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     PINTS AND POETRY IN PORTLAND small brick logo
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID McBRIDE
In the Ship-yard stood the Master,
With the model of the vessel,
That should laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!

From the poem,
THE BUILDING OF THE SHIP
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The Shipyard Brewery in Portland, ME as seen in American Public House Review
SHIPYARD BREWING COMPANY IN PORTLAND, MAINE
 

As I mentioned in my previous article about JOSHUA'S TAVERN, Maine is a state filled with great history and the birthplace to numerous American legends.  One of those people is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Born in Portland, Maine in 1807, Longfellow became an internationally renowned writer and an American phenomenon.

Longfellow grew up in Portland and at the very young age of 14 began attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick. He graduated in 1825 along with Nathaniel Hawthorne, in what I have to imagine is the single most impressive graduating class any college English department has ever produced. He lived out his later years in Cambridge, Massachusetts teaching at Harvard and traveling the world.  But even into his fifth decade, he still thought of his hometown.  In 1858 he wrote the poem “MY LOST YOUTH” which reflected on his time growing up in Portland.  It began with these beautiful lines:


Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.


Old Portland, ME as seen in American Public House Review
OLD PORTLAND


Shipyard Brewery in Portland, ME as seen in American Public House ReviewPortland still has that same enchanted feeling.  While there, you can visit the house where Longfellow was raised.  It is now a museum.  But you can not visit the place where the American icon was born.  That house no longer exists.  The location is now home to one of Portland’s other great legendary attractions, the SHIPYARD BREWING COMPANY.

Now, I imagine some will find it near blasphemy for me to compare a literary giant like Longfellow with something as seemingly trivial as a brewery.  But click on the American Public House Review homepage and have a look at the top banner.  There we see that it was indeed Longfellow who said, "He who has not been at a tavern knows not what a paradise it is!”  I can only imagine a man with a love of great taverns also shares a fondness and respect for fine brewers.  Is it so hard to believe that Mr. Longfellow would not mind seeing his old home turned to such good use?

The Shipyard would surely have done this great drinker proud.  The company seems to go out of its way to wear Maine’s alluring nautical heritage on its sleeve.  The sea surrounds Portland, and the city’s very existence is drenched by its salted waves.  It is a fascination that Longfellow also shared.  Once again, I turn to his words for inspiration:


Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.

Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!


Taps at Shipyard Brewing Co. in Portland, ME as seen in American Public House Review

Tasting bar in Shipyard Brewey in Portland, ME as seen in American Public House Review
A NICE ARRAY OF BEERS ON TAP

THE TASTING BAR


You can visit the brewery and take a tour of the facility.  But while everyone smiles and shows interest in the brewing process, we are all waiting for the chance to hit the tasting room.  At the tour’s end, you happily belly-up to a quaint little brick bar for an opportunity to try a selection of great beers.  Each in their own way, they all seem to represent not only Maine’s nautical heritage but also a terrific and growing brewing tradition.


Portland, Me as seen in American Public House Review




The Shipyard Brewing Company & Gift Shop



86 NEWBURY STREET
PORTLAND, MAINE  04101

OFFICE:  (207) 761-0807
GIFT SHOP:  1-800-BREW-ALE


www.shipyard.com



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