Bissell Brothers

Discussion in 'New England' started by OnlyTheFinest, May 21, 2016.

  1. Hammerhead79

    Hammerhead79 Disciple (313) Dec 4, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    With the Summer Session Fest today cans very likely will be snatched up. I don't think they allocate The Substance for Sunday sales. I highly recommend stopping in for draft though, its a great place.
     
  2. Majikow

    Majikow Aspirant (282) Nov 21, 2015 California
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Thanks. We're going to be getting into town late on Sept 10th. Sounds like I might need to see if I can set up a local trade for some SoCal stuff.
     
  3. CamD

    CamD Initiate (114) May 5, 2013 Spain

    Going to be passing through Portland on a Saturday in August and would love to pick up a case (between the 3 of us...) as we did last summer at the old location. Last summer we arrived in line around 11:15 and it was just fine, got Substance and Lux and were out by 12:15 or so. Is the timing/line similar at the new location? Too early to tell? Thanks!
     
  4. RandyDubyah

    RandyDubyah Initiate (0) Jul 24, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Saturdays are the busiest days there, but it also depends on the release. When they release doubles or special beers on Saturdays it can be tough to get in before they sell out even. 1-2 hours is how long Substance has been lasting even on the week days I think. I was there this past Friday for the Nothing Gold release. I arrived at 10:30AM and there were probably about 50 people in front of me. Line was very long stretched down the street when I left around 12:25 with my cans. Love the new venue though, so even if you miss out on cans, time in the taproom is well spent with 8-9 beers on.
     
  5. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (206) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I would think you may be in better shape by early September as some of the summer crowd will be gone and they'll have been open a little longer to smooth out the kinks. I would just check in with this thread periodically to see how things change
     
    Majikow likes this.
  6. Jbrews

    Jbrews Aspirant (288) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    So I have plans now for Saturday, my wife and I had tried to go there back when it closed in Portland. Bissell and Museum with my wife and baby girl. Wife is psyched too. Thank you for sharing this.
     
  7. WarbyJones

    WarbyJones Initiate (176) Jan 11, 2014 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Summer crowds are ridiculous. Things really clear up right after labor day. The only days you have to worry about crowds then are Swish days and Dinner releases.
     
    jhavs likes this.
  8. jhavs

    jhavs Meyvn (1,183) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Was there at about 2pm last Saturday (7/23) and was able to get 2 four packs (each) of Substance and Lux. Was not expecting any cans to be left but was happily surprised. Space is pretty nice. The music was super loud, which is ok, but strange for the middle of the day. The beer festival occurring simultaneously didn't seem to increase the crowd, plenty of seating and short line for pours. I like the area, hope a few more breweries move in. Miss being able to hit them all at the Industrial way location.

    Nothing Gold on tap was really good, I liked it a bit better than the cans I tried from the last 2 batches.
     
    BigStein88 likes this.
  9. Justin42

    Justin42 Aspirant (269) Apr 3, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Good info here, thanks to all. We're heading up to Bar Harbor from Boston on August 27 and are planning to stop for lunch in Portland (and pastries for the weekend at Standard Bakery!); sounds like we'll be able to grab some cans at Bissell.
     
  10. Jbrews

    Jbrews Aspirant (288) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    MY wife and I did the same thing a few years back on the way up. Perfect place to cut the trip. (Though we were coming from Portsmouth)
     
  11. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I'm heading up to Portland (staying at the Holiday Inn by the water) this Friday morning/early afternoon. Staying for three nights.

    If we can swing it, I was thinking of hitting up Bissell Brothers (I'll be with family, but it sounds like a cool all around spot) before we check in on Friday afternoon. Sounds like Saturday could be much busier, and cans may not be left on Sunday.

    My priority is simply to try some of their beers (I've had the Substance/Baby Genius a few years ago when I was there) and relax. I would like to pick up some cans for the room, but no big deal if I can't.

    Would the Friday plan be better? And if not/we can't make Friday, is Saturday or Sunday better? Food trucks I assume for some food too?

    Thanks!
     
  12. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (219) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I suspect Friday & Sunday might be the less crowded of the three days as they are dropping just The Substance in cans on Friday, nothing on Sunday. Saturday is likely to be the busiest day as they are dropping both Substance and Baby Genius.

    They've typically had 5-8 beers on tap in the tasting room so you will get a great selection regardless of which day you go and how determined you are to get cans.

