Saturday was a beautiful day to take a ride down the coast. We packed the kids up in the car and headed to Owls Head, Maine to check out the lighthouse and walk the beach, the kids had fun and it didn’t cost anything which is a bonus. Just down the road is the Owls Head Transportation Museum, another kid friendly activity that cost us under $40, the boys love airplanes and they had plenty taking off and landing at the airstrip. After a morning running around a lighthouse a beach and checking out old cars and planes it was time for lunch so we headed into Rockland to check out Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery.
Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery is located at 416 Main St. in Rockland, it’s a corner building with entrances on two sides and signage that is easy to spot. There is parking on the street and municipal parking lots within walking distance. The brewery can be seen from the bar and dining area, Owner/Brewer Dan Pease showed me the small four barrel electric brewing system – that used to be Bull Jagger’s – with two fermenters and two conditioning tanks, all four are jacketed in copper and pretty sharp looking. One of the conditioning tanks actually stands in the bar area so you can get a close up look at it. Finished beer is piped into the basement where it’s kegged and stored. Dan also mentioned that sometime in the future they would like to expand off site and increase capacity while freeing up his current system for pilot and specialty batches.
The bar wraps wraps around so the majority of folks in the bar area are away from the dining area but it’s easy access from either side, there are a few TV’s on the walls and plenty of seats and space to move around. They have 16 tap lines and when I visited there were 8 house brewed beers available though their website says occasionally they get up to 10 house beers on tap.
I tried a sampler with all 8 of the current Rock Harbor beers: Twin Screw Pale Ale, Breakwater Wheat, Beacon IPA, Rock Warrior IPA, Storm Surge IPA, Rogue Wave DIPA, Copperhouse ESB and Spruce Head Stout. Of the 8 that I tried a few stood out, Breakwater Wheat was a flavored with orange and coriander and would make a delightful summer drinker that was my Wife’s favorite, Beacon IPA had a pleasant tropical fruit hop profile that made it equally flavorful and aromatic and Rogue Wave Double IPA which seemed to me to be an amped up version of the Beacon IPA. I didn’t care for the the Copperhouse ESB which is their flagship beer but it’s all personal preference as it’s an ESB without the B, I like my bitters to be bitter and it just wasn’t there, which is how the brewer intended it to be, also the Spruce Head Stout was lacking in body but the flavor was there, I could see this being a winner with some oats added.
The menu wasn’t over-complicated and the food was excellent. I was happy with the haddock sandwich I ordered, my youngest got a basic turkey and cheese sandwich that was made with thick cuts of roast turkey breast not deli meats. My wife ordered a tomato pesto sandwich and an order of crispy fried green beans for the table that went over very well and everyone loved the french fries.
I left Rock Harbor with a growler of Beacon IPA and we continued up the coast and hit a few more places, I’ll save that for another blog post. If you are travelling on Route 1 and find yourself in Rockland around lunch or dinner I’d recommend checking out Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery, good food, good beer and friendly service.