August 25th, 2012 11:48 am | by JOHN LOCANTHI Food & Drink | Posted In: The President of Beers

President of Beers: #49

Shipyard Export Ale: Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine.

We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.

#49: Shipyard Export Ale: Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, Maine.

State: The northeasternmost state in the Union, Maine enjoys a reputation as the frozen, moose-ridden ancestral home of the Bush clan and the country’s lobster industry.

Brewery: Originally started as a brew pub in Kennebunkport in 1992, Shipyard Brewing Company moved into a larger facility in Portland shortly thereafter. Currently the 17th largest microbrewery in the country, you can find their swill in 43 states, extending as far west as The Real Portland. 

Beer: This light, golden ale launched with Shipyard itself in 1992. It’s slightly sweet flavor and modest 5.1% ABV make it an innocuous choice whenever you simply need a beer.

Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Easy. Check your local beer emporium.

Average Score: 49.3

PHOTO: Cameron Browne
The most popular beer from the largest microbrewery in any given state often isn’t interesting. The masses aren’t going to flock to an IPA flavored with limes, cucumbers, and habaneros. Back East, they might not even flock to an IPA. They’re going to favor something muted, something innocuous, something like Shipyard’s Export Ale.

This crisp, yellow-ish orange ale is light in flavor, moderate in alcohol, neither particularly bitter or sweet, and that’s about all there is to it. It goes down smoothly with a lingering mildly hoppy aftertaste. In other words, it’s a very drinkable beer that drew reactions running the gamut from “everyone says this is the worst, but it’s not bad” to “yuck!” and “undrinkable” from our panel of experts. I prefer my own vague comment from the tasting: “tastes like beer.” Shipyard Export Ale, it’s beer. Hooray beer.

Maine does not have many laws inhibiting the distribution of beer, which is one of the reasons why Shipyard has grown so big. The state has a healthy beer culture, a growing craft brewing scene, and has just discovered the magic of growlers.

Oh, and it’s made in Portland. Sort of.

We all know the story: Two East Coasters flipped a coin in the olden times to determine whether the future cultural capital of Oregon would be called Boston or Portland. Francis Pettygrove of Maine won.

Over the past few years, the two cities have followed a similar trajectory: a booming restaurant scene, a hip underground music scene, and a local love for microbrews—some totally adorable Mainers even feel they have the best beer scene in the country. They call it “Portland East.”

It raises the question: is Portland, Maine the new Portland, Oregon?

Instead of resorting to statistics (boring!) and objective facts (lame!) to compare our city to this quaint lobstering community, we looked to Urban Dictionary to see how residents from these two cities feel about their own city and the nickname Portland East. What we found was a frank, honest discussion, a rational exchange of ideas:

Portland, OR
The greatest fucking city in the United States. There aren't any jobs there, but the people, parks, coffee, indie music, proximity to excellent hydroponic weed and general vibe of the place make up for it. I can't believe I left and am going back as soon as possible.
-Jeffrey C. Gillespie

Portland, maine
the best motherfucking city in the world. where you can live, eat, play, and fuck, within a 5 mile radius. portland maine is the OG portland. the munjoy hill district is possibly the best place to hang out. EVAR. oregon stole portland from us, because they couldn't come up with their own fucking name. those ore-fags. dude, portland, maine is THE shit. like, fo realz.

portland east
portland east refers to portland, maine. while portland, west refers to portland, oregon. Ptown in Maine is going through a pretty cool scene right now, i.e. a lot of underground stuff. It's pretty sweet. If you ever find yourself in Portland East check out the old port. there's a lot of sick shops and places to get grub. tons of interesting people down here too. you get the idea.

Portland East
What people from Portland, Maine, call the city to make it sound cool when it really isn't. It is synonymous with 'jealous poser' because Portland, Oregon, took its name and did it the right way.
Gertrude: "Ya man, I'm from Portland East."
Malone: "What the fuck? You mean East Portland? Like Burnside, Mt. Hood, the Trailblazers and shit?"
Gertrude: "No, Portland, Maine. We have a cool indie scene..."
Malone shivs Gertrude in the neck.
Malone: "Portland North East, ho."


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