small way his experience sipping lager in Germany. But also in part to brew lagers of that certain disposition that we all wanted to drink. Fermenting with Andechs on the cold side results in a low gravity beer that is not quite as dry in the perception, but imparts an indescribable fullness. A true lager fermentation character. The foundation of a delicious, clean, compelling and drinkable beer.

Precept starts with a solid base of German Pilsner malt, along with a kiss of German Wheat. Although our brewhouse system in Maine is not built for a traditional decoction, the beer undergoes a three-step mash temperature schedule to enhance that Pilsner mouthfeel we love and to ensure a dry, fermentable beer. The beer is hopped generously on the hot-side with Czech Saaz and Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops, grassy low-alpha acid hops that yield a biting, definitively German Pilsner (as opposed to Czech Pilsner), hoppy character.

We ferment the beer for two weeks in a conical fermenter, much like we would any other beer, albeit at much colder fermentation temperatures suitable for lagers. Perhaps, our one new-school “American” twist is to finish the beer with a delicately light dry-hop of Motueka, a Saaz-derived New Zealand varietal that imparts a zesty crispness and just a slight bit of hop haze. Motueka does not overwhelm, but provides a slight subtle hoppy accent.

We then transfer the beer into a horizontal conditioning tank where it will undergo a long conditioning period at near freezing temperatures, maturing for up to 8 weeks. The beer drops nearly bright, a beautifully bracing yellow color. The 8-week conditioning and lagering period ensures a crispy, succinct finish. A large measure of patience for a beer that is so simple to drink.

Much like the beloved Prima Pils, our German-Style Pilsner, Precept, is best enjoyed fresh, in a large glass, and with good friends. Much like the name of the beer may hope to imply, it is our dictum of Pilsner, and of pure refreshment and drinkability.

--mvs

  Engram   Have you ever had a memory in your mind that you just can’t shake? A vivid, visceral replay of a moment in time, of something you have done in the past. This memory was a result of an event, impacting your life in an important way. In neuropsychological terms, an “Engram” is a hypothetical permanent change in the brain accounting for the creation of a memory. It is the way that a memory is stored, ultimately to be revisited.  Our beer, Engram, is the re-visitation in a sense of a memory from our homebrew past. Like many things in our brewing world, it goes back to Allagash White. Like most of us, after tasting Allagash White, Noah was smitten with its wheat character, its fluffy mouthfeel and complex flavors. Wheat is unlike traditional base malts, and as you taste it in a beer, it is unavoidably unforgettable and absolutely delicious.  Not necessarily keen on brewing traditional witbiers, however, Noah began converging this newfound love of wheat as an ingredient in beers with his affinity for hoppy beers. A love of the flavors and aromas that could be developed from the artful use of the hop. He began homebrewing hoppy wheat beers, beers drawing inspiration from Gumballhead brewed by Three Floyd’s or 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat from Boulevard Brewing. Taking the wheat-based elements of Allagash White and merging that with new-school hops.  Since brewing those homebrews, years had passed and we had opened up Bissell Brothers Brewing Company. After brewing for some time, we had our collective feet under ourselves, and it felt right that the time had come to bring it full circle. To revisit a memory of homebrewing and drinking those hoppy wheat beers several years ago. To brew and share a beer called Engram.  Engram is definitively a showcase of wheat. Comprised of nearly 70% wheat, it predominantly features this ingredient. Among the wheat components are malted wheat, flaked wheat, and dark malted wheat, an ingredient somewhat similar to Munich malt, adding a further bready and doughy complexity to the wheat profile, as well as just a slight touch of color. The resulting base of the beer is wheaty, complex, delicious.  And all of this fluffy wheat base pairs perfectly in the beer with Denali hops. This dankly resinous, high alpha hop screams pineapple character in a direct sense of the expression. The hop is a straight blast of pineapple. So, in addition to Denali hops, Engram features a charge of Citra hops that serves to fill-in and round-out the profile, giving this beer a rounded citrus character that is not insularly pineapple.  As opposed to be styled as just another IPA, however, the hopping rate is actually quite conservative on this beer, a little more subtle and nuanced in character. It’s a showcase of wheat, first and foremost, with a nod to the hoppy character of beers that we all love. Fermented with our expressive house yeast strain, it finishes clean and dry. At 5.5% alcohol, it’s also incredibly sessionable. Full bodied and not watery, extremely drinkable in all senses.  This beer is one of our favorites, and tasting it will impart upon you a memory of drinking a hoppy wheat beer that you won’t soon forget. Enjoy...  --mvs

Engram

Have you ever had a memory in your mind that you just can’t shake? A vivid, visceral replay of a moment in time, of something you have done in the past. This memory was a result of an event, impacting your life in an important way. In neuropsychological terms, an “Engram” is a hypothetical permanent change in the brain accounting for the creation of a memory. It is the way that a memory is stored, ultimately to be revisited.

Our beer, Engram, is the re-visitation in a sense of a memory from our homebrew past. Like many things in our brewing world, it goes back to Allagash White. Like most of us, after tasting Allagash White, Noah was smitten with its wheat character, its fluffy mouthfeel and complex flavors. Wheat is unlike traditional base malts, and as you taste it in a beer, it is unavoidably unforgettable and absolutely delicious.

Not necessarily keen on brewing traditional witbiers, however, Noah began converging this newfound love of wheat as an ingredient in beers with his affinity for hoppy beers. A love of the flavors and aromas that could be developed from the artful use of the hop. He began homebrewing hoppy wheat beers, beers drawing inspiration from Gumballhead brewed by Three Floyd’s or 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat from Boulevard Brewing. Taking the wheat-based elements of Allagash White and merging that with new-school hops.

Since brewing those homebrews, years had passed and we had opened up Bissell Brothers Brewing Company. After brewing for some time, we had our collective feet under ourselves, and it felt right that the time had come to bring it full circle. To revisit a memory of homebrewing and drinking those hoppy wheat beers several years ago. To brew and share a beer called Engram.

Engram is definitively a showcase of wheat. Comprised of nearly 70% wheat, it predominantly features this ingredient. Among the wheat components are malted wheat, flaked wheat, and dark malted wheat, an ingredient somewhat similar to Munich malt, adding a further bready and doughy complexity to the wheat profile, as well as just a slight touch of color. The resulting base of the beer is wheaty, complex, delicious.

And all of this fluffy wheat base pairs perfectly in the beer with Denali hops. This dankly resinous, high alpha hop screams pineapple character in a direct sense of the expression. The hop is a straight blast of pineapple. So, in addition to Denali hops, Engram features a charge of Citra hops that serves to fill-in and round-out the profile, giving this beer a rounded citrus character that is not insularly pineapple.

As opposed to be styled as just another IPA, however, the hopping rate is actually quite conservative on this beer, a little more subtle and nuanced in character. It’s a showcase of wheat, first and foremost, with a nod to the hoppy character of beers that we all love. Fermented with our expressive house yeast strain, it finishes clean and dry. At 5.5% alcohol, it’s also incredibly sessionable. Full bodied and not watery, extremely drinkable in all senses.

This beer is one of our favorites, and tasting it will impart upon you a memory of drinking a hoppy wheat beer that you won’t soon forget. Enjoy...

--mvs

  Nothing Gold   So Eden sank to grief,  So dawn goes to day.  Nothing gold can stay.  Those words, a poem by Robert Frost, encapsulate oh-so-much. At some point, in just about everyone’s life, one experiences a sense of remembrance of times better had, and challenges moving forward. The poem represents the fragile nature of innocence, goodness, and of simpler times. In  The Outsiders , it was Johnny’s dying wish that Ponyboy would “stay gold,” despite the world going to hell around him. A futile effort, perhaps, to hold on, despite the need to let go.  When we were shutting the door on the first part of our journey with Bissell Brothers Brewing, moving out of the warehouse at 1 Industrial Way, and moving into our new facility, our current home, at Thompson’s Point, the meaning of these words couldn’t have rung truer. We were moving away from a simpler, golden time in the Industrial Park, facing steep challenges with all that lay ahead. Nothing Gold would be a beer to celebrate the wonderful moments and memories from our beginning, and embrace this new chapter, our slow and sure evolution toward having more room to be flexible, more space to host guests, more people on staff, more brewing, more everything.  Up until that point, we had just brewed one double IPA, a beer called Swish that we brewed during the winter months in Maine. Nothing Gold was conceived as a seasonal counterpart to Swish. However, the beer would not become just a riff on Swish, not a tweaked recipe, but something in and of itself entirely.  With that in mind, we selected a base of Golden Promise malt, one of our favorite base malts, something old and true. A traditional Scottish barley malt variety, Golden Promise delivers a robust, yet clean base, ideal for hoppy beers. As a result, Nothing Gold has a complex malt profile that is accentuated with just a kiss of Honey Malt--a malt we had previously not brewed with before, something new and inventive. The Honey Malt imparts subtle, layered complexity to the beer, without coming across as overly sweet. And to that end, the beer is incredibly easy to drink, despite its ABV and impact.  Upon this layered and complex malt profile, we wanted to hop the beer with Citra, a hop that definitively reflects summer. When you open a bag of Citra, and close your eyes, every single summer memory floods back to you -- riding your bike in that “magical hour” before dark past freshly cut lawns, a moment in time that you want to hold onto but it just cannot last. There is a fresh blast of hops that is never quite as powerful as when you first open that bag. It is the impermanence of something so very good that it must be treasured while it’s here.  Although Citra serves as the prominent hop in Nothing Gold, we choose Amarillo as a hop to accentuate the beer and, again, ensure that this beer was not simply a revision of Swish. Amarillo brings a subtle peach character to the beer, the hop is soft and rounded, adding to the beer’s drinkability. It’s a summer crusher, after all. Amarillo is that old school-new school, gap-bridging hop that contributes much to the beers hop profile in its supporting roll. For a rounded dry hop, we choose Ekuanot. This hop contributes additional layered complexity given the nuanced application here. We do not use this hop distinctly and singularly, but instead, we deliberately use the hop with intent to add yet another layer of flavor and aroma...  Building out the new Thompson’s Point required many early mornings here in the new facility, standing in what would become the taproom and looking out. In those early morning hours, the light would come through the windows at the front of the building, a golden start to the day. Nothing Gold’s can design and artwork takes its appearance from that “magical hour” when the light is just perfect, coming in through those square windows up front.  When we opened at Thompson’s Point on June 4, 2016, Nothing Gold was the beer that we released that day. It was a distinctly different double IPA from what we had done at Industrial Way. It was (and is) a celebration of the simple, “magical hour” times that we shared there. But it was (and is) a nod toward what the future can be and whatever challenges we will overcome to get there.  Nothing Gold embodies our vision of the perfect summer double IPA. It’s a beer that celebrates what was, what’s next, and when you take that first sip, what ultimately is.  Nature’s first green is gold,  Her hardest hue to hold.  --mvs

Nothing Gold

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Those words, a poem by Robert Frost, encapsulate oh-so-much. At some point, in just about everyone’s life, one experiences a sense of remembrance of times better had, and challenges moving forward. The poem represents the fragile nature of innocence, goodness, and of simpler times. In The Outsiders, it was Johnny’s dying wish that Ponyboy would “stay gold,” despite the world going to hell around him. A futile effort, perhaps, to hold on, despite the need to let go.

When we were shutting the door on the first part of our journey with Bissell Brothers Brewing, moving out of the warehouse at 1 Industrial Way, and moving into our new facility, our current home, at Thompson’s Point, the meaning of these words couldn’t have rung truer. We were moving away from a simpler, golden time in the Industrial Park, facing steep challenges with all that lay ahead. Nothing Gold would be a beer to celebrate the wonderful moments and memories from our beginning, and embrace this new chapter, our slow and sure evolution toward having more room to be flexible, more space to host guests, more people on staff, more brewing, more everything.

