Barreled Souls Brewing Company

Barreled Souls Brewing CompanyBarreled Souls Brewing Company
Barreled Souls Brewing CompanyBarreled Souls Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

743 Portland Rd
Saco, Maine, 04072-9005
United States

(207) 602-6439 | map
View: Beers | Place Reviews
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Rated: 4.25 by Patches826 from Massachusetts

Dec 07, 2023
Rated: 4.31 by not2quick from Missouri

Oct 21, 2023
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Reviewed by smcolw from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75
Located on Route 1 in southern Maine, this is a tiny place and easy to miss. The actual brewery is located on the back side of a house-like building. It's a small place with plenty of seats and a small two-register formica bar. On the day we visited, there were 23 beers on tap. Every one of them were different in terms of unusual nuanced flavors.

I was told this place "makes the beers they like to drink." The brewer has a strong preference for Sours, Goses, and Stouts. There were also three different IPAs. I am not a fan of Sours, but these were made without the extreme lip-puckering tartness that so many other Sour makers are inclined to do. The additional flavorings are all over the map.

Even though it is counter service, the bartenders were knowledgable and helpful. What amazed me the most, beyond the variety, was the number of beers on tap for such a small place...and none of them ever tapped out while we were visiting. They keep their website up-to-date on all of their offerings.

There is a permanent food truck located just outside of the entrance. This also brought unusual twists to food truck offerings. Our group tried more than half of their offerings and all of them were considered better than expected.

Simply put, this place is well worth a side trip for beer lovers.
Sep 24, 2023
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Reviewed by papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75
Visited the brewery on Friday 06/23/23 and then again on Saturday afternoon 06/24/23. Located around the side in the basement of an older colonial house under a lawyer’s office - a little challenge to find on busy Route 1 if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Weather was cold and wet during both visits so we didn’t use or pay much attention to the outside area or food truck. Inside was dark and cozy, liberally strewn with old barrels and games and minimal comfortable seating including a couple of shuffleboard tables and large booths, one of which easily accommodated our party of 6. Whether owing to the weather or whatever, there weren’t many other patrons (they sure weren’t at the beach). Taplist was extensive, consisting principally of high abv barreled darks and a wide assortment of pastry, barreled and gose sours, as well as a token pilsner, kolsch, an APA and a NEIPA to satisfy the lagerheads and hazebois. Also a roughly equal number of can and bottle pours and a fridge full of cans and bottles to go. Between what we drank on site and what I purchased for take-away, Barreled Souls was probably the most expensive stop of our week and a half at the coast, even considering that we didn’t have any food there - which speaks to both the excellence of the beer and how much it cost. Bottom line: quirky vibe, outstanding quality, service was at least adequate if maybe a little douchey, the selection of unusual, high quality, high abv and high priced beers was exceptional, weather was shitty.
Jul 04, 2023
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25
in the basement of a large old residential building. small bar to order your drinks, then some seating in the basement plus some outside in an outdoor beer garden area. taplist was a mix of trendy IPA styles and then strong barrel aged stuff. I tried a barleywine and an imperial stout that were both good, and took home a few bottles.
Sep 30, 2022
Rated: 4.87 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts

Jul 22, 2022
Rated: 4.69 by Mikexw from New York

Jul 17, 2022
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Reviewed by LeRose from Massachusetts

4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25
We stop in to this interesting, quirky spot every chance we get. They always have a wide array of what they do available on tap - and what they do isn't for everyone. This is not your typical ten IPA house - they feature what they do well. Big, boozy, barrel-aged beers. They have recently added some good fruited beers to the lineup and some of them are very nicely done, some are take it or leave it. No truly traditional styles, this place marches to their own beat. So if IPAs and traditional beers are your jam, this is a place you can skip. Otherwise, keep an open mind and don't miss it.

Somehow it reminds me of a speakeasy - low ceilings, on the dark side, underground. I half expect someone to ask for a password at the door (and ironically it is under a lawyer's office...) and a jazz trio playing fronted by a sultry singer. There is outside seating available when the weather suits. The only thing is - it is a cave and it's loud and echoes a lot, but it usually is not packed full of people so it evens out a bit. I've seen dogs there outside where there is a seating area (unheated) and some open space behind the parking area that is pretty much the property yard. I have seen a few kids playing with the games but I would not really call this a kid-friendly environment (plus it is an easy place to overindulge pretty quickly given the ABV of many of their offerings). Outside you could probably make it work. But for the grown ups, it's a pretty cool vibe overall.

