Maine has hundreds of local breweries, and even more when including nano breweries. However, on a day where the weather is nice and no one wants to drive (no designated driver) Bear Bones in downtown Lewiston is a great brewery to try for those of us twenty one plus.
The walk from the Bates campus goes by in a flash, especially on the way home with a belly full of beer. It is located right next to Orchid, which is a fun place to go to dinner before stopping in to Bear Bones for a pint, or two or three.
Bear Bones is an independent local nano brewery on Lisbon street downtown. One of their focuses for their business is to source ingredients locally and to brew sustainable, high-quality craft beer. This is a common trend for new breweries, especially here in Lewiston.
Every brewery needs their own thing, a niche where they can stand out. For Bear Bones, their hook is that they brew everything right in their backroom. Located close to the bathroom, this brew room is easily visible to any patron who needs to relieve themselves; anyone can take a self-guided tour through the oak barrels.
The vibe of the space is local, hipster, and close-knit. There is a dart board and some other fun games to play while sipping some brews. Their beers include both nitro brews and the classic CO2 brews as well, which is how the majority of the beers found off college campuses are brewed.
We took the trip down to Bear Bones this past Saturday evening to listen to some fellow Batesies perform some nice mellow music. The mood was relaxed and the drinks were flowing. The ambiance was happy and calm. I was playing darts in the corner while sipping my stout and listening to the beautiful talented voices of Alisa Amador ’18 and Nate D’Angelo sing.
I got a pint of Picea which is their seasonal winter dry stout brew. It was a source of inner warmth on a cold night. It was dark, very full in fragrance, and strong-bodied stout that hit the spot after a nice dinner out with friends.
All of their brews stray from the traditional IPA or stouts. They are very unique, and differ in taste. It’s either a “love” reaction or a “distaste” reaction. When I tried the Old Smokey beer, the bartender warned me of the love vs. hate preference. It is a pale ale that tastes like the BBQ rub that goes on a nice burger got dumped into the beer barrel when it shouldn’t have. I clearly was of the distaste school, however the pal I was with when we were tasting loved the brew. Like the bartender warned us, it is a hit or miss brew.
The Old Smokey and the Double C.R.E.A.M. brews are their more popular. The latter was more up my ally. This brew was inspired by the traditional Bourbon taste and is brewed in a similar style. The final taste is oakey and strong – very different from traditional ales. It was an initial surprise to my tastebuds but a very enjoyable drink none the less.
The overall Bear Bones experience is a fun atmosphere for any off-campus excursion. The drinks are unique and the space is relaxed and fun. I definitely recommend that any 21+ Bobcats who are looking to get off campus but not venture far from campus: visit Bear Bones to have some fun and drink Maine brews created right here in Lewiston!