Up until that point, we had just brewed one double IPA, a beer called Swish that we brewed during the winter months in Maine. Nothing Gold was conceived as a seasonal counterpart to Swish. However, the beer would not become just a riff on Swish, not a tweaked recipe, but something in and of itself entirely.

With that in mind, we selected a base of Golden Promise malt, one of our favorite base malts, something old and true. A traditional Scottish barley malt variety, Golden Promise delivers a robust, yet clean base, ideal for hoppy beers. As a result, Nothing Gold has a complex malt profile that is accentuated with just a kiss of Honey Malt--a malt we had previously not brewed with before, something new and inventive. The Honey Malt imparts subtle, layered complexity to the beer, without coming across as overly sweet. And to that end, the beer is incredibly easy to drink, despite its ABV and impact.

Upon this layered and complex malt profile, we wanted to hop the beer with Citra, a hop that definitively reflects summer. When you open a bag of Citra, and close your eyes, every single summer memory floods back to you -- riding your bike in that “magical hour” before dark past freshly cut lawns, a moment in time that you want to hold onto but it just cannot last. There is a fresh blast of hops that is never quite as powerful as when you first open that bag. It is the impermanence of something so very good that it must be treasured while it’s here.

Although Citra serves as the prominent hop in Nothing Gold, we choose Amarillo as a hop to accentuate the beer and, again, ensure that this beer was not simply a revision of Swish. Amarillo brings a subtle peach character to the beer, the hop is soft and rounded, adding to the beer’s drinkability. It’s a summer crusher, after all. Amarillo is that old school-new school, gap-bridging hop that contributes much to the beers hop profile in its supporting roll. For a rounded dry hop, we choose Ekuanot. This hop contributes additional layered complexity given the nuanced application here. We do not use this hop distinctly and singularly, but instead, we deliberately use the hop with intent to add yet another layer of flavor and aroma...

Building out the new Thompson’s Point required many early mornings here in the new facility, standing in what would become the taproom and looking out. In those early morning hours, the light would come through the windows at the front of the building, a golden start to the day. Nothing Gold’s can design and artwork takes its appearance from that “magical hour” when the light is just perfect, coming in through those square windows up front.

When we opened at Thompson’s Point on June 4, 2016, Nothing Gold was the beer that we released that day. It was a distinctly different double IPA from what we had done at Industrial Way. It was (and is) a celebration of the simple, “magical hour” times that we shared there. But it was (and is) a nod toward what the future can be and whatever challenges we will overcome to get there.

Nothing Gold embodies our vision of the perfect summer double IPA. It’s a beer that celebrates what was, what’s next, and when you take that first sip, what ultimately is.

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

--mvs

  Lux   It was Wednesday evening, April 23, and the year was 2014. It was still early on in the night, but there was already a line forming out the door at Mama’s CrowBar on Congress Street on Munjoy Hill. This “beer only-cash only” dive of a joint, a known Allagash Black house, was hosting us for an event.  After many months of being open at 1 Industrial Way, but brewing just the one beer, The Substance, we were invariably eager and looking forward to the start of signing on to our hop contracts--finally we’d have the chance to experiment and brew with some of the “sexier” hop varietals that we were excited about. One of those hops was decidedly Mosaic.  Introduced to the potential of the Mosaic hop by Focal Banger, a beer brewed by The Alchemist in Vermont, Noah was excited to pilot a beer that would feature this expressive hop. On a small 5-gallon scale, the team formulated and brewed a Rye Pale Ale that would include Mosaic and Chinook hops, as well as a decent percentage of rye in the grist to cut the overtly tropical character of Mosaic. This beer would potentially serve as a bookend to a beer that would become Swish, a easy drinking lower ABV Pale Ale to stand alongside a massive Double IPA.  That night at Mama’s, at our event, Bissell Brothers was debuting this pilot, a beer that we named Munjoi at the very last minute before the keg got delivered to the bar. The beer had to be called something for the event, and we practically cringed writing that name onto the keg collar, but it was a spoof on the popular skateboard company Enjoi, and a nod to the bar’s location on Munjoy Hill. Despite its hazy appearance and lousy name, the beer was a smash hit at Mama’s. That single keg did not last all that long.  Today, Mama’s CrowBar no longer exists. Despite its contribution to the (even still then) burgeoning beer scene here in Portland and throughout Maine, the bar sadly closed its doors in September 2015. The joint sold, and the new owners overhauled the place, re-opening it as a less beer-focused establishment, and certainly a place far less soulful than Mama’s. Mama’s CrowBar may no longer be Mama’s CrowBar, and Munjoi is not called Munjoi…. But from all that history there is a beer we call Lux.  Lux is still a Rye Pale Ale, and it is still a showcase of the Mosaic hop.  But it’s true that hops are an agricultural, seasonal ingredient, subject to slight variations from crop-year to crop-year, with many variables resulting in the ultimate characteristics of any particular bag of hops. We’ve seen our Mosaic hops drift from what once was a pure vehicle for peach and blueberry to take on a danker quality, and it was this drift that led to slight recipe tweaks to Lux over time. We shifted the hop schedule to a duo pairing of Mosaic and Centennial, and then moved to the all-Mosaic recipe that’s in the beer today. All the while, we’ve kept the rye (nearly 20% of the grist) component to provide a palpable spicy rye character to the beer.  Balanced with Vienna and Crystals malts, this new school version of a archetypal pale ale delivers ultimate drinkability, and the beer is a favorite of  our staff  and folks who work in the industry. At 5.1% ABV, it hits that sweet spot where multiple pints are the preferred serving size. Lux is a beer designed for drinking, it’s flavorful, complex, and nuanced, all while simultaneously remaining simple and approachable. It is a beer that you can satisfyingly drink everyday and not grow fatigued, or it is a beer you can revisit once every few weeks and be absolutely blown away. It’s simply delicious and we brew it as often as we can.  After the event at Mama’s CrowBar, we knew we wanted to brew this beer all-the-time on a bigger scale. With several more months of tweaks on the pilot system, we were finally ready to brew the beer on the big system. It was the dead of winter, a particularly long haul through snow and wind and dark, cold, nights, but it was also a time when we finally were able to have access to more and more hops, and different varieties. Being able to access and brew with hops like Mosaic was metaphorically the beginning of a golden age of hoppy beers for us--an allegorical light shining down, illuminating our ideas of what Pale Ales and IPAs could actually be. The name “Lux” ultimately captured this feeling...  The beer is punchy, tropical, hoppy, and when you sip it, it feels warm in a very real and visceral way. Bright and light, the beer illuminates the palate, and inspires relaxation and a slower pace of life. In that--and in many ways--Lux is an escape to a sunnier state of mind.  Enlighten your day with a can (or two) of Lux.  --mvs

