It’s not as if we were lacking before, but the Boston beer scene is now even more flush with New England-made craft brews.
Two new entrants into Massachusetts include Foundation Brewing Co. and Lone Pine Brewing Co., which operate out of Portland, Maine. Both breweries are less than five years old. Each offers beers so stylistically different from one another as to be worth seeking out.
Lone Pine recently underwent a drastic expansion. After opening its Portland location (on Anderson Street, in the East Bayside neighborhood) to the public in 2016, Lone Pine purchased Sebago Brewing Co.’s old production facility in Gorham last October. The move quadrupled its capacity, hence the new, regular shipments to Massachusetts.
Lone Pine’s founders are longtime friends Tom Madden and John Paul. Madden used to run a bottle shop in Saco. Paul has a background in music production and management. The company’s first beer was Portland Pale Ale, which seems quaint now given the current lineup, featuring such exotica as Chaga Stout, a dry American stout brewed with antioxidant-rich Chaga mushrooms from the Maine woods, and Crush Puppie, a series of session IPAs made with additions of fresh fruit.
They’re also doing the hazy IPA thing, and doing it well. Oh-J is a double made without fruit but with late-addition hops meant to mimic citrus. Chaos Emeralds pours a cloudy light yellow, gets candied mango notes from Galaxy and Mosaic hops, and is absolutely delicious.
On the other side of town, Foundation took over the old Bissell Brothers space in an industrial park home to a couple other breweries and a distillery. The brewery specializes in two things: “Maine” IPAs like Epiphany and Afterglow, which combine the aromatic qualities of the New England style with the bitterness of a West Coast brew like Stone, and sours, which come as welcome palate cleansers. Briar is a sour ale fermented with blackberries and raspberries and aged in oak barrels. It pours fire engine red and tastes like a funky raspberry jam. Cosmic Bloom, a pale ale brewed with wheat and popping with flavors of lime zest and strawberry, is a standout.
Not every beer from these Maine brewers will make it to the Bay State, but both breweries say they’d like to showcase as much of themselves as possible here, so look for new brews in the coming months.Gary Dzen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.