We've had some tremendous beers there, and a couple that have not lived up to that lofty pre-expectation. They have a sweet spot where they shine and some (not all) of the excursions into other areas just aren't as dialed in. What we have consistently experienced is excellent and knowledgeable service even when relatively busy - the tap list can be daunting and for us the available guidance is welcome. Also, the people have gone out of their way to find bottles (more recently cans) for us when we've done the to go thing. They do distribute some - we've found the fruited items fairly easily while in Maine and as far south as our Southeastern MA homeland on occasion.

I'd call this a must stop if you are looking for something slightly different than the typical.
May 03, 2022
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Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

4.63/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5
Barreled Souls has perhaps the most character of any brewery I've ever visited. It sits in the basement of a large old home (the 1st floor of which is a law office). Barrels are absolutely everywhere, both inside and out. You might say it's a theme. Lots of bars and breweries decorate their walls with used beer bottles and cans, but Barreled Souls has one of the largest - and geekiest - collections I've ever seen.

Seating is limited inside, with room for perhaps a couple dozen, with no real at-the-bar seating. There is very limited outdoor seating, but I didn't notice any heat, so that's not going to be super helpful half of the year in Maine. A handful of table games and some cards are there to keep you busy, if that's your thing.

The only detraction is the noise: between the size and the material, sound carries throughout. If you're the quiet type (we are), I recommend headphones if you want to drink in peace. Nevertheless, the overall charm of the place more than compensated for the noisy interior.

What about the beer? Glad you asked!

When Barreled Souls opened, their shtick was that all of their beer would be barrel aged - of a sorts. Their website still claims that all of their beer undergoes primary fermentation in oak barrels (a la Burton Union). If this is still accurate, that would include their range of hazy IPAs and candy sours. I'm not sure if I taste that coming through as much as I would in, say, an English or EC IPA, or a lager (or, for that matter, if it's still true). They do age a number of their big beers in a variety of spirits, though, so many of their beers certainly spend significant time in oak, regardless.

Wait, that was less about beer, and more about the brewery again. Back on track.

Barreled Souls is best known for their spirits barrel-aged stouts and barleywines, often with various additives such as vanilla, chocolate, and marshmallow. They're know for them for a reason: they're unbelievably good. I would put them up there with Angry Chair and Bottle Logic in the pastry stout game.

They do a variety of candy-inspired (and candy-added) sours, as well. Whether or not that's your thing is a matter of personal preference, but what I can say is: they embody truth in advertising. Their Skittles beer smells and tastes like a handful of Skittles.

Finally, they have a small output of hazy IPAs of varying quality. I can't say that I've been particularly impressed by those so far.

That's what really drives the Quality and Selection ratings down (to a still sky-high 4.5). No lagers, no traditional beers at all really, very few non-gimmicky/non-fruited sours, not much in the way of an IPA lineup. If you're picking up some Barreled Souls (or headed to the brewery itself), you're really in the market for either their huge stouts/barleywines, or their fruited candy sours. This is not a destination where everyone can find a beer they like; you need to make sure the menu fits your palate first.

On the plus side, despite the limited variety of styles, within those styles they offer quite a bit on tap - nearly two dozen. As an example of what I am talking about with the limited selection, as of this writing, 16 of their 20 taps are for stouts, barleywines, or fruited sours (even their Leipziger Gose has lemon zest and is called a fruited sour on their own website).

