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Something new is brewing in Bangor

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Bangor Beer Company brewmaster Jared Lambert cleans a tank in the brewing space of the new brewery. Bangor Beer Company brewmaster Jared Lambert cleans a tank in the brewing space of the new brewery. (edge photo by Kevin Bennett)

Bangor Beer Company opens brewery, tasting room

BANGOR – There’s a brand-new addition coming to the burgeoning Bangor beer scene.

Bangor Beer Company has recently begun operations. This new craft brewery and tasting room are an extension of the Oriental Jade restaurant located on Bangor Mall Boulevard. The brainchild of Tyson Lo, Bangor Beer Company’s tasting room is already open on a limited basis, with expanded hours set to follow soon once brewmaster Jared Lambert has the brewing side up and running.

So how did it come to pass?

“We have a family friend who’s involved in the beer scene,” said Lo. “He introduced me to Jared and I just knew that this was the guy I wanted to work with. We’ve always been passionate about high-quality locally-produced food and drink and we wanted to continue to reinvest in the business and community.

“We’re all passionate about beer,” he continued. “And Jared’s passion for brewing is incredible. We wanted to add to Bangor’s growth as a beer destination.”

The brewing system came together under Lambert’s supervision.

“It’s a seven-barrel system,” he said. “We’re looking at something like 220 gallons or so per batch.”

Lambert’s experience has been primarily homebrew-oriented; he’s been doing it for a decade. And he has developed a reputation as one of the best in the area in recent years, so there’s an excitement to seeing what he might come up with at this larger, commercial scale.

(Editor’s note: Can confirm. Jared Lambert’s homebrew is delicious.)

But while good beer is the goal as far as product, Lo has big ideas with regards to the overall experience.

“It’s all about entertainment,” he said. “About creating a fun place. I really want to infuse Bangor with some bigger city elements. And I think the time is right.”

Of course, putting a brewery together isn’t something that happens overnight.

“We started discussing this whole thing about two years ago,” Lambert said. “For the past year, we’ve been doing the really heavy planning, figuring out the financing and licensing and everything else that goes into a project like this.”

And as we probably should have come to expect by now, the area’s craft brewing community has been both welcoming and generous to this newest kid on the block.

“Everybody has been great,” said Lambert. “Folks at Marsh Island, Black Bear, OBC, Mason’s … everybody. Everyone in the area – big or small – has been nothing but helpful.”

Lo’s vision for the tasting room experience is definitely something special.

“We’re trying to harness nostalgia,” he said. “For people born anywhere from the ‘50s to the ‘90s, we try to have something that reminds them of fun times.

“We think of ourselves as somewhere north of ordinary,” he continued. “We want to be a fun, unpretentious place to hang.”

That spirit is reflected in the eclectic vibe of the place, with a wide variety of décor aimed to inspire a clubhouse hangout feel. They’ve got bar shuffleboard and a stand-up arcade Donkey Kong machine, for starters, as well as an outdoor are featuring cornhole and – eventually – much more; Lo has some big ideas for taking advantage of the available space, including something he called the “Beer Olympics.” The mind reels at the possibilities.

As far as what kinds of beers we’ll see from Bangor Beer Company, Lambert isn’t afraid to cast a wide net. His plans as far as his initial beer offerings include a Helles lager, a stout and an IPA or two, but really, the sky’s the limit.

“Nice clean lagers – gateway beers,” he said. “Some international styles. Hoppy beers. IPAs and DIPAs. Maybe some barrel-aged sours. As long as the quality is good, that’s all that matters.”

Ultimately, Lo and Lambert are hoping to build Bangor Beer Company into a destination.

“You have to remember, beer is a part of the community fabric,” said Lo. “The OG social media was the public house. All of it – good food, good beer, good party – all of it working in union to make this a place where people want to be.”

There are plans in the works for various events – theme nights featuring various food or music or whatnot – as well as a desire to find path to charitable contribution, but in the end, both Lo and Lambert agree that the main goal is to help people enjoy themselves.

“We just want people to have fun and enjoy the experience,” said Lambert.

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