SoMe Brewing Company, which began selling beer in York last December, started offering its beer in bottles last week – but only in York County.
“For at least the immediate future,” head brewer and co-owner Dave Rowland told me in a telephone interview, “with the capacity we are at now, we will be keeping it within York County, most likely … Kittery, York and Wells.”
SoMe will be self-distributing the beer, with agreements to sell it at Tully’s Beer and Wine in Wells and the 7-Eleven in Kittery, which Rowland said has an amazing selection of beers, and probably a couple of places in York in addition to the brewery and tasting room at 1 York St.
The bottling system is small-scale and home-made, Rowland said. He and his father, also Dave, created a three-head bottle filler – although he had only one head hooked up last week.
“It’s all done with two hands,” Rowland said. “We made a little labeler and applicator type thing. We have a lot of family and friends we can call on” to do the work the systems require.
He was applying the labels when I called him.
The first beer bottled was Crystal Persuasion, an imperial pale ale made with 100 percent Crystal hops. It was my favorite of the four beers available when I attended the grand opening in December, coming in at 8 percent alcohol by volume. This is a malty beer with enough hops to make it interesting.
The second beer to be bottled will be Whoopie Pie Stout, a milk stout aged on cocoa nibs and vanilla beans, well flavored, 6 percent ABV and purposely made a bit thinner in mouthfeel than most stouts.
“Crystal and Whoopie are the ones that will go out to stores,” Rowland said. “We plan doing some limited-release stuff to sell in-house. These won’t see the tap lines. They will be pilot brews that, if they pass the test, we will bottle so we can have more than just six beers to offer” at the brewery.
He has a Berliner weisse that he expects to bottle in the near future.
SoMe will be using only 22-once bottles, and the price per bottle will probably be about $6 to $10, depending on the cost of labor and ingredients. He is planning a bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Whoopie Pie Stout, which will take a lot more time and ingredients, so that and any other limited-release specialty beers would likely cost more.
Rowland said that sales have grown every month since SoMe has been in business. He operates on a three-barrel system, but is getting two new three-barrel fermenters, which will increase production to 18 barrels at a time.
“That should be great,” Rowland said, “especially as we are getting ready for the tourist season and that rush. Maybe we can get a couple more draft accounts.
“We are trying to grow organically and not force anything, and that seems to be paying off.”
FOUNDATION BREWING Company, which started selling its beer in February, now has growlers of Blaze, a farmhouse IPA brewed with saison yeast, on sale at the Bier Cellar at 299 Forest Ave. It is dry, citrusy and spicy, at 6.5 percent ABV
Foundation launched planning to sell its beer only on draft at bars and restaurants and from the brewery at 1 Industrial Way, so this expands the options for buyers to drink at home, largely because Bier Cellar has longer hours and is closer to more people than the brewery.
The price will be $15 for the contents, with a $6 refundable deposit on the growler.
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at: