Infiniti Fermentation & Distillation (Portland)

Discussion in 'New England' started by mixylplik3, Aug 6, 2012.

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  1. mixylplik3

    mixylplik3 Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2007 Maine

  2. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (249) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    Hmm, gotta see what that's all about next trip over!
  3. mixylplik3

    mixylplik3 Initiate (0) Feb 21, 2007 Maine

  4. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (249) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    Portland has so many great places to eat good food and drink good beers with - and the prices (compared to my local greater Burlington area) seemed quite reasonable. Every time I see something new opening (and Eric's new place on the waterfront sure is cool looking!) I start re-doing my bucket-list of places to check out next trip over. Maybe Portland (ME) is becoming the beer-tourism version of its western sister Portland, OR. The Beer Week event last month was an amazing selection of multiple events every night for 10 days - pretty ambitious but seemed to work well on very many levels. Kinda envious we haven't pulled one off around here yet.
  5. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (545) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Yes, VT has the highest number of breweries per capita but ME is giving us a run for our money in quality and quantity. That doesn't bother me; it's not far to Maine...
    soulkeeper1369 and franklinn like this.
  6. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (249) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    Has turned out to be the "best of both worlds" scenario for me, no lie.
  7. brewandbbq

    brewandbbq Poo-Bah (3,319) Apr 24, 2003 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    ..Note the last name of the owner of Little Tap house..There "could" be some very interesting selections on tap there once they get up and running :slight_smile:
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  8. Rochefort10nh

    Rochefort10nh Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2005 New Hampshire

    I'm all over this Jeff!
  9. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    As far as I'm concerned, Portland is the beer capital of New England. It has far more breweries (10, I believe) within its small city limits than any other city in New England (followed by Portsmouth, Burlington and Boston, which all have about 5 breweries). It also has an incredible collection of excellent bars spread across town and encompassing very different vibes and focuses, from Novare Res to the Great Lost Bear to Mama's Crowbar. Then, it has tons of killer restaurants with very good beer lists.

    What it lacks is a top-notch brewpub. For such a city so in love with craft beer, this has always baffled me. I could see something like the Portsmouth Brewery or CBC doing very well somewhere in the city. Now, Portland has Gritty's, which has its place but whose beer is nowhere near the quality of those other brewpubs and it has a very touristy atmosphere much of the time. And much as I enjoy Sebago, their "brewpub" is really a restaurant affiliated with the Gorham brewery. So I'm very excited to hear that Portland will have a true brewpub, where the focus will be on the beer as much as on anything else, very soon. Unfortunately, it will have one of the worst brewpub names I've ever heard of, but as long as the beer is good, no matter.

    The Little Tap House is also exciting, because it's an example of another beer bar not in a downtown but in a neighborhood. Portland is the only city outside of Boston/Cambridge/Brookline that seems to have good beer bars spread throughout the city.
  10. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    Word is opening is soon - no firm date, but soon.
  11. brewandbbq

    brewandbbq Poo-Bah (3,319) Apr 24, 2003 New Hampshire
    Society Trader

    Little Tap house is getting close..Hopefully a week or two at this point..
  12. Auror

    Auror Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    So both up and running and with the kinks worked out by the time the Festival happens?
  13. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Initiate (182) Jul 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    I was in Novare Res a couple of weeks ago and talking to the bartenders about this place. One of them was helping with the brewing. He said they had been doing pilots on 6 to 7 beers for a while and feel comfortable with the recipes. The brewing equipment they got was an interesting story. Apparently it is state of the art stuff they purchased from a defunct brewery in Japan with all the instructions in Japanese. However, it was manufactured in Germany. So basically they have great equipment that they are having some challenges figuring out how to set-up and use. The same guy also mentioned that Todd Mott came up to help them work out some of the kinks. Take this all with a grain of salt....I was many beers deep when the information came in.

