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9 Things You Should Know About Maine Beer Company

On a 2006 hike in Everglades National Park, beer lover David Kleban shared his idea of starting a brewery with his dad, who jokingly responded that David would drink all of his own profits.

“I then figured that if I made enough beer, that problem could be solved,” David says. While David had brewing on the brain, his brother Daniel Kleban was studying to be a lawyer. But during an internship one summer, a partner at the law firm gave the interns a lesson in beer and brewing, and Daniel was hooked, too.

The pair started experimenting with home brewing and eventually decided to take the gig full-time, officially launching Maine Beer Company in 2009. Since then, the Freeport-based brand has expanded several times, going from a small shop to a one-room tasting room in 2013, and finally expanding to a much larger brewery that can accommodate about 450 guests indoors with a barn, patio, and pizza oven in 2019. Over the years, fans have fallen in love with the brewery’s pale ales and IPAs that are brimming with character and complexity, as well as the company’s clear dedication to the environment.

Today, walking down the aisle of any East Coast craft beer store, you’ll likely spot Maine Beer Co.’s tall glass bottles with sleek white labels among the colorful cans. Now that you know the basics, here are nine more things you need to know about Maine Bee Co.

Maine Beer Co. started by perfecting one beer.

When David and Daniel jumped into the beer business, their plan was to make one beer exceptionally well. If people liked it, then they would make more, but if no one drank it, they would go back to their day jobs. They worked on a single recipe in a one-barrel system constantly until it was just right. Eventually, the brothers landed on a beer they both enjoyed, and launched the brand with the Peeper Pale Ale (then called Spring Peeper). The bright, citrusy, stone fruit-forward beer was a hit, and is still available in their lineup.

Its original sales strategy was unconventional.

When they finally had their first beer bottled and ready for sale, David and Daniel didn’t go the traditional sales route. Instead, they went door-to-door in Portland — often with David’s daughter Zoe — selling individual 500-milliliter bottles out of a small cooler. The craft beer market wasn’t where it is today in Maine or the U.S. at large, and the brothers set out to make a new market for their small-scale brews.

Its popular Lunch brew isn’t actually named after a midday meal.

Today, Maine Beer Co. has a vast range of beers, but its most renowned brew is its flagship IPA Lunch. Though the idea of drinking an IPA for lunch is charming, there’s a different meaning behind the label. Lunch is actually the name of a beloved finback whale that’s been spotted off the coast of Maine for decades, as early as 1982. Her dorsal fin looks like it has a bite taken out of it, and was the inspiration for her meal-themed name. Locals immediately recognize her distinctive look, which is covertly portrayed on the beer’s label. Maine Beer Co. dedicated this beer to her persistence and determination.

But its Dinner and Second Dinner beers might actually be named after meals.

Following the popularity of its premiere IPA, Maine Beer Co. debuted a double IPA called Dinner. Made with seven pounds of hops per barrel and measuring in at 8.2 percent ABV, this beer is definitely heavy enough to live up to its name. The brewery has since released a double IPA called Second Dinner. The brand is also hinting at a new release, with its most recent Instagram post incorporating some pretty suggestive audio. The new addition to their lineup will launch on April 6.

Maine Beer Co.’s motto is “do what’s right.”

From its inception, Maine Beer Co. has been dedicated to doing good for the community and the Earth through good beer. It has been a contributor to the 1% For The Planet organization since its founding in 2009, donating 1 percent of its gross annual sales to environmental nonprofits. To this day, the company has given over $3 million to nonprofits across six categories: animal protection, climate action, community support, equity and inclusion, land preservation, and outdoor access.

Some of its beers are even named for their environmental efforts.

Take a deeper look behind the brand’s beer names and you’ll find out more about its partnerships with wildlife and sustainability organizations. The Woods & Water IPA was brewed to commemorate the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument and incorporates Maine-grown barley and wheat. The Prince Percy pilsner is named after Percy the spotted turtle, which serves as one of the Center for Wildlife’s animal ambassadors and a reminder of the importance of preserving wetlands. Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment nature and research center was the inspiration behind the Wolfe’s Neck IPA; Its work focuses on implementing regenerative agriculture to help create healthy ecosystems through farming.

Maine Beer Co. started a new program to help inspire creative brews.

The Black Barn Program is named after the rustic black barn facade of the entrance to Maine Beer Co.’s new tasting room. It’s a pilot program that was designed to incite experimentation in the brewery and challenge the team to work with new ingredients and processes. These batches are only available in the tasting room, but stand-out beers from the program can make their way into the regular lineup if they impress. The current release is experimental batch No. 45, an English brown ale.

Its tasting room is a destination for wood-fired pizza.

What’s better than pizza and a cold beer? At Maine Beer Co.’s expansive tasting room, visitors can enjoy a lineup of the beers on tap alongside sandwiches, salads, and pizzas, which are made in a specialty Maine Wood Heat oven. The company even makes its own pizza dough in-house — enough for over 100,000 pizzas a year, according to the brand. Of course, the pizza toppings feature local ingredients, including meats from Wolfe’s Neck farm.

The tasting room also hosts trivia nights, comedy shows, and events for local charities. One upcoming offering: an Owl Prowl with the Center for Wildlife, which includes an educational meet-and-greet and a trip to the nearby trails to go owl watching.

Your dog can even be a fan of Maine Beer Co.

Maine Beer Co. has some pretty stellar merch. Beyond the typical glassware and T-shirts, the brand offers several accessories for your furry friends. If you want your dog to join in on the Maine Beer Co. hype train, it can enjoy a Lunch IPA dog toy, or even eat its dinner out of a Dinner double IPA dog bowl.

The article 9 Things You Should Know About Maine Beer Company appeared first on VinePair.

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