Lion’s Pride…Great Beer…Great Food…

I had a chance to spend last Sunday afternoon at Lion’s Pride in Brunswick. Now, that was not my first visit to Lion’s Pride. I had been there a half a dozen times before. As a matter of fact, I try to stop there whenever the timing works out, on my trips back from down south.  This week,  I brought my daughter back to school, and as luck would have it, I was approaching the Brunswick exit around 2pm and I was a little hungry.  Truth be told… I had been planning this all week. I even arranged to meet a friend there for lunch….Lion’s Pride is one af a handful of beer bars in Maine that specializes in unusual and hard to find, high quality beer… on draught .  The food there is also exceptional … not your run of the mill pub fare….

Let’s start with the beer. Having a friend meet me for lunch has its advantages.  I like to try different beers when I go there but, the two-hour drive home keeps me from trying more than one or two.  Splitting beers with someone else allows us both the opportunity to try twice as many…Yay!

The first beer of the afternoon was Leipziger Gose.  This beer is from Germany and falls into the “sour” category. The Gose was the perfect first beer…slightly sour and refreshing.  It wakes up your tastes buds and gets them ready for that first appetizer…and…the next beer.  That beer was Rodenbach Grand Cru…also a sour, but a much darker, richer Belgian Beer that smelled like balsamic vinegar and tasted sweet and sour at the same time.  This beer went especially well with the Lamb Lollipops…(a ground lamb meatball, lightly breaded, deep-fried, and served on a smoldering cinnamon stick)….delicious.

Those first two beers are available in bottles, in retail stores.  The next three are not…This is why I like to stop in there…draught beers not available in bottles. There was a Reuben and a Lamb Burger on the way soon, so I ordered the Oxbow Freestyle #3…made right here in the great state of Maine…I have a fondness for Saison…(Farmhouse Style) Ales.  They have there roots in Belgium and my experience has been with the blonde varieties. This one was described as a “Dark Saison”… It was big…dark…dry…and smokey…It was a perfect match to my Lamb Burger with Prune Ketchup, and went pretty well with the Reuben too.  Unfortunately, those half beers are not quite big enough to make it through that burger and Belgian fries…and there was another beer that intrigued me, so I ordered it…Repoterrior…a colaboration of Dog Fish Head, Allagash,Sierra Nevada, Lost Abbey and Avery Brewing. This beer was very interesting, tasted great and was unlike any beer I’ve every tasted.

The brewmasters all contributed ingredients that represented their home states “terroir”.  The Allagash people contributed purple potatoes…yes…potatoes…There are cucumbers, rice, mint and all kinds of fruits,vegetables and beachwood from both coasts in this beer…a wonderful symphony of flavors…funky…in a delicious way. A salad of sorts to go with all the meat we were having for lunch… I highly recommend it. We were finishing up our lunch by this time, but the game wasn’t over yet.  Did I mention the football game?  That… is why we agreed to meet for lunch in the first place… We decided to split one more beer…for dessert.  Craving a little hops. we ordered the Oxbow FPA…Farmhouse Pale Ale that is…a perfectly balanced,medium weight pale ale with just the right amount of hops…a perfect ending to a perfect afternoon…The Patriots won the game… I guess they are going to the Super Bowl…