    Keep an eye on their social media (Insta and Twitter, not FB) for updates on food trucks.
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  13. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (206) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Agree - Friday is your best bet. With Saturday comes the crowds, not just beer tourists but regular tourists as well. If you strike out (unlikely) hit me up, I have fresh Substance/Lux/Sip/Topper and can meet up in Portsmouth on Sunday if you're in a jam.
     
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  14. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    If you're referring to me, thanks! I'll be without a car (well my own car), but I'm sure I could borrow it if needed. ;)
     
    Seacoastbrewer likes this.
  15. jamis

    jamis Initiate (149) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I finally got to visit the new location last Friday for the Nothing Gold release. My biggest take aways (the wife agreed):

    1. The new tap room is fantastic/gorgeous!
    2. I miss the cans only line.

    The line seemed very slow, even with 4 POS stations. Pours + merch really slow things down.
     
    jimmyfausto likes this.
  16. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (206) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I have no inside connection so this is totally speculative but I would suspect that cash only lines come back for Swish releases.They make a big difference.
     
  17. trevorpost

    trevorpost Crusader (749) Aug 3, 2008 Massachusetts

    My buddy and I are going to be heading up this Friday as well, probably sometime around open. I've yet to be to the new location and never been early enough for cans. I understand the variability that would come with it being summer, but also it just being a Substance release day, so here's my (annoyingly repetitive) question:

    Is there any particular reason to get there to line up before open? I'd usually just show up at open, but the stories of slow moving lines have given me a bit of pause in that regard.
     
  18. Loanstarbeergeek89

    Loanstarbeergeek89 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    what does BB charge per 4 pack
     
  19. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (219) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Depends on the beer. I was there two weeks ago - Baby Genius was $12 per 4 pack, Substance was $13 if I recall correctly.
     
    Loanstarbeergeek89 likes this.
  20. Loanstarbeergeek89

    Loanstarbeergeek89 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    cool thank you
     
  21. Doctuh

    Doctuh Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2007 Maine

    You know, I picked up some Substance & Reciprocal today. Get that sour feel during the initial drink. You aren't crazy.
     
  22. jamis

    jamis Initiate (149) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Given the turn out for this, they really needed a can only line (even if it just branched off inside the tasting room as one of the 4 POS options). I wouldn't have complained about it being cash only either.

    We got there an hour before open and my estimate was that we were about 200 back in line (between the building and the side parking lot) with another 200+ behind us by the time the doors opened. At open, the line ran the entire length of the building, past the parking lot, and around the corner heading back up towards the train station.

    This seemed at least as busy (if not more) as the last Swish release (we were in the cash/can only line for that one).

    Nothing Gold was 17 per 4pack, Substance was 13.
     
  23. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (206) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    This is more of a rhetorical question, but it really seems like waiting in lines has become the norm for a lot of beers these days. At what point would you no longer wait for a beer release? Around here the longest I can think of are the Dinner releases with people waiting overnight. It was a similar situation back in the days of Kate the Great. I hear that's how it is for Pliny the Younger (or at least it used to be). Maybe this should be it's own thread.
     
  24. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (603) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I personally can't think of one time I've ever waited in a line for a beer release. I didn't wait in line for the Zwanze Day releases at Lord Hobo, but that had more to do with knowing they were already at capacity, and there was little chance I was going to get in (some did eventually I think, depending on the year).

    I also wouldn't say this is what it's like everywhere. Based on Bissell Brothers' ratings, they're on par, if not a bit "worse" than Nightshift here in MA. And I've never waited for their beers, their highest rated beer was released a couple weeks ago, and I walked right in and bought it. A lot of Trillium's beers are higher rated than either Bissell or Nightshift, and I walked right into the Boston location to purchase Galaxy Fort Point for example. I also tried Artaic/Dusk Trill Dawn on tap at Five Horses without any issue (that's different though, not a bottle release).

    I think there's a few releases that, for whatever reason, attract incredibly long lines. Dinner for example. When you can buy Heady Topper, Julius...etc. without huge lines and they have comparable ratings. Availability is likely the variable here, Dinner isn't around routinely.

    One of my buddies went to the Pliny the Younger release a few years ago. I don't think he waited overnight, just a few hours outside, then drank his fill when he got in. I could start a thread titled, "How long will you wait for a beer release".
     
  25. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (512) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    I refuse to wait in line and chase beer. Somehow I'm happy with the quality of beer I drink.
     
