My name is Shahin Khojastehzad, General Manager of Novare Res Bier Cafe and full time Persian. We are a bier bar that puts quality over all else and all being done without pretense. You can always find a bier you like and know thought/love was put into what you are consuming. We take our beer very seriously but take ourselves very lightly, always training ourselves to be better at what we do but never being a douche about it. Portland’s a great beer town and we proudly wear our stripes in the 207 BEER REVOLUTION!
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Question 1: What is your all Maine brewery dream team-up? And why?
I would love to see Allagash & Oxbow Collab. As a lover of Belgian bier these two breweries exemplify the Belgian tradition here is Maine. Allagash is the pioneer and king of the Belgian style stateside (the Koelschip series are close to Cantillon/3f/Tilquin level and White is better than ones produced in Belgium) and Oxbow has the farmhouse house focus/ eccentricity of some of my favorite Belgian breweries visited (Dupont & De Dolle). I would say something like Victor Francenstein meets Sasuga with Oxbow grown elderflower (Koelschip is a must on this one).
Question 2: What would your Maine + U.S Brewery Team-up look like?
Maine Beer Co. & Bell’s would be awesome. From the early days of MBC, David and Dan always described how much they loved Bell’s Two Hearted and they are from Michigan originally, so they have a respect for their former state’s brewery. Michigan is making damn good beer and Maine is as well, both are blue collar states that appreciate warm summers and hoppy beers! Their Collab would be a MPA, Michigan Pale Ale, 4% hoppy and light, something perfect to sip on while working on your 70’s Chevy Impala and listening to Motown records (or Kiss).
Question 3: What would your Maine + International Brewery team-up look like?
Marshall Wharf & De Molen, both have an affinity for darker, interesting styles of beer. I imagine a barrel aged version of Sexy Chaos and Cease & Desist (formerly Rasputin) in Pappy Van Winkle 23yr barrels! Menno and David are two very charismatic figures, one opened up a brewery on an old fishing wharf and one opened a brewery in a Windmill. It takes a special person with vision to make great beer in weird settings but for some reason it works for them!
Question 4: Free for all! Anything goes here as long as there is 1 Maine brewery involved.
Well, it’s already happening! Cantillon, Russian River and Allagash are blending each of their lambics (1,2,3 yr. old) to make a Gueuze. These are some of the best who are doing it right now, all are very particular about their sour beers and all have a huge respect for tradition. Never letting demand overshadow quality and doing it the right way. Aside from that I would say De La Senne (Brussels), In’finiti (Portland) and the Kernel (London). All of these brewers love hops but also despise unbalanced IPAs. Talking to Yvan (De La Senne) over the years and hearing how describes the process, the history and raw material, this guys doesn’t care about ratings and trends but about making high quality beers you can drink all night with friends (lots of beers). I had the pleasure of going to the Kernel Brewery in London last summer while being trained by CAMRA and was introduced by a friend to Evin O’Riordain, the owner/THE KERNEL. Evin is making some of the best beers in the UK (if not Europe) they are based in English brewing sensibility but with a progressive outlook that allows for experimentation. When I asked him if he would ever send his beer to the states, he flat out said no because his beer is consumed very quickly by people close to him and see no reason for world domination (becoming huge). I am biased when I say In’finiti but objectively speaking, their brew team shares all of these qualities and have always wanted to experiment but not to make a joke or cliché beer. In’finiti has brewed with De La Senne last summer and didn’t need to make some crazy publicity beer but something a group of brewers would like to drink. This collab would be a 3.5% hoppy Belgian ale (tara’s boulba-esque) with American and U.K. hops, super clean, tons of aromatics and not heavy on the bittering hops. Something you could drink while sitting on the Senne/Thames/Allagash River with a few friends and just enjoy what’s in your glass for a few hours.
Maine Dream Team-up Participants: