Beer Dinner at Baxter Brewing. (I brought the stretch pants)

Sunday I attended a fun event at Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston. It was called Chill & Brew. This event featured a 45-minute Yoga session, brewery tour, and ended with a beer dinner. I was hoping to attend with a friend, but she got the shingles unfortunately so I went solo. Luckily, I met a couple of really nice and fun ladies who I enjoyed the dinner with and hopefully are checking out my blog! This event confirmed my hunch that I need business cards made up because writing the web address on the back of a Dr.’s note is a little awkward. Anywho…

Baxter Brewing Co. is located in the old Bates Mill in Lewiston. I had never been there before but loved the tanks outside the building. The Bates Mill was a cotton mill that was started around 1850 and 100 years later was the largest employer in the state with 6500 people.

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So we walked through the brewery all the way to one of the top levels in the old mill to do our yoga session. The session was led by Heidi from Chill Yoga, also located in Lewiston. There was quite a few people there and Heidi did a great job of making the yoga poses accessible for people of all levels. No legs over the head here!

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What’s better than a beer after a yoga session right???

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Especially if it has green tea in it! This is Delta, which is a test brew only available at the brewery. A green tea beer was a first for me. Very light, floral and hoppy.

Then it was time for the tour.

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I found out, I knew nothing about Baxter Brewing. For some reason I thought they had been around quite awhile. I guess because I have been enjoying their beers for what I thought had been forever. Nope. They’ve only been around since 2011 (that’s 4 years at this writing). In that time, they have become one of Maine’s largest breweries. They have brewed the most beer in Maine’s history and this year will brew over 20,000 barrels. Their founder is Luke Livingston, who is a native of Lewiston and started brewing his own beer in college. In 2011, he was featured in Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 Under 30 Most Influential Entrepeneurs. Yeah that’s right, he’s only around 30. What have you done with your life?

Back to the tour.

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I learned something! The Brite tank is what carbonates the beer. It’s like one of those soda machines some people have. Only for beer!

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This is a fermentor. If you drank a 12-pack a day for 18 years, you could drink all that’s contained in this fermentor. You would also be dead. I think. Keith Richards could probably do it. Oh, and they have several of these.

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This is their canner. They can a lot. Why? Cans are easier to transport, sunlight does not influence the taste, and they’re better for the environment. And that’s Ezra, who was a great guide!

Then it was time to eat! The food was made by Marche Kitchen and Wine Bar. It was nice that these 3 local companies teamed up to put on a pretty unique and fun event.

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Blackened chicken & pasta with Pamola Xtra Pale Ale. I’ve enjoyed a Pamola on many a Summer day upta camp. It’s light, easy drinking and only 4.9% ABV.

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Shepard’s Pie. CONFESSION: I HATE traditional Shepard’s Pie! It is the one food I will actually turn my nose up at. This was NOTHING like that. The meat was a 6-hour braised short ribs with caramelized pearl onions topped with garlic mashed potatoes. Yeah, you want that. Paired with Stowaway IPA. If you’ve never had Stowaway, do yourself a favor and go to your local convenience store and pick up a 6-pack. Just enjoy it on a night where you have nothing to do the next day because it is 6.9% ABV. Thank me later.

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Wait! Salad? Now? Following the heaviness of the Shepard’s Pie this was a nice, light pick-me-up. A roasted golden beet, orange and grapefruit segments, with goat cheese and pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette. Paired with Ceremony, Session IPA brewed with green tea 4.2% ABV. This was brewed to celebrate the breweries 4th Anniversary and is pretty aggressive with the hops I found.

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Cajun Shrimp Bites paired with Tarnation California Style Lager 5.3 ABV. CONFESSION #2: This past Summer I may or may not have enjoyed Tarnation a little TOO much one evening and have not gone back to it before this event. That being said, I remembered why I enjoyed it at the time. Malty, caramel-y, amber-y. Only one problem this time, not enough shrimp bites to go with it.

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Lastly, there was a chocolate mousse made with Phantom Punch topped with Bourbon whipped cream and pistachios. What’s not to like? Paired with Phantom Punch Winter Stout. I’ve had Phantom Punch on more than one occasion as well. Chocolate, malt, and caramel 6.8% ABV was the perfect ending to a fun night.

So then I was stuck with a tough decision, what do I bring home? I got a really cool slap koozy for future cans. And I decided to get something I hadn’t tried yet. Their new Window Seat Porter brewed with coconut and almond. CONFESSION #3: I thought it was going to taste like suntan lotion. I’m happy to report, it does not. A very subtle hint of coconut. 6% ABV. And I may or may not be enjoying one right now writing this while there is a blizzard happening outside.

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Now I’m going to go binge watch some Magnum PI and daydream I was in Hawaii laying on a beach with a young Tom Selleck enjoying some more Window Seat.

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