Stars and Stripes Brewing & Tattooed Dad Brewing Co.
This state can be overlooked sometimes given our geographic location or woodsy essence, but Maine is no longer a place where the beer is an untapped resource. More than 20 new Maine breweries opened over the past year, and there’s no sign of stopping. Smaller communities are joining the brew scene, all contributing something unique to the craft. Here are two of the newest.
Stars and Stripes, Freeport
Stars and Stripes Brewing, a veteran-owned craft brewery, opened last November. Though Brad and Nancy Nadeau had hoped to open the brewery sooner, they decided it was only fitting to celebrate Veteran’s Day with their grand opening. “Our anniversary will always be on Veteran’s Day, so that works out quite well,” said Brad. As a homebrewer, Brad kept upgrading his brewing equipment until an unforeseen opportunity presented itself. The couple had set some money aside to have someone pave their driveway; however, he never showed up. Instead, Brad purchased three brew vessels for sale online at a comparable price, making their dreams to own a brewery a reality.
An Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Brad Nadeau wanted his brewery to have significant meaning, so he combined his passion for craft beer and his compassion for his fellow servicemen. “I had a vision about how it would look,” he said, adding, “but, we also didn’t want to alienate non-military members. The atmosphere does not have an overpowering military presence.”
Though they don’t offer military discounts to patrons, Stars and Stripes donates a portion of their profits to various veterans’ organizations. They proudly take part in several initiatives that help their military community, such as The Summit Project to honor Maine’s fallen heroes and Toys for Tots. Boots2Roots, a military transition assistance program, often has meetings at the brewery. They do offer a reserved parking spot for Purple Heart recipients, a nice touch to show their appreciation. They also offer a tasty seasonal black IPA to raise money to help suicide prevention for the Kill22 project.
As for beers, they have something for everyone. One of their flagships, the Semper FI-PA, is a West-Coast Style IPA that resides on the bitter/clean side of the IPA spectrum. However, for the juicy/hazy crowd, they offer the Ooh-Rah! IPA. Nancy Nadeau is the creative mind behind its military centric names, such as the Platoon Pale Ale and Warriors Wheat.
The brewery itself has a pond-side deck and a spacious taproom for when the chill sets in. Most of the furniture and interiors are handmade by Brad Nadeau. For families, Stars and Stripes has a “kid’s corner” to give the children a place to congregate while the parents have their own playtime.
Tattooed Dad Brewing Co., Jackson
Another new Maine brewer aligned two passions when Tattooed Dad Brewing Co. officially opened this past April. As you would expect from the name, owner Cody Tibbetts has several tattoos, and his boys originally devised the brewery’s theme, so that each beer correlates with a tattoo that their dad has. Each beer/tattoo lends insight to what Jenny and Cody Tibbetts value. “After starting the brewery, the tattoos have even more meaning,” Cody said.
They offer the spectrum of beers, from stout to wheat. The Wa ‘Chout Stout, rich and a robust at 9%, is based on the Pemaquid Lighthouse where the couple were married. The Two Moose Pale Ale is a tribute to his two sons who both have “Moose” as nicknames. The Dog Paw Brown Ale, very roasty in character, is in honor of their beloved dog that passed away. The Drums n’ Roses IPA is very dry and malty, and shows his musical talents as a drummer. The Hopsleeve IPA is of the juicy and hazy variety, and Tibbetts’s friend grows the hops in his garden. The Winged Wheel Wheat Ale, their most popular beer, is very crisp and clean.
Nestled in a wooded corner in Jackson, Maine, Tattooed Dad Brewing Co. is located in Jenny and Cody Tibbetts’ old converted shed. The taproom space is cozy and intimate with a few tables. The wooden bar and hand-painted mural adds to the place’s charm. Their neighbor hand-carved the tap handles and etched the beer glasses. Operating a half-barrel brewhouse, Cody brews twice per week, while working as a carpenter and as a motorcycle mechanic. Jenny works in a local elementary school as well.
Enjoying the outside space at Tattooed Dad Brewing is a must, even when the weather gets chilly. The covered-patio with picnic tables makes for a great getaway. They have live music once per month until October, since space inside is limited. As of now, they are open Friday and Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
When asked if he would get more tattoos with the expansion of different beers, Cody said, “My tattoos range somewhere between therapy and addiction. My tattoo artist is a friend and we barter motorcycle maintenance for tattoos. So, I foresee there will be more to come.”
— Text & Photos: John Breerwood.
MAINE BREWERIES 2019
These other breweries also opened in Maine in 2019.
Tasting room hours are listed in our Tasting Room Directory.
- 207 Beer Company (Brewer)
- Ambition Brewing (Wilton)
- Bateau Brewery (Gardiner)
- Batson River Brewing & Distilling (Kennebunkport)
- Black Pug Brewing (Brunswick)
- Birchwood Brewing (Gray)
- Blaze Brewing (Camden)
- Brewery Extrava (Portland)
- Fluvial Brewing LLC (Harrison)
- Footbridge Brewery (Boothbay Harbor)
- Frosty Bottom Brewing (Swanville)
- Liberator Brewing (Rockland)
- Nu Brewery (New Gloucester)
- Root Wild Kombucha (Portland)
- Sasanoa Brewing (Westport)
- Side by Each Brewing (Auburn)
- Van der Brew (Winthrop)
- Waterman Beach Brewery (South Thomaston)
- XOTA Brewing Company (Waterboro)