Lux

It was Wednesday evening, April 23, and the year was 2014. It was still early on in the night, but there was already a line forming out the door at Mama’s CrowBar on Congress Street on Munjoy Hill. This “beer only-cash only” dive of a joint, a known Allagash Black house, was hosting us for an event.

After many months of being open at 1 Industrial Way, but brewing just the one beer, The Substance, we were invariably eager and looking forward to the start of signing on to our hop contracts--finally we’d have the chance to experiment and brew with some of the “sexier” hop varietals that we were excited about. One of those hops was decidedly Mosaic.

Introduced to the potential of the Mosaic hop by Focal Banger, a beer brewed by The Alchemist in Vermont, Noah was excited to pilot a beer that would feature this expressive hop. On a small 5-gallon scale, the team formulated and brewed a Rye Pale Ale that would include Mosaic and Chinook hops, as well as a decent percentage of rye in the grist to cut the overtly tropical character of Mosaic. This beer would potentially serve as a bookend to a beer that would become Swish, a easy drinking lower ABV Pale Ale to stand alongside a massive Double IPA.

That night at Mama’s, at our event, Bissell Brothers was debuting this pilot, a beer that we named Munjoi at the very last minute before the keg got delivered to the bar. The beer had to be called something for the event, and we practically cringed writing that name onto the keg collar, but it was a spoof on the popular skateboard company Enjoi, and a nod to the bar’s location on Munjoy Hill. Despite its hazy appearance and lousy name, the beer was a smash hit at Mama’s. That single keg did not last all that long.

Today, Mama’s CrowBar no longer exists. Despite its contribution to the (even still then) burgeoning beer scene here in Portland and throughout Maine, the bar sadly closed its doors in September 2015. The joint sold, and the new owners overhauled the place, re-opening it as a less beer-focused establishment, and certainly a place far less soulful than Mama’s. Mama’s CrowBar may no longer be Mama’s CrowBar, and Munjoi is not called Munjoi…. But from all that history there is a beer we call Lux.

Lux is still a Rye Pale Ale, and it is still a showcase of the Mosaic hop.

But it’s true that hops are an agricultural, seasonal ingredient, subject to slight variations from crop-year to crop-year, with many variables resulting in the ultimate characteristics of any particular bag of hops. We’ve seen our Mosaic hops drift from what once was a pure vehicle for peach and blueberry to take on a danker quality, and it was this drift that led to slight recipe tweaks to Lux over time. We shifted the hop schedule to a duo pairing of Mosaic and Centennial, and then moved to the all-Mosaic recipe that’s in the beer today. All the while, we’ve kept the rye (nearly 20% of the grist) component to provide a palpable spicy rye character to the beer.

Balanced with Vienna and Crystals malts, this new school version of a archetypal pale ale delivers ultimate drinkability, and the beer is a favorite of our staff and folks who work in the industry. At 5.1% ABV, it hits that sweet spot where multiple pints are the preferred serving size. Lux is a beer designed for drinking, it’s flavorful, complex, and nuanced, all while simultaneously remaining simple and approachable. It is a beer that you can satisfyingly drink everyday and not grow fatigued, or it is a beer you can revisit once every few weeks and be absolutely blown away. It’s simply delicious and we brew it as often as we can.

After the event at Mama’s CrowBar, we knew we wanted to brew this beer all-the-time on a bigger scale. With several more months of tweaks on the pilot system, we were finally ready to brew the beer on the big system. It was the dead of winter, a particularly long haul through snow and wind and dark, cold, nights, but it was also a time when we finally were able to have access to more and more hops, and different varieties. Being able to access and brew with hops like Mosaic was metaphorically the beginning of a golden age of hoppy beers for us--an allegorical light shining down, illuminating our ideas of what Pale Ales and IPAs could actually be. The name “Lux” ultimately captured this feeling...

The beer is punchy, tropical, hoppy, and when you sip it, it feels warm in a very real and visceral way. Bright and light, the beer illuminates the palate, and inspires relaxation and a slower pace of life. In that--and in many ways--Lux is an escape to a sunnier state of mind.

Enlighten your day with a can (or two) of Lux.