    JRGNYR and AlcahueteJ like this.
  26. jamis

    jamis Initiate (149) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    For some breweries/releases, I am willing to wait a couple of hours, though it usually has to be convenient or combined with other plans to really make it worth while. In this case. my wife and I were on our way up through Portland anyway, so it worked out.

    That said, anything the breweries can do to make the lines/check-out process more efficient can only be seen as a good thing.
     
  27. WarbyJones

    WarbyJones Initiate (176) Jan 11, 2014 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Cash only, exact change. Problem solved. You can pump through hundreds of people in 30 minutes
     
    mfurlone likes this.
  28. LukieBL

    LukieBL Initiate (166) Jun 10, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Wow didn't know BB lines were like this. I've been to both the old Industrial Way spot and just last week to Thompsons Point, both visits no line to speak of.

    I like their beer, but there is no way I am waiting upwards of 2 hours for Substance. Maybe this is due to it being one Maines only 16 oz canned IPAs that gets as much buzz as it does.
     
  29. jamis

    jamis Initiate (149) Nov 30, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Only some releases are like this with Bissell Brothers. Swish, Nothing Gold, and Reciprocal seem to bring out some lines, especially on Friday/Saturdays in the summer. I believe it's usually pretty mellow the rest of the time.
     
  30. WarbyJones

    WarbyJones Initiate (176) Jan 11, 2014 Maine
    Beer Trader

    You have a couple things going on with Bissell:

    1. Its summer, so between memorial day and labor day there are a ton of tourists. Outside of this window, we are dead.
    2. Day of the week - Bissell is easy peasy Wednesday-Friday. It's Saturday that's usually the busiest day (and lines are only a concern if you are looking for Substance as its allocated for the entire week rather than a single day)
    3. What's getting released and what else is going on around Portland matters. If there's a beer fest, the line is longer. If dinner is release, the line is longer.
    4. Some of their beers do see limited distro in Maine.

    Bottom line: don't let the long lines deter you, you don't have to wait as there are plenty of ways to get their beers without waiting in line for 2 hours. Also as an alternative, Foundation Epiphany is criminally underrated.
     
  31. Loanstarbeergeek89

    Loanstarbeergeek89 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Personally, I don't mind waiting in line for a couple hours as long as I'm in good company and have a beer in my hand. Line shares are always pretty fun as long as everyone is civilized and not acting like an idiot with no respect to the establishment
     
  32. LukieBL

    LukieBL Initiate (166) Jun 10, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader


    Care to share where in the northeast you can line-share (brewery approved)? I don't see this happening at any brewery I frequent that has lines (TH, Tril, BB, HF...)

    In theory, it's nice but it's not happening anywhere here and if it is, the brewery certainly isn't supporting it
     
  33. Loanstarbeergeek89

    Loanstarbeergeek89 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2016 Maine
    Beer Trader

    I was speaking from my experience in the south, it wasn't allowed but they didn't mind as long as we were respectful. Also have been to one Other Half release, they didn't seem to mind that much
     
  34. WarbyJones

    WarbyJones Initiate (176) Jan 11, 2014 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Maine Beer Company Dinner releases is the only one I know of that they look the other way on this for now.
     
  35. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (206) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I would think there are liability concerns. If someone gets hurt it's the brewery's problem.
     
  36. WarbyJones

    WarbyJones Initiate (176) Jan 11, 2014 Maine
    Beer Trader

    I totally agree, I'm surprise that they don't discourage it at all. Though, they are only one trainwreck away from cracking down.
     
  37. JRGNYR

    JRGNYR Initiate (138) Sep 16, 2010 New Jersey

    Will be in Maine starting next week for 7 days and looking forward to getting to Bissell maybe twice on days other than Friday and Saturday. Definitely excited to check out the new digs. The info in this thread is great.
     
  38. NickBourne

    NickBourne Initiate (179) Jul 9, 2014 New York
    Beer Trader

    What stores in Portland get cans? I'm staying in the downtown area and was hoping to snag a couple.

    Also anyone know what fruit seed is this year? I know last year it was strawberry, wasn't sure if it changed.
     
  39. jhavs

    jhavs Meyvn (1,183) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Bier Celler is the only store, I think. They post it on their website.
     
    NickBourne likes this.
  40. eb1610

    eb1610 Disciple (321) Jan 3, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Your best bet for cans would be at the brewery. They have a decent amount everyday they're open. And jhavs is correct, Bier Cellar would be the store to got for cans
     
    NickBourne and jhavs like this.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More