Please excuse any typos and attribute them to the beer flight and draft I consumed in celebration of my mother’s birthday at Richmond Farm & Brewery, the almost six month old enterprise of Milissa and Eric Smith, classmates of mine from Bangor Area Senior High School in the grunge era.
I am experiencing a tad bit of melancholy as our bestest FURR foster kittens — Em(inem) and (Slim) Shady, moved into a habitat at Petsmart on Rte 248. If all goes well, someone will fall in love with them and we will never see them again.
So after much organizing of the up-and-coming nonfiction identity-themed anthology for Parisian Phoenix Publishing, I was very much anticipating our visit to the brewery.
This was their first weekend indoors. The bar and the tap system are not even installed yet, but the decor and ambiance are perfect. You don’t even notice it’s unfinished.
And frankly, with so much economic uncertainty in the world right now, it’s nice to see business owners moving through the stumbling blocks but still operating.
You can’t recoup time and money invested waiting for everything to magically fall into place.
The renovation of this old barn— well, for this Slate Belt girl it didn’t feel “barny” enough for me. But it all seriousness, it was roomy and gorgeous, rustic but classy. Homey. Warm.
At this time, you order food at one register and beverages at the next. Simple. Expedient.
Milissa greeted us. I had warned her we were coming. I introduced my family and she was kind enough to ask me about my book and congratulate me on it. And she bought a copy for her daughter.
It was heartening to hear that many Bangor classmates are surprising Milissa and Eric by stopping by. Milissa is trying to collect photos of everyone. I tried to impress upon the teenager, since she is a high school senior with a class the size of mine back in the day, that someday she may be surprising her classmates.
In the end, I think Richmond Farm & Brewery did all the necessary impressing.
The food— a small, carefully curated menu— exceeded my expectations. And even though the choices were minimal, I still had trouble deciding and wanted to eat it all.
And I purchased a maple vanilla Porter draft for myself and a flight of six beers for mom and I to try.
Immediately I noticed that the maple vanilla Porter had overwhelming notes of blackstrap molasses. A very different taste than I am accustomed to in my porters, but one I grew to like as I enjoyed my burger with its bacon bourbon jam.
And the flight?
Not a “bad beer” on it.
My flight included:
- The Mosaic Masterpiece, aptly named, as it was my favorite. I did not read any of the descriptions before trying, but I warned the staff I wasn’t a fan of IPAs and gravitated to the porters and stouts. Many of their beers were not available, but the Mosaic IPA was my top beer of the night and very fruity in the finish.
- The Diehly, surprisingly basic but easy to drink. The description refers to it as vibrant and full of unique hops.
- The Richmond Pale Ale, my notes referred to it as light on the palate.
- The Maple Vanilla Porter, which I arrogantly thought would be my favorite, had strong notes of blackstrap molasses.
- Smitty’s Blonde Ale, I found mild but pleasant. Definitely a summery beer.
- Extra Pale Zonkey Ale, the web site describes this one as the easiest beer to drink ever. And it is so simple and smooth, it’s very refreshing.
I was disappointed not to try the stranger brews— the shredded wheat ale, the cranberry ale or the gingerbread brown ale brewed with spiced gum drops. Or their cow tail brown ale with chocolate, caramel & coffee notes. Or their more traditional Potbelly Porter.
But, I am so so glad I was forced to try beers I wouldn’t normally pick. I enjoyed all of them, and most of them I wouldn’t have chosen under normal circumstances.
Just another example of how being pushed outside of your comfort zone is good.