--mvs

  The Substance   In the spring of 2009, Pete and Noah embarked on a road trip that would prove to be formative for many facets of our brewery. On a fated night in the Nevada desert, they “discovered” the concept and the idea of the name, The Substance--not only as an idea that something (for example, a substance) could make you feel different or alter the mind, but also as a philosophy that our actions should have weight and merit to them. The idea that there would be substance to what we wanted to collectively create in Bissell Brothers Brewing Company.  From that night on, the notion of “The Substance” became an underlying theme that would permeate through Noah’s homebrewing career, and through Peter’s development of the brewery and culture behind the brand. The Substance, or at the least, an early iteration of it, was a beer that Noah had home brewed 5-gallons at a time, every other week, for over a year-and-a-half. The name seemed the perfect fit for Noah’s home brew. This beer would be our beer, and we would, too, call it The Substance. And it would ultimately launch our brewery as we humbly opened shop in late 2013 across the street from Allagash at 1 Industrial Way. And it would ultimately carry us to where we are today on Thompson’s Point.  The Substance, Batch 1, was first brewed in early December of 2013, and it would be the only beer that Bissell Brothers Brewing Company would produce for the first 8-9 months. Noah’s homebrew versions of the beer featured some of the more “sexy” hop varieties such as Citra and Mosaic. As a fledgling start-up brewery in 2013, these hops were utterly unavailable to us. It simply wasn’t an option to build a beer around these types of hops, so Noah and our brewers would need to pivot hard with the recipe. By necessity, the commercial version of The Substance was approached more creatively and flexibly. Featuring Falconer’s Flight, and a combination of many other hop varieties that just so happened to be what we could acquire by contract at the time, the beer was an inventive exercise in recipe formulation.  From there, brewing it over and over again, it has been an exercise in recipe development, refinement, and continued creativity. But some things remain true when it comes to The Substance. As beer writer Joshua M. Bernstein has said, “The Substance smells like a Phish concert.” The beer is dank in nearly every sense of the word, and notes of weed and resin are present in the aroma that carry through into the flavor. The beer has a “big-ass, dank” profile, but it is also incredibly balanced with a hit of citrus and topicality.  Although the element of dankness may be a less attractive characteristic in today’s world filled with bitter-less and juicy IPAs, The Substance does flirt with the new world IPA style in a way that intrigues and compels, adding complexity and not detracting from the beer. It is hazy and expressive, with a round and soft mouthfeel. It does have notes of tropical citrus underlying the dankness. But it is still first and foremost “dank” with a perceived bitterness that contributes to an overall balanced experience.  Because of this balance, The Substance is eminently drinkable. The yin and yang of old-school dankness and new school flair yield a beer that’s easy to drink, yet evolves. It’s an IPA that lets you choose your own journey. You can knock back a pint or two, or you can sit and experience the beer and its constant evolution over the course of time, one sip at a time as it washes across the palate. Intriguing, instead of fatiguing, all of your senses.  And it is our flagship, nearly 30-40% of overall production. In a beer world that is less-and-less interested in the flagship, The Substance has grown to our number one beer, by far and away. And, just as The Substance has helped us build our brewery, it’s helped the farming business in Maine thrive as well. The Substance is currently comprised of nearly 75% Maine-grown grain. Our brewery will use in excess of 250,000 pounds of Maine grown 2-row malted barley this year, and nearly 50,000 pounds of flaked wheat and oats. There isn’t much “local” that usually goes into brewing beer, but this truly is.  These distinct Maine-grown malts contribute to a uniquely delicious malt perception in the beer, despite the grist being a relatively simple formulation. And the malt presence in the beer is another reason this beer is such a great beer for drinking. There are impression beers and there are drinking beers. The Substance is definitively a beer for drinking. You don’t want just one sip, you want a whole pint. And then probably another. It truly is a “dank ale that threads many needles,” and it only continues to do so.  It’s my favorite beer, and it’s one that we collectively should all feel extremely proud to call our flagship. “What is this Substance”? Pour a glass, find out.  --mvs

The Substance

In the spring of 2009, Pete and Noah embarked on a road trip that would prove to be formative for many facets of our brewery. On a fated night in the Nevada desert, they “discovered” the concept and the idea of the name, The Substance--not only as an idea that something (for example, a substance) could make you feel different or alter the mind, but also as a philosophy that our actions should have weight and merit to them. The idea that there would be substance to what we wanted to collectively create in Bissell Brothers Brewing Company.

From that night on, the notion of “The Substance” became an underlying theme that would permeate through Noah’s homebrewing career, and through Peter’s development of the brewery and culture behind the brand. The Substance, or at the least, an early iteration of it, was a beer that Noah had home brewed 5-gallons at a time, every other week, for over a year-and-a-half. The name seemed the perfect fit for Noah’s home brew. This beer would be our beer, and we would, too, call it The Substance. And it would ultimately launch our brewery as we humbly opened shop in late 2013 across the street from Allagash at 1 Industrial Way. And it would ultimately carry us to where we are today on Thompson’s Point.

The Substance, Batch 1, was first brewed in early December of 2013, and it would be the only beer that Bissell Brothers Brewing Company would produce for the first 8-9 months. Noah’s homebrew versions of the beer featured some of the more “sexy” hop varieties such as Citra and Mosaic. As a fledgling start-up brewery in 2013, these hops were utterly unavailable to us. It simply wasn’t an option to build a beer around these types of hops, so Noah and our brewers would need to pivot hard with the recipe. By necessity, the commercial version of The Substance was approached more creatively and flexibly. Featuring Falconer’s Flight, and a combination of many other hop varieties that just so happened to be what we could acquire by contract at the time, the beer was an inventive exercise in recipe formulation.

From there, brewing it over and over again, it has been an exercise in recipe development, refinement, and continued creativity. But some things remain true when it comes to The Substance. As beer writer Joshua M. Bernstein has said, “The Substance smells like a Phish concert.” The beer is dank in nearly every sense of the word, and notes of weed and resin are present in the aroma that carry through into the flavor. The beer has a “big-ass, dank” profile, but it is also incredibly balanced with a hit of citrus and topicality.

Although the element of dankness may be a less attractive characteristic in today’s world filled with bitter-less and juicy IPAs, The Substance does flirt with the new world IPA style in a way that intrigues and compels, adding complexity and not detracting from the beer. It is hazy and expressive, with a round and soft mouthfeel. It does have notes of tropical citrus underlying the dankness. But it is still first and foremost “dank” with a perceived bitterness that contributes to an overall balanced experience.

