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Discussion in 'New England' started by MVP09, Feb 5, 2013.
I heard there was another brewery very close to RT. Anyone know name?
Wow - that's damn close. I must have driven by Rising Tide three times while trying to find it for their tour. Great people there - probably some of the most giving (in terms of time) I've met while on a tour. Glad to see them doing well and expanding (hitting VT now and NH soon.)
Bunker is Bunk.
I haven't had a ton from them, so I can't speak to them all, but the Munjoy Mild I had back in April was a nice version of the style--a very drinkable, malty English ale.
Had their porter during Portland Beer Week - excellent.
The Coffee IPA they did impressed me
Hmm, surprised to hear some good things. The first three or four of their beers I had were very underwhelming. They were also priced at a super premium level (at Sonny's). So, it was a pretty quick two strikes. I was then going to grab a growler one day, but the glass was super fancy & expensive, and what I had tasted of theirs in no way warranted it. Strike 3.
But, maybe time to give them another shot if I see something interesting on tap...
I did like the Coffee IPA, but I only had two sips of it because when I was at the brewery, he couldn't get it to pour. Its just amatuer hour over there and with so many other better beers around(such as RT right down the block), its just not worth it.
I also enjoyed their rye beer at brunch at Sonny's. Don't recall the price being exhorbitant - maybe because they were being featured at the brunch during beer week?
Is this in the same building as Tandem Coffee Roasters? Last time, I was up there, we didn't stop in for coffee, but I recall some brewing going on there the last time I did.
Building right across the lot.
I was underwhelmed with the first couple from Bunker, liked some of the more recent (and stronger) ones better.
Bunker is kind of hit or miss, but I really enjoyed their Brown Ale, Trashmaster Stout, and Pilsner.
Portland has a nice little fermentation cluster going in the "yEast" Bayside neighborhood. Rising Tide, a craft distillery right next door (name temporarily forgotten), Bunker around the corner, and Urban Farm Fermentory (ciders, cysers, etc.) right next door to them. It's like the in-town version of brewery row out in the industrial park on the outskirts (Allagash, Bull Jagger, Gearys, New England Distilling, MBC for a few more months, and previously Rising Tide).
Dont forget Maine Mead Works too.
Not yEast Bayside, but not far....
Whenever I hear someone say yEast Bayside it makes me think of the epsiode in South Park where Stan's parents buy a Prius. After they've purhcased it they think they're better then everyone and end up in San Francisco, going to parties where everyone farts into a glass and sniffs their own ass.
Pretty odd impression, since the folks over there are about as down-to-earth as it gets.
I've only had their Peninsula Ale, and really enjoyed it.
Not so odd if you are familiar with where the neighborhood was and where it is going. Also, I don't think he was talking about the people there, just the 'yEast' bayside saying.
As someone who was born and raised in Portland and know all too well what that neighborhood was, the gentrification and yuppification of that whole area is pretty astonishing. This is the place we used to have to sweep the soccer field for needles before practice. Where rising tide is now is where a kid I went to high school with tried to sell meth to, and then rob undercover cops. I mean, this used to be the neighborhood you would go to get crack, not a weizen stout aged in whiskey barrels.
Hmmm. Well, I am, and it still seems pretty odd to attach such a negative impression of smug-ness and elitism to a good-news story of a neighborhood moving from distress to success.
I made the comment because I find the term "yEast Bayside" to reek of gentrification. Having lived in the other Portland for a while(the capitol of Gentrification USA) I don’t personally believe that gentrification is a good thing. I’m not sure the Somali community who has been living in that neighborhood for the last 15 years needed two breweries and a slow pour coffee shop. Just because it’s good for rich white people, doesn’t mean it’s good for the city. This town needs more diversity, not more of the same. I’d rather see a Little Somalia pop up than another Munjoy Hill where all but the richest are priced out of the neighborhood, which is what will eventually happen, because that’s what always happens to gentrified neighborhoods.
I agree that the Sanborn’s are very nice people but Chresten is so full of himself it’s hard to believe anyone would think he’s down to earth. But I digress.
Sorry to have derailed this thread. I'll get off my soapbox now.
As an architect (interested in cities and urban development) and a beer enthusiast, I'd say that gentrification really is a double-edged sword. Of course, it's tricky when we're talking about displacing people, especially people of lesser means, but it's also nothing new. Neighborhoods have been gentrified to some degree for hundreds of years, for instance when one immigrant group displaced another. And the opposite of gentrification has always happened as well, as in the case of "white flight." But cities are making a resurgence across America, and both Portlands are certainly a part of that.
The East Bayside area, from my limited understanding, is a collection of former industrial land, rail yards and other undesirable neighbors. It's no surprise that after those things left, it became both a cheap place to live, and with plenty of unused space, perhaps an easy place for crime to take foot. So to fill in some of the empty lots that might attract crime requires development, and development often leads to rising property values, which leads to gentrification. It's unfortunate in many ways. But it's also unfair to expect a Little Somalia and its inhabitants to live in rundown buildings and amidst crime that may come from outside the neighborhood. I agree that it's unfortunate (and to the detriment of cities) to see gentrification push out diversity (ethnic, social, cultural, economic and so forth), but I don't think the answer is to preserve a rundown neighborhood and confine less affluent people to living there (not meaning to imply that you said this, by the way). It's trickier: gentrification needs to be countered with ways to allow current (and usually less affluent) residents to benefit from it, and to preserve diversity, while welcoming reinvestment and growth.
