Last Wednesday saw the July meeting of the Maine Beer Writers’ Guild. This month’s meeting was at Portland’s newest beer destination (they’re spreading like wildfire, aren’t they?), Prost! International Taphouse.
The meeting was preceded by the 2nd weekly “Beer 101” class at Prost!, each of which was run by me and Jason (co-founder of the MBWG and author of beerbloggers.com). The classes were great fun to “teach” and were pretty well attended. We won’t be running every class (although you couldn’t tell from the first two weeks) but should be there with some regularity. So if you’re in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoons from 6-7pm, be sure and pop in to see if you can spot us at the head of the class.
As far as Prost! is concerned, the bar has a LOT of potential – namely: a fantastic, convenient downtown location, very attractive renovations from the trashy bars that were in its place a few months ago, a fledgling of a great concept, and the potential for an incredible drought lineup.
But there is still lots and lots of work to be done. While Prost! says it has “more than 100 taps… the most taps in Maine” the actual drought line-up is far smaller than a hundred, and of those that are installed, many were kicked when we were there. While the pub calls itself a German-themed beer garden, it feels more like the Germany exhibit at Epcot. And, if there is a band or a DJ playing (or simply doing a sound-check, as was the case during our Wednesday evening meeting) in the adjacent Onyx nightclub, you won’t be able to hear anyone sitting at your table (or yourself think, for that matter).
Giving the company the benefit of the doubt, Prost! is still brand new (under a month) and I’m sure they’re in the process of working the kinks out. If they’re able to do that, it will definitely become a cornerstone of the ever-growing Portland Beer Scene.
One of the best parts of all the new Better Beer spots popping up around town is the potential for them to bring better beer to retail establishments, as well. Meaning, if West Coast breweries, (like Stone, for instance, or the half of the Rogue beers that you can’t get here) which previously haven’t been available in Maine, see how well specialty craft beers are doing in bars around Portland, they’ll bring their beers to our local package stores as well, benefiting local beer drinkers on every level and outlet of consumption. Here’s hoping…