Category Archives: Beers

Introducing Afterglow

Afterglow glass pourExploration is part of what drives us. It is hard work, with unexpected twists and turns that bring new knowledge and revelations. Exploration can also lead to a deeper appreciation of classic approaches and techniques. At Foundation Brewing, we seek to build on the classics while weaving in new elements. When it all comes together, we sit back and bask in the afterglow of a new creation.

We are proud to introduce Afterglow as an interpretation of the American IPA. The extensive use of classic American hops blended with those from the South Pacific provides an intense and deep citrus note complemented by berry and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. A resinous background lurks under fruit notes, providing depth of hop flavor that rolls across the palate. A blend of both New World and Old World malts intertwine to provide fullness and richness, but still finishing pleasingly dry. The flavors linger, inviting you to sit back, and enjoy long after the last sip is gone.

Afterglow will be available on draft in the tasting room on Saturday, September 12th.

Zuurzing is Back at the Brewery

zuurzing-glassFew things taste as good on a hot day as a cold beer. While modern saisons have taken their place in the spectrum of craft beers as complex, highly expressive and nuanced brews, their origins were very much the drink of the working man. After spending hours working out in the sun, a farmer and the farm hands would need fluid for hydration. Historically, the water supplies were not the safest option, so they used what they had on hand to make lower alcohol, light, and thirst quenching brews that they would cellar for the next season. Often, these beers were very tart due to the effects of fermentation with yeast, but also bacteria like lactobacillus, which produces the tangy character of fermented pickles and yogurt.

Bright, light, and zippy, these beers were the ultimate in crushability. Inspired by this, we are proud to introduce Zuurzing , our riff on these thirst quenching brews. Light in color and body, and modest in alcohol, Zuurzing casts out the demons of thirst, but does it while packing a wallop of flavor from citrusy American hops interplaying with the underlying tartness and graininess. We are proud to be offering this beer in our tasting room this weekend, available for samples and growler fills.

Epiphany and Wanderlust Can & Draft Update

Wanderlust cans & howlerThanks everyone for coming yesterday, you crushed our supply of Epiphany cans and made a huge dent in our supply of Wanderlust cans. Retailers in Maine are getting their cans over the next few days, so if you missed out, check with your favorite local beer store to find out when they’ll be arriving.

We still have Epiphany on draft at the brewery, but to try to spread the love, we are going to limit Epiphany to 1 howler (32oz) per person.

It is possible we may run out of draft Epiphany before we close on Saturday.  In that event, and we may be a bit delusional on this, but we think we will have something that will scratch that hoppy itch.

Brewery Expansion and Summer Session Brewfest

As summer hits its stride in Maine, there are some great events happening this weekend and we hope you’ll join us. We also have some exciting new beer offerings on the horizon here at Foundation.

First, to answer the frequently asked question, yes, we will be able to increase production in the near future. Some of you already know we installed a third 30 barrel fermentation tank. We are happy to say that the first brew through the tank, a long overdue batch of Burnside, passed internal QC with flying colors. From the response in the tasting room this past weekend, you all agree! We are also looking to add two additional 45 barrel tanks in the coming weeks. We are very excited about this because it will allow us to produce some new beers we have been refining in the R&D Lab.

Back to this weekend, we would love to invite you to join us and our good friends from points north, Orono Brewing Company, at The Thirsty Pig in Portland the evening of Friday the 24th at 7pm. Orono will be bringing their A-game, and so will we. As many of you know, we love to experiment with yeast and how it changes the dynamics of beer. We’ve been itching to try a variation of Epiphany fermented with brettanomyces. Crazy you say? Delusions of Grandeur?!  Why yes, yes it is. Wanderlust, Burnside, and Epiphany will be flowing, as will Delusions of Grandeur. This will be a very limited release, so get to the Pig early if you want to have a chance to try it out.

MBG Summer Session2Friday night is covered, but what about Saturday? The place to be on July 25th is the Maine Brewers Guild Summer Session. If you are going to hit one brewfest this year, this is definitely the one. Not only is this your best chance to drink the most beer from Maine breweries, but we have also invited some of our friends from out of state to come and hang with us! We are excited to welcome Cambridge Brewing Company as our guest brewery at the festival. Check out the link for info on tickets and details about the many great breweries attending. In fact, it is going to be so awesome, we will be closing our tasting room for that Saturday so that the whole Foundation Brewing Company team can attend. For those of you who wanted to visit the brewery that day, we are sorry, and we encourage you to come to the festival. Trust us, it’s going to be a great time. Big party, on the water, with killer beer? Yes please!

Epiphany Maine IPA Release

Epiphany Maine IPAEvery day brings an opportunity to learn something new.  We experiment with new ingredients, techniques, and ideas, constantly seeking to learn more.  When that sudden spark of inspiration ignites the fuel provided by this quest, you have Epiphany. 

We are proud to introduce Epiphany as our vision of what an IPA can be. We have been patiently working and experimenting, waiting for all of the pieces to come together.  Our labors of experimentation and planning culminate in Epiphany.  Juicy and fruity with undercurrents of pine, we indulged in our desire to create an IPA that personifies the vivid flavors that can be coaxed from the hop cone, painted on a canvas of soft malt that allows the flavors to shine through.  Extensively hopped in the kettle and in the fermentor, we spared nothing in making this beer, our Maine IPA.  We hope you enjoy this beer, and that it brings you a hoppy revelation as well.

Epiphany will be available in the tasting room next week, with draft availability to follow.

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

Terroir – Local Harvest Saison

Wet-hopped Harvest AleTerroir is a French word that refers to the impact that the local geography, climate, and soil composition has on agricultural goods. This can produce marked variation among even genetically identical plants.  It is, in a word, the expression of place. When you can taste that in your food, that is terroir.

We live and work in an incredible place, and we want our beers to reflect that as much as we can.  To that end, we have been working with Maine farmers to help supply ingredients for our beers.  To welcome the harvest, we recently made a Maine wet hopped ale that will be featured at the brewery this weekend.  Made in a very limited amount, we encourage you to stop by and try it.

The hops in this beer are centennial hops, supplied by the great people at The Hop Yard and grown in Ft. Fairfield.  These are wet hops, picked right from the bine and used in the beer without being dried or otherwise processed.  The barley malt is all Maine grown and sourced, from our friends at Blue Ox Malthouse in Belfast, and the wheat is from Davy and the cool people at Maine Grains in Skowhegan.  I have used Maine Grains flour in the bread I bake for my family since they opened, and I am very excited that we are now using them to supply the raw grains for all of our beers.  Tied together with our local water and our house saison yeast, this beer is about letting these ingredients express themselves.

Come taste what Maine has to offer.

Cheers,
John and 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.

Joel

Burnside Brown Ale release

burnside brown aleAugust 7th was National IPA Day, so naturally, on August 8th, we are proud to announce that we will be pouring our English style brown ale – Burnside – in the tasting room. Yes, a brown ale.

Our deep love of Saisons is evident in the focus of our brewery. They have a special place in our hearts and are the focus of Foundation Brewing Company. Joel and I also have a great fondness for well-done traditional British style ales. I had a chance to travel through the UK a couple of times, and the pub culture was something that just felt so natural. Drinking true cask conditioned ales was an incredible experience. It was very different than what I was used to growing up in the US, but perfect for the setting and the cuisine. My wife, Tina, lived in London for a time, and as a result, developed a strong affinity for British ales as well. Back in my home brewing days, I was required to keep a keg of a British style ale on tap at all times.

As an avowed foodie, living in Portland is kind of like being a kid in a candy store. I love to chat food, and one of the great things about this place are all the fantastic chefs and restaurateurs who also call it home. In the course of running our brewery, Joel, Christie, Tina and I get to talk with them frequently. Naturally, we often end up discussing food and beer pairings. When this conversation comes up, one of the common themes is trying to find beers that pair really well with grilled, roasted, and caramelized flavors. This got us thinking, what would go well? Something that was not too bitter, with plenty of roasted notes that come across as coffee, burnt sugar, and chocolate to play off the grilled and caramelized flavors. The deeply roasted flavors have to be tempered a bit as they can come across as a bit bitter and acrid when they are too strong, and we wanted it balanced with a malty but dry finish. That sounded like the perfect pint of brown ale to us!

We partnered with Chris and Paige of Central Provisions for a beer dinner in May, and to add to the menu we made a small batch of Burnside. Then a few weeks ago, we made a second small batch that we served just in the tasting room. It flew out the door, and when it was all gone, we were asked, “When are you going to make it again?” So, here it is. We hope you enjoy.

Cheers,
John