Sebago Brewing Company has four locations throughout southern Maine. The South Portland location was built three years ago, but appears as though it is brand new. It is a well-lit and prestigious atmosphere with the walls, floors and booths in a sophisticated, neutral tone. They brew their own beer on site which brings a nice touch.
Their menu selections are diverse and features many mouth-watering options with choice ingredients from local farms. There is sure to be something for everyone, but not being especially hungry, we decided to opt for a few appetizers instead.
The first appetizer: a set of three baked pub pretzels that were salted and came with a sweet mustard crafted from their Frye’s Leap IPA. The pretzels were large and not overbaked, medium browned on the outside and soft on the inside.
Naked calamari ($9.99)was appropriately named. Compared to Rhode Island style calamari, this doesn’t have the deep fried batter coating that normally accompanies the diminuitive delicacy. It came in a spicy sauce, but it felt strange to eat something so close to the source. The trademark squid rings were there, but you could also see differential coloring in the tentacles and make out the suckers. I didn’t care for the chewy consistency, but that not is to say that someone else wouldn’t appreciate the honesty of the dish.
Their handcrafted beer selection is impressive. First I tried a Frye’s Leap IPA , an Indian pale ale styled beer made with hops that solicited a fruitiness on the palate. The Full Throttle IPA came highly recommended by the bartender, and it did have the complexity I was looking for. This beer has a strong kick to it, with 8.2% alcohol. Finally I tasted the Elegans Saison, which had a dark color and a strong flavor to it but was surprisingly sweet and palatable. (It was served in a whiskey snifter, which gives you an idea of how aromatic it was.)
Visit Sebago Brewing Company: even if it’s not hand-crafted beer that you are searching for, their menu and hospitality will surely win you over and keep you coming back for more.