Portland beer drinkers were out in large numbers today in part because the weather is moderating making it more pleasant to be outside enjoying a favorite beverage or two.
Despite Governor Mills’ recent relaxation on indoor drinking at tasting rooms, Lone Pine Brewing Company, on Anderson Street, was not permitting indoor drinking today. That’s because the inside is so small in size as to not make it worth while.
“We hate hydration in the south. We get off by baking in the hot sun,” said Chase van Horn, joking,- as he hydrated himself with a refreshing beer and a friend at a small table just outside the entrance to Lone Pine. Chase, who moved to Portland from Atlanta in November, was referring to the new Georgia State law that prohibits offering a drink to anyone waiting in line to vote on election day. “It was like the COVID-19 didn’t exist either. The attitude was prevalent,” he said of life in Atlanta.
“We come to Portland because the breweries are more varied here and they are all within walking distance of each other,” said Coltan Dana, from the Boston area. Dana’s three favorite Portland breweries are: Lone Pine, Oxbow Brewing and Maine Craft Distillery; the latter two on Washington Avenue on Portland’s east end. “There is a good variety here at Lone Pine,” Dana said.
At Oxbow Brewing, despite the Governor’s relaxation on indoor imbibing, the tasting room is closed for two weeks for major renovations according to shift manager: Meg Shorette. Plans call for the tasting room to reopen in June 2021. Many beer drinkers sat outside in the Oxbow courtyard. Ninya Shanahan of the Boston area said she and her husband, Jake, enjoy Portland beers because of the diversity of the flavors. The couple and their friends enjoy coming to Portland because of its low risk for the COVID-19, its reasonable drive and the plethora of drinking and dining experiences here as well as the diversity of flavors due to regional influences.
Sitting at a table with friends from New York City, Zach M. said: “Portland has world class breweries. Brewers here make good sour beer. Breweries in New York don’t make good sour beer. There are very talented brewers here,” he said. Zach’s favorite area breweries are: Oxbow, Allagash, Bissell Brothers and Austin Street.
“The comfort zone in Boston is low because of the pandemic. People are reluctant to use the subway to get to a tasting room. Density in Boston is an issue,” said Craig B. sitting at another table in the Oxbow outdoor courtyard. His favorite Portland beer is Goodfire because of its great variety and high qualify.
“This is our plague ground,” said Dustin K. misstating the word playground intentionally. (See above right photo.)