But seeing light industrial uses like small breweries go in doesn't strike me as a bad thing: unlike some truly gentrified areas, it means there is some actual production and commerce (outside of boutiques and bistros) occurring in the neighborhood; it provides a natural place for the community to gather (for growler fills and the like); it gives people a sense of pride of something made in the neighborhood and so on. Of course, it also brings people to the neighborhood, and that means that people may visit some of the smaller neighborhood businesses (maybe a Somali restaurant if any exist). That's good for those businesses and the neighborhood, but of course it also means that in the long run, the area may become more desirable, property values may rise, and some people may be priced out. Of course, that will broaden the tax base, which means more money going into things like education and infrastructure, which benefits everyone. So it's really very tricky, but I don't think the answer is to say that gentrification can't (or won't) happen, but to find a way to mitigate that.
BeerAdvocate magazine has actually run at least one (and I think a few) articles about breweries and gentrification. It's pretty interesting. And while I don't like overly gentrified neighborhoods like Boston's South End or neighborhood names that wreak of gentrification and real estate agents like SoHo, I love seeing breweries returning to the city center, and "yEast Bayside" sounds too playful to ever truly be a moniker of gentrification.
Went on a walking/tasting tour of yEast Bayside this fall for a GreenDrinks meet-up - I really enjoyed seeing all the contrasts, and transformation in such a compact area. Somali kids playing soccer in the park across from RT's tasting; Bunker throwing a little benefit for the food shelf; UFF talking about getting a food hub going; Maine Mead Works giving a tour; collaborations between the coffee joint and brewers. Hearing what this area was like previously makes me glad that some entrepreneurs have seen fit to get some small businesses going there. As a small-biz owner who would love to move my biz to Portland but cannot afford to, it's refreshing to find an area where young entrepreneurs can get something started without going broke out of the gate on high rents. I'd like to think they are good neighbors to the existing residents, and will enrich the area in a mutually beneficial way.
That area was like that because rich white people decided it was a sacrifice they were willing to make to build Franklin Arterial. They destroyed that neighborhood in order to build a roadway to connect one side of the city to the other & make it easier for wealthier people to get into and out of the city at the expense of working immigrants (then Italians). There was a chorus of people claiming this was a horrid idea and in reality would only serve to divide the city. Of course, it was done anyway.
The city then stuck subsidized housing there after they turned it into a wasteland where no one with means would ever choose to live. Now, with urban renewal coming they have decided they want that area to be built up again to collect the tax revenue and to make the city more appealing from the outside-in. Again, at the expense of the people living there.
For a while after college I lived on on Hampshire st (above east bayside closer to downtown in the wake of Frank Art) which has now almost been totally bought by billionaire don sussman. I always felt like a 'guest' there because ALL of my neighbors lived their entire lives there. They literally were born in & died in those houses. Now, the whole neighborhood will be torn down to build yuppie stores & over priced condos for people moving up from Boston and CT. I understand this is reality and it has to happen, that doesn't mean everyone has to agree with it and shouldn't make mention of it.
Oh, and Franlin Arterial. Turns out the people were right, it was a terrible idea. So now, the rich white people are fighting to figure out a way to get rid of it and fight over the land to rebuild neighborhoods there. Guess who probably won't be invited back?
So, the next time you're sipping mead, or going to a wine tasting just remember that no amount of 'for the neighborhood' events is going to allow those people to continue to live there (outside of Kennedy park). By my count in Ptld, those families have about five years until they are totally priced out of the peninsula unless they want to go on the government dole, which most are to proud to ever do...
Also a cool note of trivia: Behind Rising Tide there used to be a nightclub called T-Birds that had some very solid bands come through. Phish played there a bunch. Those dudes hit some of the real classics in Portland along with the Tree Cafe & PPAC.
Now, back to the beer, with all this snow coming I'm getting ready to try the RT Calvera when I get home. And, as Carl mentioned, the Sanborns are some of the nicest people around and handle themselves in a way I WISH all breweries would. Just total class. So, in no way is this an attack on them (or anyone moving into that area) at all. They are simply in the right place at the right time to get their brewery in a prime location going forward. My point is more overarching and just coming from someone who has had a first hand account of watching the gentrification of the east end, bayside and the west end over the years.
Oh good grief.
These places have gone into empty commercial space. You're carrying on as if somebody had demolished a neighborhood to build a brewery. Nobody was living in the Fox-Anderson-Marginal-Franklin block for the past 15 years, it's a warehouse block. Before that is was a swamp, mud flats, rail yard, etc.
I simply don't see the evil in replacing a commercial operation that almost nobody wants to visit (a bus garage, etc.) with another commercial operation that people actually want to visit. Bringing some traffic into the neighborhood might even help someone who lives there - Somali or otherwise - open up a business of some sort.