top of page

Do you remember your first beer? I certainly do. Odds are, your first beer was much the same as my own: a light lager (probably served warm) from an American macro brewery. Be it Budweiser, Coors, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Natural, Busch, etc., the brew needed no introduction and left much to be desired. Such an experience is enough to ruin beer altogether for the majority of first-time zymurgic imbibers.

Enter First Mile Brewing. Those of you faithful customers who are "in-the-know" will recognize Lager Camp, a pale lager, first released in early summer of 2019, that constitutes our first attempt at a true-to-form craft lager. It offers an equally crisp, clean drinking experience as those other macro beers, but without sacrificing for flavor. Now, it has a counterpart. This week, Ezra and Nate packaged Map 67, a Vienna-style lager with a darker complexion, but offering an equally pleasurable drinking experience.

Many of you might be asking: what's so different about a lager, when compared to an ale? The simple answer is yeast. Now, there are great volumes of educational tomes on the differences between ale and lager yeasts, but I will attempt to distill the difference to its simplest form, for the sake of the layman: ale yeasts are top-fermenting yeasts (which means they ferment at the top of the wort within the fermentor) and they ferment most comfortably between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit; by contrast, lager yeasts are bottom-fermenting yeasts (thus, fermenting at the bottom of the wort within the fermentor) and prefer temperatures roughly between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The difference is simple enough, but comes with an important caveat: ale yeasts, preferring warmer temperatures, can fully ferment within 5 to 10 days; lager yeasts, preferring colder temperatures, require up to six weeks to ferment to completion. Thus, while an ale can be brewed and packaged within a two-week time span, a lager needs nearly two months to achieve the same outcome. Though a considerably more involved process, brewing lagers is well worth the effort in its apparent capacity to produce utterly pristine beers.

Lagers are the last great untapped (hehe) source of inspiration in the craft beer world. Amidst the onslaught of hazy IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, and all variants of "superbeers," touting alcohol contents in the double-digits, one can hardly be faulted for overlooking the simplicity of a cold, crisp lager. And yet, here at FMB, we relish the opportunity to tackle this otherwise underappreciated category of beer, to cast light on the brilliant combination of simplicity and patience.

So, next time your palate craves a balanced, clean lager, put down the 30-rack of macrobrew and come grab a Lager Camp or Map 67 lager at FMB!

48 views0 comments

Big Black Russian Imperial Stout needs little introduction. When Big Black walks into a bar, the record scratches and everyone turns towards the door. Light beers cower in its shadow. Cider drinkers convert spontaneously upon first sip. There are even rumors that it aced the SAT on the first try. No practice.

Legends aside, Big Black is an exemplary libation. It touts a stiff 9.0% ABV but sips as smoothly as a chocolate latte. The secret to its success? Patience. And lots of malt. 330 lbs of malt, to be exact. Following a brief stint in the fermentor, it spent the next six months aging in stainless steel barrels, allowing for the sweetness of the chocolate and caramel malts to develop and mature.

Bottled, wax-dipped, and labeled by hand, Big Black first hit the shelves during First Mile Brewing's second anniversary party--and is, in fact, both our first bottle release and our first anniversary beer release! It will remain for sale in-house until the beginning of March, when the remaining bottles will be returned to the cellar. There, it will continue to mature until we release it again next year, along with our next anniversary beer iteration.

Don't want to wait until next year? Come grab a bunch! Big Black is not particular about which cellar it ages in, though it does prefers dark, dry, and cool conditions for best results. Pair it with a medium-rare steak, or perhaps a slice of dark chocolate cake, but it is perfectly enjoyable on its own merit as well. (Chalice not required for consumption, but highly recommended...)

Can't make it to the tap room? Check out Merchants on the Corner in Presque Isle, where a handful of bottles are currently for sale. It's the only other place in the County (nay, the WORLD) where Big Black is sold, and quantities are limited!

39 views0 comments

Since May 2019, First Mile Brewing Co. has been putting out its quality beer in cans. All of our canned beer is sold in four packs of "pounders," or 16oz cans. Each style of beer promotes a uniquely colored, locally-designed label, providing the well-informed consumer of product's ABV, IBUs, and featured grains. And, of course, emblazoned on the front of each can is our unmistakable brand. So far, only about a dozen of our beers feature specifically-designed labels, but that number will certainly increase as new recipes gain popularity among our customers (plus, we have blank labels specifically for our limited-release specialty beers--although we must admit that we prefer our can design's gorgeous typeface to our own shoddy handwriting!) Within the coming weeks, we also plan to offer mix-and-match 4-packs for sale in our taproom. Have a favorite beer, but also want to try something new? Stress not--we've got you covered.

Canning beer marks a special moment of growth in our little company's progress. Since all cans are filled, sealed, and labeled by hand, the job was far too vast for our head brewer, Ezra, to handle on his own. Thus, the modest brew staff of one doubled in size. Enter Nate: our assistant brewer! Since Nate joined our crew in August, we now keep anywhere from four to twelve beer options in 4-packs for sale in-house. Also, as of November 2019, we also distribute cans to several restaurants and convenience stores throughout Aroostook County--both here in the St. John Valley and also in the Caribou/Presque Isle region!

(Below: Ezra, our elusive head brewer, calm and at peace in his natural habitat)

As we roll into 2020, our next goal is to tap into the last remaining Aroostook County market: Houlton. Soon enough, anyone jumping off the northern terminus of Interstate 95 will have immediate access to our fantastic beers, so keep an eye out for future posts in this regard!

Current can locations:

  • First Mile Brewing Co. taproom (Fort Kent)

  • FK Golf Course (Fort Kent, when in season)

  • R&M Country Store(Eagle Lake)

  • Roy's Variety (St. Agatha)

  • Inn of Acadia (Madawaska)

  • Route 1 BBQ (Madawaska)

  • Long Lake Sporting Club (Sinclair)

  • Martin's General Store (Sinclair)

  • R&J Market (Fort Fairfield)

  • Merchants on the Corner (Presque Isle)

33 views0 comments
bottom of page