Beer & Brunch on the Hill

Anyone who knows me knows that brunch is my favorite meal.

There’s something about sleeping in, throwing on something comfy/casual, and making your way out to enjoy some great food and mixers spread out over a couple of hours. When I lived in New York, brunch wasn’t simply a meal, it was a lifestyle. We’d spend hours, usually on a Sunday, with friends catching up on the craziness of our weekends and our plans for the next week. The nostalgia of it all makes me smile.

Enter Bigelow Brewing Co.

The first time I went there was after a salesman at work recommended it. I love exploring new places and I had never thought to look for things to do in Skowhegan. So, I grabbed a friend and early in December we went to enjoy some pizza and beer.

Everything – from the menu that changes weekly to feature what’s in season and available from the local market, to the pizza that uses the spent grain from the brewing process – made it an instant hit. The music that night was incredible too.

When we heard they were offering a $15 brunch we knew there was no way we could miss it! We called and made our reservations. The bonus was that the owners themselves were taking them and answered after hours. It was awesome.

It was so different going during the day. The brewery is tucked in behind trees that open up into the field they grow their hops in atop a hill. It’s beautiful and none of my pictures could ever do it justice. Also, I was so hungry that I forgot to take pictures of it during the day… oops. I borrowed one from their website to give you a better idea:

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We walked in to place settings on every table along with a brunch menu. The plates were set with a yogurt parfait topped with spent grain granola and Edible Wilds spruce syrup. Guests were also treated to coffee, tea, and Jailbreak Chocolate Chili Stout donuts from The Holy Donut in Portland.

Once we settled into our seats, we had to make the difficult choice of what to drink! The Mimosas & More menu was filled with cocktails based around Bigelow’s beers on tap. We decided on the Redneck Bloody Mary and White Grape & Cranberry Mimosa.

They were two of the most beautiful drinks I’ve ever seen. Their Dementia Dog IPA balanced and mellowed out the spiciness of the bloody mary mix- while the sparkling white grape juice and fresh cranberries topped with a sprig of rosemary perfectly complemented their Cranberry Peak Ale. We definitely weren’t disappointed!

The next three courses were served with the chef explaining the story behind each dish. 44° Latitude featured a melt-in-your-mouth biscuit with eggs and cheese folded into it and served over chorizo soaked in Jailbreak Stout gravy. One of our favorite things about this course’s story was that even the pigs the chorizo was made from were fed the brewing company’s spent grains – Everything coming full circle.

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The Beer & Waffle was simple, but delicious. The waffle was made with the beer’s spent grains, fresh whipped cream, candied bacon, and Smith Brothers maple syrup. The courses wrapped up with The Brightside, a frittata served over a bed of spinach filled with mozzarella and Sonnental Dairy gruyere cheeses. It was topped with sweet potato hash and fresh herbs. We couldn’t find a website for Sonnental, but their story was a fascinating one about an Amish farm in Smyrna, where the chef went up to learn about their process and couldn’t wait to use their cheese in his recipes.

For $15, we left stuffed. The atmosphere of the venue, with the sun coming in through the windows and the community seating reminded me of the brunches I loved in New York City. I was blown away by how amazing Bigelow’s first ever brunch event was – it was everything I could have hoped for after a busy week.

They may not have another brunch scheduled yet, but we definitely will be there when they do!

I recommend checking them out during their operational hours every Friday 3-8PM or Saturday 12-8PM at 473 Bigelow Hill Road in Skowhegan.

“Bigelow Brewing has a belief that beer can and should be about a place. We strive to make beer from our community, using local ingredients to feel a sense of ownership of where we live. We are committed to our local community and hope it influences our customers to expect that from their beer. It is important that every beer Bigelow Brewing produces is made with malts that are grown in Maine. Fruits and vegetables are from local farmers. One of the things we love about Maine and specifically the Skowhegan community, is how local customers and businesses support one another. Using local products is a chance to support small farmers and preserve our agricultural heritage.”

–Mission from their Website

 

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