Posts ByKailey Partin – PorchDrinking.com
As a crisp breeze blows in the early morning, it is clear that fall is in air. Although the sun still shines at high noon, the days are ever so slightly shorter and the nights ever so slightly cooler. With the change in season comes not only pumpkin-spiced everything and the return of flannels, but also harvest. One can enjoy that spiced latte at the farmers market while picking up the year’s best produce. However, it is not just gourds and sunflowers in bloom: The start of fall is also hop harvest season.
We are in the midst of a craft beer revival in this country. The excitement and allure of the newest brewery or beer is tantalizing. However, this array of ever-expanding options can easily steal focus from the foundation of this revolution. One such brewery is Pike Brewing Company in Seattle. Pike Brewing was founded by husband and wife team Charles and Rose Ann Finkel in 1989. This October they will celebrate the brewery’s 30th anniversary.
This story begins as many brewery stories start, with a friendship and a passion for home brewing. Austin Street Brewery, co-owned by friends Jake Austin and Will Fisher, opened in 2014 on Industrial Way in outer Portland, Maine. Together they spent years on Austin Street in Westbrook, Maine, creating beers on their homebrew system that they wanted to drink. In 2013, as the craft beer boom commenced, they took a chance and opened their brewery with a one-barrel system. When speaking with Jake Austin, he made it clear that their focus is to create “highly drinkable beer, not to chase trends.” It would seem that mission is working well for them as they recently opened a second, larger location in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.
We all know the cliché, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In theory, that advice can be applied to beer as well but yet, we all ignore that saying. In reality, the cover (or in the beer industry, the label) is what sells the first can or bottle, while the contents sell the following case and create loyalty. It would be foolish to think the package doesn’t matter. The design wrapped around the liquid tells the story of the product and the company.
Stories are the foundation of human experience and connection and Portland, ME based artist Heidi Geist has quite the story. She is in the midst of a cross-country endeavor to explore and experience the American craft beer culture through label art. I had a great conversation with her about the 48 Beer Project, how it got started, what she is experiencing and the works she creates.
Maine, the easternmost state in the United States, is commonly known for its rocky coastline, fresh lobsters, and, more recently, its booming craft beer industry. Portland, the state’s largest city, is home to many of the area’s most popular breweries. However, just over the bridge, nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood, lies Fore River Brewing Company.