Friday February 07, 2014 | 11:11 AM

Fans of Back River Gin know that it hasn't always been so easy to find.

In the early days, it was truly an artisanal product, made in small batches at Sweetgrass Farm Winery by husband-and-wife team Keith and Constance Bodine. Finding it in local stores often depended upon when the Bodines could make it down to Portland next, so if you were really hankering for a Back River martini, sometimes you had to make the two-hour trek to their out-of-the-way place in Union.

Then the awards started coming in. The Bodines began distilling other spirits, including whiskey and rum, and expanding their wine offerings. Last year, they completed a 4,000-square-foot addition to their distillery so they could make more whiskey and meet the increased demand for Back River Gin.

Now they are taking a big step toward connecting with their fans in southern Maine. On Valentine's Day, the Bodines will be opening a tasting room at 324 Fore St. (on the corner of Fore and Pearl Sts.) where you'll be able to try Three Crow Rum, Cranberry Smash, Apple Brandy, and their other products.

On the 14th, there will be free tastings and chocolate pairings from noon until 8 p.m. The chocolate half of the pairing will be provided by Dean's Sweets and Kupcake Inc.

Several nearby shops will be extending their hours and offering specials that day, including Vena's Fizz House, a mixology shop and soda bar  just across the street from the new tasting room.

About the Author

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

Meredith can be contacted at 791-6332 or
On Twitter: @meredithgoad

Subscribe to the
Maine a la Carte RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013


October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.