A Guide to Maine Beer – Part 2 (Bar Harbor Brewing Company)

After four nights camping in Acadia, we upgraded our accommodations and checked into the Bar Harbor Inn. Our location could not have been better — steps away from downtown Bar Harbor and the Bar Harbor Brewing Company.

We were in town for three days and stopped at the tasting room all three days. Sure, there were complimentary tastings, but the main reason we kept stopping in was to taste all three brews in the Manly Men Beer Club series (they offered a different Manly Men sample each day).

But more on those crazy, limited release brews in a moment…we certainly enjoyed the samples of Bar Harbor’s regular offerings:

  • Thunder Hole Ale, an excellent sessionable Brown Ale
  • Cadillac Mountain Stout, a full-bodied smooth Stout
  • Harbor Lighthouse Ale, an English Mild Ale with flavor
  • True Blue Ale, a crisp Blueberry Wheat Ale with a wonderful blueberry aroma but subtle blueberry flavor

A true love for brewing is evident in these high-quality, well-made beers.

The same can be said of the Manly Men Beer Club series. You’d have to love brewing to try making some of these innovative styles:

  • A Smoked Barleywine Ale called Sea Smoke (7.7%)
  • A Wheat Barleywine Ale called El Hefe (9.0% ABV)
  • A Strong Ale brewed with molasses and ginger called Blackstrapped Molasses (7.6% ABV)

These beers are definitely made for sipping! I appreciated the effort and creativity that went into these three beers but I only bought one for the trip home: the Sea Smoke. If you’ve read about my bacon and beer experience, you know I’m a huge fan of smoked beer.  Sea Smoke doesn’t disappoint as a smoked beer – it has a nice smokey aroma and flavor. The back label of the 22 oz. bomber calls this “a quirky, yet sophisticated beer.” All of the Manly Men Beer Club brews are just a little over the top, but you’ve got to love the obvious enthusiasm that went into making these beers. I’m cellering the bottle of Sea Smoke I brought home and will share some more thoughts when the time comes to drink it. Tomorrow, maybe?

The Bar Harbor Brewing Company used to be independent, but the brand is now owned by another Mount Desert Island-based brewery, Atlantic Brewing Company, which will be the focus of Part 3 of A Guide to Maine Beer.

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