So close and yet so far, only two stops left on the Maine Beer Trail.

We were in the home stretch almost ready to claim our prize and revel in our bragging rights. Our tattered, well-worn beer trail map held together with generous amounts of packaging tape, has only TWO blank spaces left. We planned to finish our visits in the spring but then the world paused.

No stamps from Penobscot Bay Brewery or Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company to add an air of finality to our three year adventure. Both breweries are in the mid-coast. Both are just out of reach for now.

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Taste Testing Two Spirit Sipper Infusions from Vena’s Fizz House

I drink wine, craft beer, especially sours, and the occasional margarita but otherwise liqueur or cocktails are a rarity for me although my husband hasn’t given up hope that I’ll expand my repertoire.  When we met, my go to alcoholic drink was Miller Lite. It was almost a deal breaker for him, but fortunately he was able to look past that particular character flaw.

After years of effort and the consistent refrain of “here try this”, my go to beer is now Allagash White and we often enjoy local craft sours together.  While he’s pleased with my progress, his work is not done. He’s still nudging me towards porters, stouts and the real stretch drink experience for me: cocktails.

Fortunately, he has some support in this endeavor. Vena’s Fizz House in Portland is a wonderful, inventive cocktail bar. My first experience tasting bitters was at Vena’s during a Micro Maine Trolley Tour.  Before that visit, I would have said definitively that I don’t like bitters. But, now I know that statement is untrue. Bitters done right can really elevate a cocktail.

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Virtual dinners from Wine Wise provide a way to connect from a distance.

The current measures to fight COVID-19 are devastating for many local businesses. But I am also amazed at the creativity I have seen come from these stressful times.

Local businesses have shown impressive adaptability. Many businesses have found ways to pivot, seemingly instantaneously, from textile artisans who have transitioned to making masks or the rapid move to curb side pickup at some of my favorite breweries and restaurants. I know these changes can’t make up fully for the economic stress businesses are experiencing but it is impressive.

Recently, we took advantage of one such reinvention.

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PB&ME Food Truck

#AtoZChallenge | F is for Food Trucks and a Super Meta A to Z List for Maine

There is something nostalgic about ordering food from a truck that adds an element of magic to the entire dining experience.

My college campus had three distinct sections or groupings of dorms when I was in school there over thirty years ago. I’m sure it’s changed. For the most part you stayed in your area. It helped make the large, sprawling campus more manageable. The one exception was after a late night out. The only food truck on campus was not located in my “section” so occasionally we’d venture away from our home territory to fill our hunger. So delicious!

Today there is a renaissance going on in the food truck world. You can find a food truck for just about every type of food. It’s truly amazing. These are not the food trucks of my college days offering greasy fries and cheese burgers after a late night out, although I’m sure you can still find those too. That’s the creative beauty of food trucks. There is something for everyone.

For this post, I’m going meta and below is an A to Z list of some intriguing Maine based food trucks and carts. I’ve highlighted the menu item from each mobile dining experience that speaks to me and is guaranteed to up my level of Bliss.

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Our travels along the Maine Beer Trail for 2018.

How did we do with year two of our attempt to visit all the craft breweries on the Maine Beer Trail? I’d love to say we finally made it to them all, but since there are over 80 unique breweries in Maine, and new ones continue to open, I’m afraid the finish line still eludes us, at least for now.

While we’re not quite finished, we did have a great time again trying to get to as many craft breweries as we could this past year. For each stop, we usually tried to make a day of it. We’d search out an interesting hike, and look for other fun things in the area as we explored different parts of Maine.

Below is an overview of the craft breweries we visited in 2018.

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