Farewell to a #beer artisan…hopefully only temporarily…

When I was a kid nothing consumed my being more than the constant scheming to get out of the state of Maine, the only place I had known to that point.  Visions of travel and planting roots anywhere else became my focus, leading me to a profession that actually allowed (and rewarded) me to travel coast to coast, and then some.  Despite my yearning to escape, there have always been things about Vactionland that I have held dear.  Not many, but a few.  One of these nuggets of nostalgia blossomed along with my love and appreciation for craft beer.  Maine has been one of the frontrunners in the recent craft beer explosion, and has been growing both in number and ongoing notoriety.  Current brewery numbers are 40+ in the great state of Maine, but unfortunately beer fans must bid one of these institutions a fond adieu.

R.I.P. Bull Jagger

Bull Jagger (http://www.bulljagger.com/), a microbrewery opened in Portland, ME in 2011, carved a niche instantly by tackling the more time-consuming and unforgiving art of Lager brewing.  Their flagship offerings of Big Claw Pilsner, Crimson Lager, Original No. 19 Baltic Porter, and Portland Lager spread in availability across Maine and into parts of Massachusetts.  Also, the crew participated in many beer events, get togethers, and festivals.  I had the chance to briefly mingle with them at last year’s American Craft Beer Festival in Boston amongst the thousands of people crowding the tables.  Always friendly and always more than willing to talk shop, talk beer, or even just shoot the shit.  Well, for reasons unknown at this time, the brewery has been placed on the market (http://maine.craigslist.org/bfs/3688915790.html), impending the forthcoming end of the Bull Jagger era, albeit a short one, in the Maine craft beer scene.

Copied from the Bull Jagger Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/bulljagger?ref=stream):

“Friends of Bull Jagger~

As some of you know, the brewery is for sale.  Bull and Jagger are going their separate ways, and under the circumstances, we have no choice but to close the company.  In the coming weeks, we will have fresh beer to package and sell.  Our lagers are and will be available in Maine through our distributor, retailers, and to the public while supplies last.

Tom Bull, co-owner and head brewer, has been asked by the owners of the Big Claw brand to work with another local brewer to brew Big Claw Pilsner (and keep Tom brewing in general) for the coming spring and summers seasons . . . and beyond.

A world of gratitude to all of you who have supported us– we have learned a lot, laughed a lot, and made lots of new friends along the way.

After the brewery is sold, Tom will regroup and continue to pursue the passion that made him Maine’s 1st all lager craft brewer.  Until then, enjoy our local lagers and keep supporting your local craft beers and beer sellers.

Drink up boys and girls, the brewery needs the kegs.

Prost!”

Goodbye BJ!

So, no matter how unstoppable the juggernaut of the craft beer movement may seem at any given time, no matter how much of a love or drive it is for those out there making and creating for our enjoyment, the bottom line is that this is still a business.  Sometimes, for reasons unforeseen, businesses move, and sometimes they close.  My point?  Don’t take anything for granted.  That brewery down the road that you’ve been meaning to visit for the past week…month…year?  It may not be there forever, so go down and say hello, make a friend, become a customer, and most importantly, enjoy what has been so painstakingly crafted for the sole purpose of being enjoyed, while you can.  And as always, drink educated my friends!

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