We’ve been on several different Maine Foodie Tours and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I was thrilled to discover one of their new tours for this year (Sips, Smugglers and Speakeasies) was a pub crawl. It was even more fun than I had hoped!
We visited 4 establishments, each with a different atmosphere and a different specialty drink. Offerings may vary, but on our tour we started at Bull Feeney’s with a delicious cocktail composed of Bailey’s Irish Cream, Allen’s coffee brandy, and a specialty rum from the Canadian Maritimes. This would have been a great start by itself, but it was also served up with a bucket of fries (regular and sweet potato) with 3 dipping sauces.
We then moved to the upscale Salt Exchange where we were served a cocktail made of gin and a locally-made lemon soda. Uh, oh, I don’t like gin – but I gave it a try and to my surprise thought it was quite good. And I definitely liked the house made potato chips with truffle oil.
What would a pub crawl be without beer, which we imbibed at Gritty McDuff’s, Maine’s original brew pub. We were given samples of a stout and their seasonal harvest beer.
Our last stop was a place that was new to us, The North Point, and we’ll definitely be returning to this warm and welcoming place with a chic retro vibe. They have a super-looking cocktail list, and we were treated to the Smoked Caramel Vanilla Bourbon (Jim Beam, vanilla bean infused vodka, a touch of cream, and caramel). Oops, I don’t care for bourbon, either – but again I gave it a try and it was FABULOUS! North Point is also known for its flatbreads, and they brought samples of their Maine Mushroom Flatbread (caramelized portabella mushrooms, truffle oil, feta, mozzarella, roasted shallots, and sundried Maine blueberries) to the table. Beyond delicious! We were so taken with this place that we stayed on after the tour to try some more intriguing items from their menu.
So the food and drinks were outstanding, but really making this tour extraordinary was our guide, Chuck. He has the perfect personality to spend the afternoon “pubbing” with. He is very friendly and knowledgeable about both the general history of Portland and its alcohol-related past and current scene. And it didn’t feel like a guide was talking to you; it felt more like having a conversation with a good friend.
The tour was leisurely-paced. The drinks weren’t full-sized but still a healthy portion – just the right-sized serving. I can’t think of a thing that would improve this tour, and look forward to adding it to our must-do list when friends come to visit. Maine Foodie Tours has come up with another winner!
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