It started off as any other weekend road trip to Portland, ME. However once on the road with my boyfriend Mike we quickly decided that this road trip needed a “theme”. What kind of theme do you pick for Portland? Then I started thinking what some of our favorite places and things to do in Portland were and then it hit me, BEER! Yes Portland is known for having some great micro-breweries with some outstanding bars to boot. Thats how the “Great Beer Challenge of Portland, ME” began. Here were the rules:
Rule #1 Visit 5 bars in Portland, ME
Rule #2 Try at least 1 different beer in each bar
Bonus Challenge: Finish a pint of Guinness
Now that the rules where in place it was time to get drinking! We started off at the Great Lost Bear bar right outside downtown Portland. This bar is known for having an extensive beer menu with 69 taps and 50 craft beers. This was the perfect place to start. With such an extensive beer menu I decided to order what is called a flight of beers, a tasting of 5 beers in 5oz glasses of my choice. My choices were as follows 1. Longtrail Blackbeery 2. Dogfish Head 60min IPA 3. Guinness 4. Geary’s Pale Ale 5. St. John Tropical Mango
Now you might be saying that my tasting Guinness would be affected in my bonus challenge, but don’t worry having a tasting of this Guinness was just practice. My favorite beer from that flight was the St. John Tropical Mango. It is a light, fruity beer that is easy to drink. The Guinness on the other hand was surprisingly not bad, I thought I had this challenge in the bag! After calling it a night from the Great Lost Bear we decided to pick up the beer challenge the next day.
After getting a late start on Sunday we finally arrived at our 2nd bar in this challenge called Gritty McDuffs which among of the rest of the bars I visited on Sunday is in downtown Portland. Since Gritty’s is a mirco-brewery it was the perfect stop, while sitting at the bar I decided to try their Vacationland Summer Ale. It was bitter and not as light as I thought it would be. As far as summer ales go Sam Adams Summer Ale is still my favorite. Time was ticking so to finish up the next three bars we had to hurry. Our 3rd stop was to a bar called Bull Feeny’s where I tried Allagash While Ale. This beer was great and little did I know it would be the best beer I would drink all day. The 4th stop was a bar for the beer aficionado called Novare Res Beer Cafe where I sampled a De Halve Maan which was a blonde, fruity ale, good for drinking in the summer, a Beligum style. However I was getting very full and only drank a few sips. It was now time for my last stop which meant it was time to drink a whole pint of Guinnesss. Our 5th and last stop was to Brian Boru an Irish bar in Portland, it seemed perfect. After ordering my Guinness and relaizing just how full I was I attempted to drink the whole pint. After getting about 1/4 of the way in I realized that the Guinness was winning in this challenge. I was too full after a day of drinking nothing but beer to finish this pint of Guinness.
Very sadly I threw in the towel and called it quits. Guinness very simply put is gross to me, it has the two worst tastes in the world mixed together, bitterness and hops. However that is what a challenge is all about and in this great beer challenge of Portland, ME I have come out a very open minded beer drinker.