    I would expect great things from the same people that own and operate Novare Res. They are dedicated to the craft and focus on the details. Plus who else is doing a brew pub on the water with a distillery to boot.
    LostTraveler likes this.
  14. jakeaustin

    jakeaustin Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2007 Maine

    I'm with Frankloydmike. Portland has needed a proper brewpub for a long time. Sebago is a good place but we need a place that focuses more on one off and seasonal type beers. I don't mind travelling for good beer but it would be great to have a Portsmouth brewery/CBC caliber place in Portland. I think that Infiniti can be that place.
    Tidesox28, franklinn and LostTraveler like this.
  15. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    Agreed. Plus Portland has also sorely needed a place on the water that serves more then Bud Light and Shipyard. With the exception of Flatbread (which is really more of a restaurant then a place to grab a few beers) and the random tap of Allagash Black at Portland Lobster Company (which gets served in a platic keg cup) there are really no places to sit on the water and enjoy a quality beer. Hoping there aren't too many delays in opening and it is ready and serving beer by late May/June before the bulk of the tourists arrive.
    ElGallo and FrankLloydMike like this.
  16. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    I'm sure it will be. The place is done and awaiting inspections. The distillery, brewery, and key staff have been in place since last year. I'm guessing opening this month.
  17. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    Portland folks - get yourself to Infiniti when they open on MONDAY. It's a great space, really impressive and unlike anything Portland has now. The look is somewhat industrial with a touch of steampunk, a beautiful view of the brewhouse and distillery, a touch of nautical (portholes), a huge deck right on the wharf, a beautiful wood bar and tables, and the railings and lots of other touches built from Allagash barrel staves. The menu is great with a good variety of nicely done upscale pub food and entrees, local without being in-your-face-local. The first in-house beer will be a test batch clone of Novare's Primus Tumultus, now known as Primus Primus. The test batch was very good - even better when you learn it's literally the first thing they brewed there. They've got a variety of things fermenting, ranging from belgians/quads to a baltic porter and others. Also, an interesting and unique array of mixed drinks.

    This is going to be fun.
  18. ToasterChef

    ToasterChef Initiate (0) Mar 26, 2008 Maine

    If they only have one brew finished, do you know what else they will be serving until they have all their beers ready? I think the Bollard article mentioned that they will normally have drafts that aren't their own.
  19. Bowdoinbeerboy

    Bowdoinbeerboy Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2006 Maine

    This is very exciting, it will be nice to have a really high-end brew-pub in town to compliment the varied offerings we currently have. Looks like my monday night just got booked up!
  20. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    I assume they'll fill in with other good locals and a few selections from away. I know there are kegs of Oxbow on the property, and surely others.
  21. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    Infiniti is now open.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  22. mathematizer

    mathematizer Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2006 Maine


    Service was fast/friendly. Nice looking place. Light crowd, but I was in on the early side. Nice looking space.
    DrEntropy and beerinmaine like this.
  23. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    Looking forward to checking this place out as it is a block away from my office, the deck outside looks great for the summer and Portland sorely needs a quality brewpub.

    However does that menu say $15 for a burger and fries? Was kind of hoping this place would be a little like the former Alchemist (great beer, good food, reasonable prices and very relaxed and down to earth) and not somewhere trying to be hip and upscale where a basic dinner and a few drinks come with a minimum $40 tab. Portland has more then enough of those places right now and there are only has so many trust fund hipsters in the city to go around.
  24. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    It is definitely up-market, not standard pub grub. There's lots of standard pub grub in Portland. Want a $10 burger, go to Sebago, the land of generic.

    The price point is right on par with Nosh, for example, since Nosh burger doesn't come with fries.
  25. jamvt

    jamvt Disciple (382) Aug 5, 2005 Massachusetts

    Are you their spokesperson? Your replies are almost a 1/3 of this thread. Pretty defensive with the Sebego quip.
  26. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    Did I say I was looking for standard pub grub? I said something like the former Alchemist would be nice (it appears beerinmaine has never had a beer outside of Maine). There are plenty of great places out there with great beer and food that isn't pre-packaged, frozen food but also isn't $15 for a hamburger. Portland has plenty of places with normal pub grub but also plenty of places with $15 burgers and over-priced drinks so my point was it would be nice if there was a place in the middle that was a little different.
    chuckycheese likes this.
  27. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    Forgive me if sharing information about a new place takes up too much of the thread about that new place.
  28. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2009 Maine

    I've eaten plenty of meals in plenty of the best beer establishments in various corners of the country. But that's not the point, and I'll refrain from commentary on you, or wild guesses about your experience.

    The point is, you're looking for something not-upscale, and that's not this place.
  29. ChickenSandwichCarl

    ChickenSandwichCarl Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Maine

    Does that menu say $6 for a 12oz Sebago Fryes Leap IPA?

    That's not upscale, that's just a rip off.

    Or hopefully a typo.
  30. chuckycheese

    chuckycheese Initiate (0) Feb 18, 2010 Maine

    I'm sure people will pay those prices, I wish them success.