Because of this balance, The Substance is eminently drinkable. The yin and yang of old-school dankness and new school flair yield a beer that’s easy to drink, yet evolves. It’s an IPA that lets you choose your own journey. You can knock back a pint or two, or you can sit and experience the beer and its constant evolution over the course of time, one sip at a time as it washes across the palate. Intriguing, instead of fatiguing, all of your senses.

And it is our flagship, nearly 30-40% of overall production. In a beer world that is less-and-less interested in the flagship, The Substance has grown to our number one beer, by far and away. And, just as The Substance has helped us build our brewery, it’s helped the farming business in Maine thrive as well. The Substance is currently comprised of nearly 75% Maine-grown grain. Our brewery will use in excess of 250,000 pounds of Maine grown 2-row malted barley this year, and nearly 50,000 pounds of flaked wheat and oats. There isn’t much “local” that usually goes into brewing beer, but this truly is.

These distinct Maine-grown malts contribute to a uniquely delicious malt perception in the beer, despite the grist being a relatively simple formulation. And the malt presence in the beer is another reason this beer is such a great beer for drinking. There are impression beers and there are drinking beers. The Substance is definitively a beer for drinking. You don’t want just one sip, you want a whole pint. And then probably another. It truly is a “dank ale that threads many needles,” and it only continues to do so.

It’s my favorite beer, and it’s one that we collectively should all feel extremely proud to call our flagship. “What is this Substance”? Pour a glass, find out.

--mvs

 January 11, 2018  Sure, it’s a new year for us all. But we are still grinding.  The year is quickly shaping up to be a big one for us at Bissell Brothers. We’ve got an ambitious production schedule with a lot of great beer that we are aiming to brew. Some old favorites, and some new surprises. We’ve got an ambitious travel schedule, with visits planned to St. Louis, Belgium, the UK, Colorado. We’ll visit some old friends and make some new ones along the way. We learn from these experiences, and bring those lessons back home to Maine where we will put them to use to brew better beer and provide a better experience for you, the people who support us and the reason we are here.  We’ve also got Milo. As of January 10, 2018, we’ve got the inaugural brew under our belts up North. A double brewday on our old system, producing 28 barrels of wort that will ferment and condition for the months ahead. It’s the start of a long-term project for us, one that will come together in the months and year ahead. We still don’t have a definitive timeline for Milo, but with each passing day we are closer to our vision of serving our hometown, making an impact in that community. All while still serving our home base of Portland, Maine.  Although we look ahead to the new year, we look back on the old. 2017 was a banner year. From our earliest days, we’d blast Tokyo Police Club tunes to get us through those long packaging runs, a positive musical force to get us through some tough workdays. In December, that very band rocked our Four Year party, truly a celebration for our brewery and our friends.  We also gave back, in a big way, to our community. Thanks to you, big time. Our four weeks of giving in December raised over $20,000 for local charities, and in the year 2017 we donated nearly $42,000 altogether to worthy causes. We could not have done this without you all. Thank you, again. You continue to push us to aspire to do bigger and better things for our state of Maine, and we will absolutely be continuing that this new year.  For those who have been with us all this time, including last year, let’s keep grinding. For those of you who are new in 2018, welcome to Bissell Brothers. Let’s share some beer.

January 11, 2018

Sure, it’s a new year for us all. But we are still grinding.

The year is quickly shaping up to be a big one for us at Bissell Brothers. We’ve got an ambitious production schedule with a lot of great beer that we are aiming to brew. Some old favorites, and some new surprises. We’ve got an ambitious travel schedule, with visits planned to St. Louis, Belgium, the UK, Colorado. We’ll visit some old friends and make some new ones along the way. We learn from these experiences, and bring those lessons back home to Maine where we will put them to use to brew better beer and provide a better experience for you, the people who support us and the reason we are here.

We’ve also got Milo. As of January 10, 2018, we’ve got the inaugural brew under our belts up North. A double brewday on our old system, producing 28 barrels of wort that will ferment and condition for the months ahead. It’s the start of a long-term project for us, one that will come together in the months and year ahead. We still don’t have a definitive timeline for Milo, but with each passing day we are closer to our vision of serving our hometown, making an impact in that community. All while still serving our home base of Portland, Maine.

Although we look ahead to the new year, we look back on the old. 2017 was a banner year. From our earliest days, we’d blast Tokyo Police Club tunes to get us through those long packaging runs, a positive musical force to get us through some tough workdays. In December, that very band rocked our Four Year party, truly a celebration for our brewery and our friends.

We also gave back, in a big way, to our community. Thanks to you, big time. Our four weeks of giving in December raised over $20,000 for local charities, and in the year 2017 we donated nearly $42,000 altogether to worthy causes. We could not have done this without you all. Thank you, again. You continue to push us to aspire to do bigger and better things for our state of Maine, and we will absolutely be continuing that this new year.

For those who have been with us all this time, including last year, let’s keep grinding. For those of you who are new in 2018, welcome to Bissell Brothers. Let’s share some beer.

 December 1, 2017  Fall is a time of transition.  A fleeting moment that finds one hand grasping onto the last of summer’s safe comfort and warmth, with the other hand thrusting forward cautiously towards winter’s stark uncertainty.  Much like the consistent routine found in the dynamic change of the seasons, we are realizing consistency and embracing change. One hand rooted firmly in our operation in Portland, the other cautiously extended north to our new facility in Milo, Maine.  In these last few months, we’ve re-invested in our home in Portland: we brought on two new employees, veterans of the industry. We’ve installed two 40bbl horizontal tanks that yielded this year’s Seed and our new Lagerbier, tanks that we are now bringing on-line full time for lagers and other projects. We’ve invested in our packaging line and our lab. We’ve begun employee wellness initiatives—all of this in the effort to provide the highest quality beer and the best possible customer experience. It is your endearing support that has allowed this all to come to fruition in Portland. Thank you.  If Portland, in a sense, represents the warmth and familiarity of summer, our new home in Milo is the fresh canvas of the winter months ahead. So much promise in a world anew, with so much left still unknown. Our old 10 bbl brewhouse is installed, awaiting the inaugural Milo brewday. We’ve installed eight foeders, vessels that will bring wood-aged beers to light, along with our established and growing barrel-aging program that will call Milo its home. We’ve installed a coolship, custom engineered by Forest J. Stone, our friend and metal fabricator based right here out of Portland. Milo will be wild.  There’s no definitive timeline on Milo, and like all good stories, there is no rush to get to the end. We hope to be brewing there in the coming weeks, beers that will age and evolve in time. We will continue to build out and develop the space, and hope to be open to the public sometime next year. Meanwhile in Portland, we’ll hold onto the spirit of summer throughout the coming months and continue business as usual.  We are continuously stoked by the outpouring of support and love we feel from you: you are the catalyst that is driving us forward. Forward for the journey. Forward for the beer.  Forward for Maine.

