The Serendipitous Phoenix: Dirigo Brewing Company
Dirigo Brewing Company fills this week’s Great Beer Adventure with a bit of a unique origin story. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with their beer. Dirigo brews several styles of beer that were once nearly extinct, and they have made some unique partnerships. Ever wonder what beer pairs best with salmon? I bet you didn’t go to the Saco River Salmon Restoration Project to find out.
From “Failed Partnership” to “I Lead”
Tom started up a brewery at the start of Maine’s brewery bubble called Bull Jagger. However, this was one of the few that had to shut down. Bull Jagger opened its doors in 2011 and closed them in 2013. While it was devastating to have to liquidate the whole endeavor, Tom acknowledges it needed to happen.
And from the liquidated ashes of Bull Jagger rose Dirigo. The story involves some snow tires, carefully timed conversations, and at its core; a thirst for better beer. After Tom’s wife, Molly, set him up with SnowTire Tom the two ended up signing papers with a last-minute location change to their current Mill site. Question. Does your office have this kind of view? Tom’s does.
Schöps: “This is a Polish Chocolate Wheat Beer, made with 74% European Dark Wheat complimented by Pilsner and Dark Chocolate malts, with a low hop character to round it out. Made popular in the 16th century, this is not like any wheat beer you’ve ever had.“
Tom finds the Schöps fascinating. It’s not a stout and not a porter. The style of beer was popular between the 1600s-1800s in Wroclaw Poland and almost disappeared. It doesn’t have any wheat related Hefeweizen notes. There is a lighter and darker style of brew for it as well.
Dirigo has reached out to some interesting places for beer pairings. They’ve teamed up with the Saco River Restoration Project to make their Saco Salmon Redd Rye. This limited release rye was especially elusive. Beer enthusiasts had to line up on Dirigo’s waterfall in bear costumes. There they perched in wait for the rye ale to travel up the river to spawn. You’re only allowed to drink the beer if you catch it in mid-jump, and with your mouth. No hands or bear claws allowed.
From homebrewing with his dad to opening two breweries, Tom has had quite the storied beer adventure. You can find him simultaneously reaching for the beer heavens and digging caves for his lagers. But his story has another main character in it: his wife Molly, who appeared back on episode 39. Go listen!
For information on a free coloring page just text GBA to 31996