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Infused Saison (with Sorrel leaves)

sorrel leavesThis weekend we’re excited to be serving a sorrel-infused saison, prepared in collaboration with David D’Angelo from Hawk Farm in Vassalboro. David has been supplying all of our raw grain needs and he has also been a big fan of our infused beers. A few weeks ago, David mentioned that he had some Sorrel coming in, and thought that it would be right up our alley for infusing our house saison. He did some home trials with the tart greens, and was excited to see what would happen if we worked our magic with the Sorrel. Next thing we knew, David arrived at Foundation with a large bag of Maine-grown, local deliciousness.

sorrel being juiced

John juiced the leaves, producing 900mL of awesomely-vibrant green Sorrel juice, which we added to our house saison. The juice has a tart smell and tastes similar to lemons, kiwifruit, or wild strawberries. We are very excited to share this special collaboration with you this weekend. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!

John & Joel

The Ember Story

Ember at the brewery

Ember supervising early construction

This coming weekend, we’ll be pouring the first batch we’ve brewed of Ember since opening in February. We’re excited to pour this beer for a lot of reasons — we’ve been planning this as our fall seasonal since before we opened, and it’s finally time to start brewing it. It was a favorite homebrew recipe of mine for years and one that friends always looked forward to. It also signifies something extremely personal for me as well — it was named for my dog Ember, a Red Bone Coon hound who passed away last November, just months before the brewery opened. She joined me on many trips to Portland while we were still living in Orono, and got to explore the brewery before she left us.

Ember was a shelter dog that my wife and I rescued almost 10 years ago, and like many shelter dogs who have had a less than stellar life prior to being rescued, she had her fair share of baggage. She taught us a lot about the rewards of perseverance, and to recognize progress, no matter how small or how long it takes to get there. She was a small dog with a huge personality, and we miss her presence every day.

Ember pint glass Our hoppy amber saison, Ember, is a recipe that I home brewed for years, and one that friends requested often. When we began working with our house saison yeast, and I brewed my hoppy amber ale with our yeast, it became something special. The fruit character from our house yeast gives a huge boost to the large dry-hop addition of Mosaic hops. The highly attenuative nature of our yeast also creates a beer that starts out slightly sweet from English crystal malt, but finishes dry and crisp. We decided to name this gorgeous amber colored beer Ember, after our Red Bone Coon hound, whose coat was the same color as the beer.

I hope that this beer brings you happiness, as she did for us, and raise your glass to lost friends.


Expanded Summer Hours and Upcoming Events

Summer signage

Summer has kicked into high gear here in Portland, and as a result Foundation is expanding our Tasting Room hours to include Thursday afternoons from 3-6pm. In the Tasting Room we have all of our beers that you will find on tap throughout Maine, as well as some special brews that are only available in the brewery. Check back on our website before each weekend to see what we’ll be pouring. We offer both 32oz Howlers and 64oz Growlers, as well as glassware and soft goods.

Saturday night we’re taking over taps at Mama’s Crowbar with Austin Street Brewery (our One Industrial Way neighbor) on Munjoy Hill — always a fun place to be on a Saturday night. The next morning, we’ll be featured at the Second Sunday Beer Brunch at Sonny’s Restaurant in the Old Port from noon to 3pm. Beer, brunch and live music from Jerks of Grass. Forecast is for a beautiful Maine July weekend. We hope to see you out and around town!

Foundation joins the b.good local draft lineup

portland-bgoodLike a good burger? Like a good beer? Yup, we do too! That is why we are excited to invite you to b.good on Friday June 13th from 6-8pm to celebrate the addition of Blaze to their draft list. Locally sourced meat and veggies paired with local craft beer makes for a great combination. Blaze will be pouring, we will be hanging, and Monique Barrett will be performing! Stop in, say hello, and grab a bite. b.good will be giving away t-shirts as well as some of our coveted pint glasses for folks coming in to enjoy a fresh pint of Blaze, our Farmhouse IPA. b.good is at 15 Exchange St in the Old Port. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Joel and John

Central Provisions & Foundation Brewing Company beer dinner

We would like to thank Chris and Paige Gould, Central Provisions’ proprietors, for inviting Foundation Brewing to a special beer dinner last Wednesday night. We knew we wanted to make something special for the event, so when we were working out the details, we asked what they would look for in a beer if they could create it themselves from the ground up. Chris and Paige suggested a beer to highlight caramelized and toasted flavors, something that would have some maltiness and body to it. Joel and John knew right away the beer for this job, and Burnside, our take on an English brown ale, was born.

Confit Pork Belly

Confit Pork Belly

Patrick, CP’s Bar Manager, developed a delicious Eddy Shandy to round out the beer offerings of Blaze, Eddy and Burnside. The Eddy Shandy was made using peach infused brandy, a house-made grenadine using Chinese Knotweed, and of course, Eddy, our Saison.

It was tough going, but we had to try all the beers with all the selected pairings (and then some) to make sure everything worked like we had hoped. The general consensus was that for John & Tina, the favorite dish was the Pasilla Chicken Tacos (radish, cotija, lime crema) paired with Blaze. Just to make sure, we had to order the dish twice! That said, the pork belly confit marinated in a reduction of Burnside was also stunningly good. Joel & Christie found instead that their favorite pairings were Burnside with the Caramelized Sheep’s Cheese, and the Eddy Shandy with a Key Lime Tart for dessert.