December 1, 2017

Fall is a time of transition.

A fleeting moment that finds one hand grasping onto the last of summer’s safe comfort and warmth, with the other hand thrusting forward cautiously towards winter’s stark uncertainty.

Much like the consistent routine found in the dynamic change of the seasons, we are realizing consistency and embracing change. One hand rooted firmly in our operation in Portland, the other cautiously extended north to our new facility in Milo, Maine.

In these last few months, we’ve re-invested in our home in Portland: we brought on two new employees, veterans of the industry. We’ve installed two 40bbl horizontal tanks that yielded this year’s Seed and our new Lagerbier, tanks that we are now bringing on-line full time for lagers and other projects. We’ve invested in our packaging line and our lab. We’ve begun employee wellness initiatives—all of this in the effort to provide the highest quality beer and the best possible customer experience. It is your endearing support that has allowed this all to come to fruition in Portland. Thank you.

If Portland, in a sense, represents the warmth and familiarity of summer, our new home in Milo is the fresh canvas of the winter months ahead. So much promise in a world anew, with so much left still unknown. Our old 10 bbl brewhouse is installed, awaiting the inaugural Milo brewday. We’ve installed eight foeders, vessels that will bring wood-aged beers to light, along with our established and growing barrel-aging program that will call Milo its home. We’ve installed a coolship, custom engineered by Forest J. Stone, our friend and metal fabricator based right here out of Portland. Milo will be wild.

There’s no definitive timeline on Milo, and like all good stories, there is no rush to get to the end. We hope to be brewing there in the coming weeks, beers that will age and evolve in time. We will continue to build out and develop the space, and hope to be open to the public sometime next year. Meanwhile in Portland, we’ll hold onto the spirit of summer throughout the coming months and continue business as usual.

We are continuously stoked by the outpouring of support and love we feel from you: you are the catalyst that is driving us forward. Forward for the journey. Forward for the beer.

Forward for Maine.


 May 26th, 2017  Moving Into summer  A long blink of an eye, and the warm months land. Summer in Maine holds so much we keep close. Windows are down, spirits are high, and beers that capture the essence of summer are emptied all too quickly. Even as schedules fill and the pace of work is at a constant step, moving away from Winter's purr is never a hard task.  It's crazy to think we were just settling into our new home on Thompson's Point exactly a year ago. That move seemed impossible at the time, taking every bit of our energy and focus, as well as every ounce of your support. Had we been told at the time that in twelve months we'd be undergoing yet another expansion, we simply would have laughed. Yet somehow, plans were made, and we once again find ourselves standing at the other end of a process as necessary as it was hectic.  Our new 20 barrel brewhouse is a beauty. In the 14 hours it used to take to make 900 gallons of wort, we can now make over 1200! This will allow us far more time to examine and refine our process, tweaking the countless nuances so critical in the never-ending quest to make better beer. In line with our brewhouse upgrade, we have also added 3 more 40 barrel fermentors, a 40 barrel brite tank, and added capacity to our canning line. If you are seasoned to our space, you will certainly notice the new stainless. Our days at the brewery will be as busy and long as they've ever been, but at least we will have a bit more beer (about 30%!) for our beautiful state.  We thank you for the unwavering support as we adapt to schedule changes. We thank you for your patience as we grow into our new production lineup. We thank for always being on the other side of this growth. Since day 1, every step forward has been because of you.   You are the backbone to this life we live and the reason we're always striving to be better.  With love for you. With love for the beer. With love for Maine.

May 26th, 2017

Moving Into summer

A long blink of an eye, and the warm months land. Summer in Maine holds so much we keep close. Windows are down, spirits are high, and beers that capture the essence of summer are emptied all too quickly. Even as schedules fill and the pace of work is at a constant step, moving away from Winter's purr is never a hard task.

It's crazy to think we were just settling into our new home on Thompson's Point exactly a year ago. That move seemed impossible at the time, taking every bit of our energy and focus, as well as every ounce of your support. Had we been told at the time that in twelve months we'd be undergoing yet another expansion, we simply would have laughed. Yet somehow, plans were made, and we once again find ourselves standing at the other end of a process as necessary as it was hectic.

Our new 20 barrel brewhouse is a beauty. In the 14 hours it used to take to make 900 gallons of wort, we can now make over 1200! This will allow us far more time to examine and refine our process, tweaking the countless nuances so critical in the never-ending quest to make better beer. In line with our brewhouse upgrade, we have also added 3 more 40 barrel fermentors, a 40 barrel brite tank, and added capacity to our canning line. If you are seasoned to our space, you will certainly notice the new stainless. Our days at the brewery will be as busy and long as they've ever been, but at least we will have a bit more beer (about 30%!) for our beautiful state.

We thank you for the unwavering support as we adapt to schedule changes. We thank you for your patience as we grow into our new production lineup. We thank for always being on the other side of this growth. Since day 1, every step forward has been because of you.

You are the backbone to this life we live and the reason we're always striving to be better.

