Maine craft beers dominate the taps at The Woodshed in Manchester. Photos by Angie Bryan

Last weekend, a friend was visiting from New York, and I wanted to do something Maine-focused with her. I decided it was the perfect time to go check out The Woodshed, the Manchester bar/restaurant/event venue owned and operated by the stars of the popular reality TV show Maine Cabin Masters. And yes, I made my friend watch an episode first.

This biker-friendly, dog-friendly venue is large and primarily outdoors, with most seating at picnic tables, although there is also a smaller indoor space with excellent air conditioning. Next door to the indoor space is a retail shop selling all kinds of fun cabin/camp décor, as well as the obligatory Maine Cabin Masters merchandise.

We stayed outside and grabbed a few seats at the gorgeous wooden (as one would expect) bar. No purse hooks underneath, but fair enough – it’s not really the kind of place I’d bring a purse anyway. From Memorial Day through mid-October, they host a series called Rock the Dock, during which their spacious wooden stage and grassy area hosts live music, a monthly drum circle, cornhole tournaments (every other Thursday), karaoke nights (every other Thursday), fundraisers, trivia nights, and even the occasional lobster bake with the Maine Cabin Masters themselves, although all of this season’s are already sold out. The day we were there, they were hosting a fundraiser in memory of a local biker, and it was clear that the employees cared a lot about giving back to the community.

People sit on picnic tables on a lawn in front of the stage at The Woodshed.

The Woodshed doesn’t have a liquor license, but does have nine $8 Maine microbrews on tap. I was delighted to see that two of the draft beer options were Baxter’s Woodshed IPA and Cushnoc’s Behind the Woodshed Pilsner, as well as a third option from Lone Pine. They have several more options in bottles and cans, including some hard seltzers, and six $9 wines by the glass (or, in this case, by the plastic cup). They even have an $8 mimosa, which is what my friend went with; I opted for the chardonnay.

A mimosa and a chardonnay in plastic cups at the outdoor bar at The Woodshed.

The food menu has a wide variety of options, including some that are gluten-free and some that are vegan. In addition to the usual comfort food items like sandwiches, burgers, tacos, fries, lobster rolls and poutine, they have a Mini Masters section for kids, and a surprising number of healthier options, such as fresh oysters, shrimp cocktail, salads and wraps.

Service was incredibly fast, both for drinks and food, and everybody we encountered was really friendly. I’d go back in a heartbeat. I had really wanted to end this review with a bad joke about carpentry, but I just didn’t think it wood work.

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