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rising tide Portland, ME

Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Rising Tide is the sole reason why my boyfriend's father likes me...true story.

But first! Rising Tide is also the reason why I finally got to try beer, and in part, making it one of the reasons why I wanted to do this blog and invest my time learning and discovering new and different beers.

I first visited Rising Tide with my sister back in 2016; we were away on vacation for a couple of days for my birthday. We were staying at an Airbnb (Do you stay 'in' an Airbnb or 'at' an Airbnb?) very close to downtown Portland, Maine. We wanted to visit all the cideries and distilleries we could while we were here. Now, back in my first year of college, I found out very quickly (after a trip to the ER) that I couldn't drink beer - I was allergic to hops. So from that point on, I stayed away from beer altogether. So going to Rising Tide Brewery wasn't even on our radar of places to go. Instead, we were going to go hang out at a distillery on that warm Sunday in the beginning of June. We took an Uber there since it was out of walking distance, and I had a feeling we wouldn't want to drive back afterward. When we pulled up to the 'distillery" - I must've made a mistake? There were picnic tables, a food truck, and a live band setting up - but this was a brewery. We then noticed that there was a small distillery right next to it but... it didn't look as much fun as the brewery, that's for sure. My sister Tory looks at me and asks, "do you want to leave?" Tory- being awesome for asking, since she knew I couldn't drink beer, but her voice was actually saying, "I really don't want to leave this cool looking place just because my goddamn sister has a stupid allergy..." Which I, in turn, said, "No, I'll figure it out"-- I mean c'mon they had a food truck AND a live band (I was just praying that it wasn't country music).

We walked up to the building which looked like they had refurbished a big old garage or storage units. Several huge garage doors lined the length of the building. That distillery was in the garage at the end, while Rising Tide Brewery took up three of them. Walking in from the front we

passed through picnic tables, a corn hole court, a food truck and a band. We got to the bar and I said to the bartender, "Hey, I have an allergy to hops-- can you tell me the beers with the lowest IBU's?" (international bitter unit, a good way to judge how much hops a beer is made with.) The bartender looked at me like -"why the HELL are you at a brewery with a hops allergy??" - which is a very valid thought to have, and honestly I'd probably think the same thing if I were him. But actually, he was very polite and told me what the IBU's were in each beer. Although I'm sure afterwards he went back and told his co-workers about this crazy person that came up to the bar saying she was allergic to hops and wanted to know what beers she could drink. And you know what? I hope he did.

At any rate, I got a tasting of the four beers that had the lowest IBUs: the Daymark American Pale Ale, Spinnaker Hefeweizen, Pisces Gose and a limited seasonal beer, a barleywine I think. We planted ourselves at one of the outdoor picnic tables that had an umbrella and was close to the band and food truck. We had arrived pretty close to when it opened, so we were one of the few people there. I was really nervous to try these beers since I haven't had a beer in the last seven years!. My first sip was as if I knew I was drinking poison like Romeo & Juliet. I didn't know what I was getting myself into! - Is my whole body going to hive up? Is my throat going to close up!? Am I going to need to go to the hospital!?!? For all I know the allergy could've gotten even worse!! I waited a bit after the first sip, nothing happened, another sip- nothing- sip. Wow- these beers are pretty good- another sip- wow this is really great. Before I knew it I had drunk the whole tasting and the place had filled up. I glanced around and it was PACKED. All the picnic tables were full, the bar was full, and so were all the hightops lining the walls. The band had started playing by now and had everyone tapping their feet to the music. We even saw someone we knew, a good friend of mine's sister, there with her new husband. Since the place was full we motioned them to come over to our prime spot at the picnic tables. We chatted and listened to the band, called Keanu Keanu (named such in the hopes of meeting Keanu Reeves

himself), they mostly played covers of classic songs, "for crustacean lovers and craft beer guzzlers." (featured on their facebook page). This music was the perfect soundtrack for a warm Sunday afternoon drinking beer in the sun.

I was starting to get a bit hungry so I went to go see what this food truck was all about. It was called Mami Food Truck, serving "delicious Izakaya style food to the streets of Portland Maine." It was so delicious, especially so after drinking all day. After that amazing food, I rolled the dice and got another pint of beer (I'm not dead yet.. so let's keep drinking!) and I decided to go for a full pour of the Pisces Gose- it was my favorite from the tasting. Pisces Gose is a "light dry crisp and refreshing, Pisces is our interpretation of this old German Style. Our version is brewed with lactobacillus, coriander, and local seawater for a tart mineral character." {link} Looking around with my pint of beer in this beautiful weather, I couldn't help but notice the people of different nationalities, different ages and social statuses and we were all enjoying our love of music, food, and most important of all, beer. Nothing separating us- which is amazing, especially with how divided our country can be - even now. From that point on I knew I wanted to be a part of this community somehow. For the last 2 years, I've kept that experience in my head and that spirit is how Good Bites & Glass Pints came to be.

Coming back to reality, I had realized me and my sister had been there for nearly five hours- wow the time flew by! I couldn't just leave without getting something, so I bought a whole case of the Pisces Gose to drink in the comfort of my own home. Thank goodness we took an Uber too, because between me and my sister we had so much stuff from Rising Tide that even our driver had to make a comment on it. Rising Tide was SUCH a cool place and honestly, it was the push I needed to get into the beer scene.

Now, how was this brewery the reason my boyfriends (Chris') father likes me you say? Well, as I said I bought a case of the Pisces beer. After me and Tory's little vacation, I was going to Chris' parent's house to have my first sit down dinner with them as the new girlfriend (very scary). Naturally, I wanted his family to like me and, so I was a little more 'proper' and 'polite' than I actually am (as I'm sure everyone does in meeting new people). Chris' parents made burritos (a family dinner staple for them). I had brought my beer, wanting to show Chris that I like beer now and that nothing happens when I drank it- he wouldn't believe me until he saw it for himself. Still being very tense (and a lot quieter than I am because I was so nervous), drinking my beer and just starting on my second burrito- I did something that would only happen to me- I burped. I'm not talking about a cute little burp. No, I'm talking about a belch that comes only from the soul, with a little help from delicious, carbonated beer. I swear to god the ground shook and it was so long and drawn out that it sounded like it came from a man twice my age that has a neck tattoo and crushes a case of beer a night no problem. There was a brief pause before I said softly, "I'm sorry, I don't drink beer..." (I was beat red and wanted to die right there, I was considering just walking right out the door from embarrassment). But to my complete surprise, Chris' dad burst out laughing. He was laughing so hard and was smiling ( it even looked like some burrito came out of his nose) that everyone else joined in, and the laughter kept going for about two minutes. From that moment, I got approval from his family (and a high-five from his Dad) from just a beer. So yes, this beer is extremely important to me and possibly shaped my future for the better.

Rising Tide has a special place in my heart for two reasons. It was the place that opened the door to the beer drinking world for me that I had long thought was permanently shut. And it allowed me to be included in a new family- because of a beer??!! Even if this brewery didn't have any personal significance to me - the beer, the environment, and entertainment are all reasons enough to love it. If you are a person that loves different styled beers, quirky and interesting food trucks, live local bands with a laid-back environment. Then make Rising Tide your first stop in Portland, Maine, I guarantee you'll be there for hours without even realizing it.




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