    Hoping Lil Tap House offers that good+affordable combo many of us are seeking in this town.
    Chowdahead likes this.
  31. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    I bet you also have a super hot girlfriend, but she lives in Canada so we wouldn't know her, right?

    I wish In'finiti the best of luck and success. I hope their beer is incredible, creative and if it is I plan to drink a lot of it. I also was just saying I wished their menu was a little more affordable and low key and that they were aiming for a place where people came to have a relaxed meal and a few drinks not a place where people came to feel trendy and be seen (i.e. Sonny's 2.0). Apparently, according to their unofficial ball washer, it's the latter. Once they have a few more of their own beers on tap I will be going to make up my own mind.

    In the meantime, does anyone want to take bets on how long that keg of Portland Lager is going to sit on the tap at $6.50 a pour? That shit sucks at any price.
  32. ChickenSandwichCarl

    ChickenSandwichCarl Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Maine

    I'm pretty sure this is Bull Jagger's brew house for sale. So if you do like it, get it while you can.
  33. mathematizer

    mathematizer Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2006 Maine

    Didn't mean to spark an argument with the menu. I was having difficulty finding information online, so thought I'd post so folks could see what to expect.

    I was happy with my meal, and the prices seem in line for the atmosphere, quality, and waterfront location. It doesn't fit the niche that chowdahead (and others) are seeking - but they will be offering an experience that few places in the country can offer once they get the distillery and the rest of the operation going.
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  34. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    $5/12oz of 4.5% "table beer". Ouch.
  35. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    Agreed. I was hoping for a place sort of like the old Alchemist, or the CBC or Portsmouth Brewery, which I would consider to be among the top brewpubs in New England when it comes to the quality and affordability of the beer and food, as well as offering a laid-back and comfortable, but somewhat sophisticated vibe. There are some really nice, more upscale brewpubs around (Brewer's Art in Baltimore comes to mind), but I'd personally much rather see some place more relaxed but still moderately upscale. I think the Portsmouth Brewery nails that when it comes to vibe, and the Alchemist and CBC join(ed) it when it comes to affordable, high-quality food and beer, all without any pretension.

    I don't think anyone here is saying that they're looking for another Sebago brewpub, or someplace like VP&B or some of the other very low-key brewpubs throughout the region--those places have their place, and I like them as well, but I don't think that's what anyone was expecting from the people at Novare Res--but even the menu and the vibe at Novare Res had led me to believe that Infiniti would be a laid-back, high-quality, but affordable place.

    Don't get me wrong--I'm still looking forward to checking the place out, and I'm going to reserve judgement until I actually can in a couple months, but my hopes have been tampered a bit. And maybe it's just coming from Boston, but $5 for house-brewed beer sounds fair. Most non-year-round beers at my local CBC are served in 12 oz. for about that price, and it seems fair, and it's not so far off from Portsmouth brewery and some other top-notch brewpubs. There are plenty charging more, and if the food subsidizes the beer a bit, well I'd be fine with that. But if the price is going to be upwards of $6 for a 12 oz. pour of future house beers, then I'll be a little disillusioned. Again, I'm excited to see the place in person and mostly bite my tongue until then, but these are my reservations. In the meantime, I'd love to see some photos of the space.
    ElGallo and Chowdahead like this.
  36. duchessedubourg

    duchessedubourg Aspirant (249) Nov 2, 2007 Vermont

    Looking forward to hitting Infiniti & Novare during The Festival between sessions. FYI: We in VT all miss the downright sick deals on food & beers the Alchemist offered, but those days are gone. I don't know of any beer-friendly place in Northwest VT that has prices akin to what theirs were. A $15-$17 burger has sadly become the norm around here if you want good beers with it. That said, I have found prices on food & beer in Portland to be cheaper overall than around here - I am there 2x/month for 6 mos. of the year, so it doesn't seem like a fluke thing.
  37. Auror

    Auror Initiate (0) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts

    A little consumer outcry is good usually, but complaining about food prices without tasting the food is a little asinine.
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  38. 04101Brewer

    04101Brewer Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2010 Maine

  39. Chowdahead

    Chowdahead Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    That's too bad. Hate to see any brewery go out of business. Unfortunately their beer just didn't have the quality to support the prices they charged especially once Jack's Abbey showed you could produce amazing small batch lagers for a low price.
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