History buffs have the Freedom Trail in Boston. Hikers can do all or part of the Appalachian Trail. Now, there’s a trail of hoppy golden delight right here in Maine, designed just for beer lovers: the newly designed Maine Beer Trail, a network of 14 breweries and brew pubs located in our state. The choices range from Allagash Brewing and Gritty McDuff’s in Portland, to Atlantic Brewing Co. in Bar Harbor and the Sea Dog Brewing Co. in Bangor. The trail, assembled by the Maine Brewers’ Guild and the Maine Restaurant Association, helps to cement Maine’s reputation as a beer lover’s paradise, boasting more than 25 microbreweries — more than just what’s included on the beer trail. For more information, or to download a map of the beer trail, visit www.mainebrewersguild.org.
Maine makes the cut
Esquire magazine’s list of the Best Bars in America was published in this month’s issue, and four Maine establishments have made the cut. In addition to the White Heart Bar & Lounge in Portland, which was included last year, this year the Lompoc Cafe & Brewpub in Bar Harbor was named the cream of the crop, along with The Solon Inn in Solon and Rosie’s, also in Portland. At the Lompoc, Esquire editors suggest drinking a black and blue, made with the Atlantic Brewing Co.’s Blueberry Ale and Coal Porter, and checking out the live music and the bocce court. Regulars at the hip, laid-back MDI watering hole will tell you that that’s an excellent way to spend a Saturday evening. The May 2009 issue of Esquire is available at newsstands everywhere; for more information, visit www.lompoccafe.com.
Some things change, some don’t
More sad news for the Bangor dining scene, though thankfully it’s not because of the less-than-ideal economic climate. Cafe Nouveau, the Hammond Street restaurant that has been closed indefinitely since January, is now up for sale. Owner Leslie Thistle, who has operated restaurants in Maine for 30 years and who also runs Bangor Wine & Cheese, adjacent to Cafe Nouveau, said in her monthly e-mail newsletter that she was ready to focus solely on the wine shop, and not run a restaurant as well. Thistle said that she has interested buyers, but “nothing is definite at this time.” Greater Bangor foodies and wine fans still have Bangor Wine & Cheese, that will host a wine tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, featuring selections from Wicked Wines. For more information, call the shop, located at 86 Hammond St., at 942-3338.