With love for you. With love for the beer. With love for Maine.


 February 1st, 2017  IT'S BEEN TOO LONG!  TO ALL YOU FOLKS THAT SIGNED UP TO RECEIVE OUR EMAILS, THANK YOU FOR HANGING TIGHT AS WE FIND OUR GROOVE IN USING THIS PLATFORM REGULARLY.   THE CALM AND QUIET OF WINTER IN MAINE HAS FINALLY PROVIDED US SOME VERY NECESSARY TIME FOR REFLECTION. BETWEEN THE STRESS AND UNCERTAINTY OF MOVING OUR BREWERY AND THE DAILY GRIND OF BREW DAYS, KICKED KEGS, BROKEN PUMPS, AND AN EVER-GROWING PILE OF PAPERWORK, WE STILL FEEL THE SAME SENSE OF ENTHUSIASM, WONDER, AND PRIVELAGE WE DID THE DAY WE SOLD OUR FIRST KEG.  IN DECEMBER, WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE LOCKER PROJECT, TOYS FOR TOTS, ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY, AND RUTH'S REUSABLE RESOURCES FOR A MONTH LONG "4 WEEKS OF GIVING" EVENT. WE DONATED OVER $19,000 AND WITNESSED FIRST HAND THE POWER OF GENEROSITY WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.   IN JANUARY, WE HAD A STAFF HOLIDAY PARTY. EVERYONE (EMPLOYEES, SPOUSES, KIDS, AND DOGS) CAME TOGETHER TO JUST HANG OUT. THERE WERE BOTTLES, THERE WAS PIZZA, AND SOME INCREDIBLY TENSE PING PONG SHOWDOWNS. IT'S INCREASINGLY HUMBLING TO SEE HOW OUR BBB FAMILY, IMMEDIATE AND EXTENDED, CONTINUES TO GROW, IN NUMBERS BUT EVEN MORE IN CHARACTER.  EVEN IN THE QUIET OF FEBRUARY, TIME CONTINUES TO FLY. IT'S ALL TOO EASY FOR US TO FORGET TO STEP BACK AND BREATH EVERYTHING OUR SITUATION IN NOW AND AGAIN, BUT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER. WE ARE SO, SO FORTUNATE TO BE ON THIS JOURNEY AND IT WOULD SIMPLY NOT EXIST WITHOUT ALL OF YOU. YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND SUPPORT FOR WHAT WE DO IS WHAT GETS BBB UP IN THE MORNING, KEEPS US UP AT NIGHT, AND PUSHES US TO IMPROVE EVERY SINGLE DAY. YOU GIVE US PURPOSE AND MAKE US CARE ABOUT THIS CRAFT MORE THAN WE THOUGHT .   SIMPLY PUT, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. WE SINCERELY HOPE YOU'RE AS EXCITED TO SEE WHAT PROFOUND AND UNEXPECTED PLACES 2017 TAKES US. IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL TRY TO KEEP THE UPDATES MORE STEADY.    GRATITUDE.

February 1st, 2017

IT'S BEEN TOO LONG!

TO ALL YOU FOLKS THAT SIGNED UP TO RECEIVE OUR EMAILS, THANK YOU FOR HANGING TIGHT AS WE FIND OUR GROOVE IN USING THIS PLATFORM REGULARLY.

THE CALM AND QUIET OF WINTER IN MAINE HAS FINALLY PROVIDED US SOME VERY NECESSARY TIME FOR REFLECTION. BETWEEN THE STRESS AND UNCERTAINTY OF MOVING OUR BREWERY AND THE DAILY GRIND OF BREW DAYS, KICKED KEGS, BROKEN PUMPS, AND AN EVER-GROWING PILE OF PAPERWORK, WE STILL FEEL THE SAME SENSE OF ENTHUSIASM, WONDER, AND PRIVELAGE WE DID THE DAY WE SOLD OUR FIRST KEG.

IN DECEMBER, WE WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE LOCKER PROJECT, TOYS FOR TOTS, ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY, AND RUTH'S REUSABLE RESOURCES FOR A MONTH LONG "4 WEEKS OF GIVING" EVENT. WE DONATED OVER $19,000 AND WITNESSED FIRST HAND THE POWER OF GENEROSITY WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.

IN JANUARY, WE HAD A STAFF HOLIDAY PARTY. EVERYONE (EMPLOYEES, SPOUSES, KIDS, AND DOGS) CAME TOGETHER TO JUST HANG OUT. THERE WERE BOTTLES, THERE WAS PIZZA, AND SOME INCREDIBLY TENSE PING PONG SHOWDOWNS. IT'S INCREASINGLY HUMBLING TO SEE HOW OUR BBB FAMILY, IMMEDIATE AND EXTENDED, CONTINUES TO GROW, IN NUMBERS BUT EVEN MORE IN CHARACTER.

EVEN IN THE QUIET OF FEBRUARY, TIME CONTINUES TO FLY. IT'S ALL TOO EASY FOR US TO FORGET TO STEP BACK AND BREATH EVERYTHING OUR SITUATION IN NOW AND AGAIN, BUT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT NOW THAN EVER. WE ARE SO, SO FORTUNATE TO BE ON THIS JOURNEY AND IT WOULD SIMPLY NOT EXIST WITHOUT ALL OF YOU. YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND SUPPORT FOR WHAT WE DO IS WHAT GETS BBB UP IN THE MORNING, KEEPS US UP AT NIGHT, AND PUSHES US TO IMPROVE EVERY SINGLE DAY. YOU GIVE US PURPOSE AND MAKE US CARE ABOUT THIS CRAFT MORE THAN WE THOUGHT .

SIMPLY PUT, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. WE SINCERELY HOPE YOU'RE AS EXCITED TO SEE WHAT PROFOUND AND UNEXPECTED PLACES 2017 TAKES US. IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL TRY TO KEEP THE UPDATES MORE STEADY.


GRATITUDE.