Maine, the state that is home to most of the action in author Stephen King’s novels, is also ranked 5th in the United States for breweries per capita. It seems that those crazy northerners really like their craft beer, a fact that was not lost on the founders of Shipyard Brewing Company. In 1992, entrepreneur Fred Forsley and master brewer Alan Pugsley established the Kennebunkport Brewing Company at Federal Jack’s, a brew pub in Kennebunk, Maine. The brew pub, built on the former site of Kennebunk’s famous schooner shipyards, was a hit and demand for the fresh brews produced there soon outgrew production. To keep the beer flowing, Forsley and Pugsley opened Shipyard Brewing Company in the former Crosby Laughlin Foundry on thewaterfront in Portland, Maine. Since then, the Shipyards brand has spread across the country to over 40 states, including Florida. And one of the best places to sample tasty Shipyards brews is at the Shipyard Brew Pub in Winter Park just northeast of Orlando.
The Shipyard Brew Pub is naturally themed to a nautical sensibility, but it also presents itself as sleek with clean lines and an open, inviting atmosphere. Out front are a number of outdoor seats along with several cornhole lanes. Inside is a bar, plenty of seating and even an area decked out with a show kitchen for cooking demonstrations.
As you would imagine, the menu features Maine staples such as clam chowder, crab cakes, and of course, lobster rolls. But, it also features innovative flat bread pizzas such as the Lobster Flatbread with chinks of Maine lobster, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, dill Havarti, and fresh tarragon. Other favorites on the menu include Chicken and Shrimp Etouffee with roasted peppers, onions, and creole sauce and decadent Lobster Mac and Cheese with bacon and a three cheese sauce. Executive Chef David Squillante keeps things fresh and the quality and great flavors prove he has a passion for comfort foods.
But, since this is a brew pub, beer is a big player. In fact, beer is such an important part of the restaurant’s culture that they have hired an on-site brewer. Eric Hilgendorf hails from Wisconsin but has learned to call Florida his home. Hilgendorf brews small batch beers that are added to the Shipyard line up on the beer list. You will still find your Shipyard favorites like Export Ale, Fuggles IPA, and Old Thumper, but you also may find brews such as Rye by Nightfall or Felipe’s Magic Ale.
This weekend, Shipyards Brew Pub will be celebrating its second anniversary on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight. The festivities will include .50 oysters, $2 Shipyard bottles, $2 house wines, and $2 new menu samplers. Along with the great food and drink, partiers will be entertained by The Adam Moreno Trio, John Babcock and David Crabtree.
Shipyards Brew Pub is located at 200 West Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park, Fla.
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- New Bangor Daily News Article – Maine’s beer production grows by more than 50 percent since ’09 (bretherenbrew.wordpress.com)