The first stop on my trek across the Maine Beer Trail was The Liberal Cup in Hallowell. This was my first stop for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s kind of isolated on the Trail Map. There are really no other breweries near it. So it’s kind of a stand alone trip. Secondly, I was on my way back from New Hampshire and I could meet friends for lunch there without having to travel too far from the I-95.
So I drive into downtown Hallowell and was shocked! They got a booming downtown area! I couldn’t even park near the brewpub. There’s a lot of shops and restaurants in Hallowell! Who knew?! Not me, that’s for sure. The pub was hopping! Considering we had 5 in our group we really didn’t have to wait long for a table at all. It should also be noted that the staff was super attentive and friendly. The pub itself is charming. Lots of wood in the decor. It’s like an old building that was converted into a pub.
But I digress. Onto the beer!
Left to Right:
Alewife Ale – bitter & hoppy 4.4% ABV
Bug Lager – light, smooth & refreshing 5.0% ABV
Dummer’s Lane Lager – I tasted coffee.
Lion Stout – smooth, rich stout.
Smelt Camp Strong Ale – this tasted similar to the Alewife to me. 6.0% ABV
Cassk Kickin’ IPA – this was my first cask beer. 7.8% ABV
What’s “cask beer” you ask? Great question. Coincidentally, I just happened to hear about it for the first time the night before this trip. Read about cask beer here. The temperature didn’t bother me. It did taste flat. But, this is baby’s first cask beer, so like they used to say on Reading Rainbow “You don’t have to take my word for it!” Try it yourself! I have a feeling I will be more experienced in cask beer at the end of this journey.
My favorites were the Bug Lager and the Lion Stout. The Bug Lager is also their best-selling beer. And for good reason. I can very easily see myself going down here again this summer for lunch and a couple of pints of that. The Lion Stout was also very rich and delicious and perfect on a cold January day. Doubt I’ll want it on the 4th of July though. I wanted a growler of the Bug Lager but, unfortunately, they do not offer filled growlers at this location. I was informed that they do fill growlers at their other location in Saco, The Run of the Mill. This is also on the Beer Trail so I’ll be getting my growler on then.
So on a scale of 1-5 growlers (1 being “meh” and 5 being “I’m going to need some alone time”) I would rate The Liberal Cup a 4. I really enjoyed their beers and their food menu had a lot of things I want to go back to try. It’s not far off the interstate so this will be a go-to stop for me when I want to have lunch and a brew in the Augusta area.
And here’s my first “stamp” on the Beer Trail
Here is their beer list available on their website.
And now for a segment I call…
This blog post is not as thorough as I would have hoped. But, I had friends joining me and I’m the type of person that does want to engage with the people I am with when I am around them. Especially when I don’t see them that often. So I felt very rude taking pictures and trying to get notes down. I hope to have more pictures and more information on future posts. And now I have an excuse to come back here and get “more pictures”…
I had my first BAD beer experience the night before at a place that shall not be named. It was in New Hampshire, not Maine so I won’t review it here. Talk to me in person if you want that story! Never thought I would want a Bud Light but that place was making a regular beer seem appealing and more flavorful….