Chicken Tacos

Chicken Tacos

Thank you, Chris, Paige and the entire staff of Central Provisions, for a fabulous evening enjoying our Foundation beers in a marvelous and quintessentially Portland setting.

Open House, Mustard & Pickles

Two days ago, we hosted an open house.  We thought it would be fun to have our friends in the industry drop by, check out our space, and have some good eats.  It was great to share some food and beers with old and new friends alike, and we look forward to doing it again in the future.  Thank you again to everyone who came.  We continue to be amazed by the great people we have met and the sense of community that we have found.

One of the fun things for us when we host events like these is the excuse it gives us to play around in the kitchen.  We decided to make some quick refrigerator pickles with Eddy as a base, and a freshly ground spicy mustard with Blaze.  Several people asked us about the pickles and the mustard, so we decided to share the recipes. 

mustard and pickles

Eddy Pickles

Makes 2 pints, use wide-mouth canning jars

  • 4-5 pickling cucumbers (2 to 2-1/2 per jar)
  • 1-1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cups Eddy saison
  • 1 Tb. Pickling salt
  • 3 Tb. Dried malt extract (or substitute 2 Tb. white sugar)

For each pint jar:

  • 2 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns

Wash the cucumbers, cut off the ends, and either slice into spears or discs. The ends of cucumbers contain an enzyme that will make the pickles mushy, so you always want to cut those off. In a large pot (preferably with a pouring spout), combine the vinegar, beer, salt and malt extract/sugar. Bring to a simmer. Wash your canning jars and lids, arrange jars on the counter and put garlic and spices in each jar.  Arrange pickles in the jars, packed firmly. It’s best to start by placing spears straight up along the outer edge of the jar and then packing the middle to get the most cukes in there without wasting space. Definitely use wide-mouthed jars as it’s difficult to get pickle spears in regular mouth jars. Pour the brine into each jar, leaving ½ inch of headspace.  Tap gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Put on the lids and allow to cool on the counter.  Then place in the refrigerator.  Let sit for a day or two in the refrigerator before eating, and then it’s best to eat them within a week or two.

Blaze Mustard – this recipe originated with the Beeroness, and was modified a bit.  If you have not had a chance to check out her blog, we highly recommend you do so.

  • ¼ cup dried brown Mustard seeds
  • 2 TBSP dried mustard powder
  • ½ cup Blaze (yes, you can use other IPAs, but why?)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • A few dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • ¾ tsp ground horseradish
  • 1 tsp honey

Mix the mustard seeds, mustard powder, beer, vinegar and salt and let sit covered on a counter for 8-12 hours.  Pour the mixture in a blender, and add the horseradish, honey, and Tabasco.  Blend until it thickens, and most of the seeds are blended, but you want to leave some whole, whatever looks good to your eye.  Keep refrigerated.  Makes about 8 oz. of mustard.  

Cheers, and thanks again!

John and Joel

There’s beer in the tank

We’re excited to share the news that we’ve finally brewed our first batch of beer, which was Eddy. John and I worked many hours counting down to brewday, and with some technical assistance from our awesome neighbors at Allagash (thanks Dee Dee!) we put some fantastic smelling wort into FV1, and let our house yeast go at it. And go at it they did.

Brewery in action

Now, as any new brewery will tell you, there’s some learning to be done on your equipment, and how to scale your recipes. We’re no exception. The flavor and aroma of Eddy are awesome, but we’ve still got a little bit of work to get it exactly where we want it. For this reason, you’ll see some minor changes in Eddy in the coming months. We’re putting out a beer that we’re proud of, but we’re not satisfied with just being good. We’re committed to making the best beer that we possibly can, and in the coming months we’ll get there. We hope you’ll join us on that journey, it’s going to be a blast.

Joel & John

Ooh, shiny!

1461123_518795668228486_386560568_nIt’s been a busy month at the brewery – things are finally happening on a big scale. Our brewhouse (mash/lauter tun kettle/whirlpool) arrived this week, along with the keg washer, grist hopper, and glycol chiller. This was delivery #2, two weeks ago our four large tanks arrived (out hot liquor tank, brite tank, and two fermenters). All the large equipment is finally in place, and Nason Mechanical has been laying pipe like madmen, running steam and glycol all around the brewery.

What does this mean to us? Over two years of work, deliberation, decision making and questioning, combined with many months of waiting for equipment to be built, is finally bearing fruit in the form of big, shiny, stainless steel vessels, soon to be filled to capacity with delicious beer.

Bear with us as we head down the home stretch. 2014 is going to be an exciting year for us as we brew and serve our first batch of beer, soon to be followed by many more.

Joel & John

Next Steps

ttb-application-submittedSince last we spoke, we’ve ordered brewery equipment, picked up some toys for the tasting room, and have been working closely with our contractors to plan the work our brewery needs for the massive delivery of stainless steel coming in the near future. A whole lot of work is planned, but we’re still waiting on approval from the city before we begin construction.

The upside is that this week we got our first phone call from the TTB, letting us know that with a few minor additions to our application, it’s now moving on to processing, and it shouldn’t be long before we get our Brewer’s Notice. This is the last piece standing between us and the remaining permits and applications that we need to fire off to the state and federal government.

In the meantime, we’ve been sharing our pilot batches with many friends and family members, making sure that our first batches of beer are as good as they can be on brand new equipment. We’ve also been talking to our neighbors next door and down the street, and we’re going to work together to make our neighborhood a fantastic beer destination.