Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Brew Maine: In’finiti Fermentation and Distillation

Like many states, Maine is enjoying a surge in the popularity of specialty beer and microbreweries – and I would certainly argue that Maine has been a leader in this movement.  I highly recommend that you follow @beerbabe if you’re interested in Maine beer in particular, but also microbrews in general.  If you’re into a bit of health and fitness in addition to a good brew review, check out www.lovesweatbeers.com, a blog written by my good friend, Tiffany.

This post on In’finiti Fermentation & Distillation, located on Commercial Street in the Old Port, is long long long overdue.  My apologies.  If you follow me regularly, you know we’ve (my husband and I) been in the process of moving, getting settled, and adjusting to career advancement / more demanding travel schedules, and while that has all been exciting and we’re very thankful for the opportunities we’ve been given – it also takes a lot of time!

We visited In’finiti during our trip home to Maine over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.  My best friend, E, joined Nick and me for the fun.  The In’finiti restaurant space is large, and split level – we were seated in the upper area, overlooking the bar below.  It would be hard for a space like this one not to be beautiful – with its rustic, dark wood and striking views of fermentation and distillation equipment.  The vibrant metallics contrast nicely with the ironwork and other rustic elements, creating an atmosphere of both relaxation and excitement.

Gleaming equipment... it really is pretty!

Gleaming equipment… it really is pretty!

Bar area (please excuse the poor quality phone photos)

Bar area (please excuse the poor quality phone photos)

I can imagine that during a summer day, the outdoor seating would offer a pretty spectacular view as well!

We tried several beers each before settling on final choices – and enjoyed them all.

Cheers!

Cheers!

For a meal, I ordered the lobster mac n’ cheese.  It was very good (although honestly, if you can screw up mac n’ cheese, you probably shouldn’t be running a restaurant – worse, if you could mess it up with the addition of succulent Maine lobster).  I’m happy to report that I enjoyed every bite!

Both Nick and E affirmed my observations on the atmosphere, beverages, and food.  Overall, In’finiti was a great experience for us.  It’s the sort of place where you can easily kick back with friends, or enjoy a casual date… and its location is ideal for dinner before a night on Fore Street.

Cheers!


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Maine Girl Travels!

In the weeks since my last post, this Maine girl has been on the road!  I’m sorry for the ‘blog neglect’ and hope to get back on track starting now.

To fill you in on where I’ve been, Nick and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on October 2nd.  Hooray!  We actually took a vacation – pretty rare for us – and spent a wonderful week visiting the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains in Virginia, and we even made a brief trek up to State College, Pennsylvania.

Pretty shot of the mountains... snagged during my morning run!

Pretty shot of the mountains… snagged during my morning run!

We stayed at the Massanutten Resort in McGayhesville, Virginia and spent our days golfing and visiting wineries.  Massanutten has two golf courses, Woodstone Meadows and Mountain Greens – the latter is significantly more challenging, but I enjoyed playing it much more.  It is further into the resort and feels more remote – you’re surrounded by nature and mountain scenery, including the occasional, stunning vista.  The Woodstone Meadows course is a good beginner choice, as the fairways are flat and pretty straightforward.

We did venture into Harrisonburg for our anniversary dinner, which we spent at the Joshua Wilton House.  I love old, historic homes, and this inn and restaurant popped up immediately when I googled (who knew that would one day become an accepted verb in our vocabulary?) fine dining in Harrisonburg, VA.  Our experience was exceptional from beginning to end.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Happy Anniversary to us!

The atmosphere reminded me very much of Calhoun Corners, a nice restaurant in Clemson, SC (Go Tigers!).  They have maintained the feel of a home in the dining area(s) by setting tables up throughout the various rooms downstairs, which makes the dining experience feel unique and intimate.  Lovely furnishings and beautiful artwork came together with delicious food and excellent service to deliver a very special anniversary for us.

Did I mention the outstanding Creme Brulee?

Did I mention the outstanding Creme Brulee?

While on our trip, we did complete my Fat Friar’s Mead tasting!  Stay tuned for the review to come… and the return to ‘Maine’ topics!


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What do you love about Maine?

One week from today, I will be back in Maine, and I can’t wait.  Each time I go home, I experience the most incredible sense of well-being.  I don’t know how else to describe it – it’s as if the place itself reminds me of who I truly am.

I’ve already put together an ‘itinerary’ of sorts (sorry Mom, Dad, Nick, K, and Eddie – who will all be ‘privileged’ with the opportunity to participate in this madness) of places I want to go to and document for future blog posts.  I hope that excites you as much as it excites me!

With that in mind, I wanted to ask you – what do you love about Maine?  Is there something specific you’d like me to write about, and if so, what is it?  Maybe I can research it during this trip – or at least prepare to do so during future visits.

A few of the things I love about Maine are:

  • the people (their ingenuity, commitment to community, work ethic, and so much more)
  • the coast (who doesn’t?)
  • the mountains (for their recreational activities – hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.)
  • the seasons
  • the way Portland is becoming increasingly recognized as a ‘foodie’ city

skiers

There are two very distinct moments in my life (so far) when I’ve realized what a special place Maine is. Even years later, the clarity of these memories is very strong. The first occurred when I was about 15, driving our 4-wheeler home from a day of working and riding horses at Vienna Farm.  I was near our neighborhood, and drove up a hill overlooking a meadow.  When I came to the top and saw the way the sun filtered in through the trees, I was immediately struck by the simple beauty of it. I remember thinking that I’d never really seen Maine as ‘beautiful’ before – it was just where I lived, not necessarily special – it was the first time I could understand why Mom and Dad chose to live here and not leave. Now, as an adult, I’m sure there were other, more practical reasons as well, but as a fanciful fifteen-year-old, the beauty was what mattered to me.

My second ‘enlightening,’ you might say, came during a summer home from college as I was strolling through the Old Port. For the first time, I saw the Old Port through the eyes of a visitor – perhaps a prospective student – and the immense appeal of the place hit me at once.  I’d just taken it for granted – the charming cobblestone streets and brick buildings – the oceanfront – the great shopping – the excellent bar hopping.  And I could suddenly see why someone, anyone, would want to live here, whether they’d grown up here or not.

Old Port

Thanks for joining me in my trip down memory lane, and I do hope you’ll share a memory of your own with me, or a reason you’ve come to love the great state of Maine.  As I asked above, what do you love about Maine?

6 days to go…