Overall, this is a brewery that does what they do better than just about anyone else in the country. Moreover, it's a destination oozing with charm. This is a must-visit if you're in South Maine - unless you only like lagers and IPAs.
Nov 21, 2021
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Reviewed by WillieThreebiers from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Interesting basement brewery tucked away in the backyard. Entry through what was mostly likely the garage, timber framed, like being in a old wine cellar. Small bar around to the right and some barrel chairs about the room. Also had backyard set up with barrel chairs and table, nice on a warm day. About 20 beers on tap, I had the Continuum which was excellent.
Jun 06, 2021
Rated: 4.58 by Griffith from Connecticut

Nov 01, 2020
Rated: 4.83 by Zekenyce from New Jersey

Sep 12, 2020
Rated: 4.75 by atlbravsrno1 from Maine

Aug 02, 2020
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Reviewed by matts2896 from Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75
Low lighting, low ceilings, lots of wood--slatted and ditressed--and walls lined with hundreds of bottles. Seats made of whiskey barrels, a shuffleboard table, and an inconspicuous bar in the darkest corner of the space. A cozy, intimate cave of timeless Western appeal. The space is quite beautiful

I have never seen a brewery with so many draft selections, BS seems to do a bunch of different BA beers with different treatments and it makes for ridiculous draft variety

Side note: it never seems packed, but it would lose much of its charm if it were
Mar 08, 2020
Rated: 4.14 by grahuba from Connecticut

Feb 18, 2019
Rated: 4.43 by MAbrew88 from Massachusetts

Feb 03, 2019
Rated: 4.58 by Igknighted from Massachusetts

Oct 23, 2018
Rated: 4.09 by SirCharlesPorter from Massachusetts

Oct 17, 2018
Rated: 4.36 by gtrempe84 from Maine

Aug 11, 2018
Rated: 4.01 by ScaryEd from New Hampshire

Jun 27, 2018
Rated: 5 by Rift485 from Massachusetts

Jun 05, 2018
Rated: 4.03 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Feb 14, 2018
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Reviewed by jhavs from New York

4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5
Fun place, interesting brews, really special if you like Barreled Aged big beers.

Lots of space outdoors in nice weather, corn hole, chairs, rails to lean on.

Inside it is clean, lots of seating made out of barrels, rustic, small bar with stools.

Tons of variety including big BA brews, IPA, sours. Multi size pours makes it easy to try a bunch of stuff.

Lots of swag, growlers and they had bottles available to go when I was there. The bottles were hand numbered.
Oct 05, 2017
Rated: 4.59 by Shaun_S from Maine

Oct 01, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by Eddiehop from Texas

Sep 20, 2017
Rated: 4.49 by festizio from California

Aug 13, 2017
Rated: 4.67 by Buddance from Massachusetts

Jul 28, 2017
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Reviewed by smanson56 from New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
Stopped by over the weekend for the Deep Space release. Great space and great service to go with the great beers. Plan to start making the trip on a regular basis.
Feb 20, 2017
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Reviewed by GDrew93 from Maine

5/5  rDev +12.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
This barrel themed brewery is absolutely top notch. All beer is fermented in oak barrels!! Most of which is then aged in bourbon (or other spirits) barrels. It has a speakeasy basement vibe. And the service from the bartenders is second to none. Bring your own food and play some games (corn hole, shuffle board, cribbage etc) and drink the best beer Maine has to offer here!
Feb 07, 2017
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Reviewed by Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5
Just a really really funky and fun place to go. You have outside or inside the "dungeon" to taste your brews. Fun beer list and one of the owners told me that they like variety and brew accordingly. some of their standbys are on tap more often. My beer trail was rewarded with a really enjoyable place to try brews.
Jan 24, 2017
Rated: 4.54 by coombski from Maine

Oct 22, 2016
Rated: 5 by cookawolf from New York

Aug 02, 2016
Rated: 4.41 by Devillpj from Virginia

Jul 25, 2016
Rated: 4.64 by hockeypuck from Maine

Jul 13, 2016
Rated: 4.43 by Budlum from Maryland

Jul 03, 2016
Rated: 3.77 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Jul 02, 2016
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Rated by NYR-Zuuuuc from Connecticut

4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25
Went late on a Thursday, very local crowd. Cool place. Loved the shuffleboard tables. Had TV showing the game which is rare. Would go back for sure.
May 01, 2016
Rated: 4.68 by schroeder1200 from New Jersey

Mar 28, 2016
Rated: 4.74 by dental from Massachusetts

Mar 17, 2016
Rated: 4.54 by rjp217 from Massachusetts

Feb 21, 2016
Barreled Souls Brewing Company in Saco, ME
Brewery rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 1436 ratings