BIDDEFORD, Maine - Located in the Biddeford-Saco mill complex a short walk from the Saco train station is the only gluten-free brewery in the state of Maine.
Lucky Pigeon, which will celebrate its two-year anniversary on Aug. 19, is a dream come true for many who suffer from gluten intolerance, including Celiac disease.
While there are several gluten free beers on the market, many still have traces of gluten in them and almost all of them are insufferable to the taste.
|Britt Bartlett of Lucky Pigeon Pigeon Brewing Co. in Biddeford shows off the brewing room located just steps from the tavern.|
The experiment in microbrewing is the brainchild of Kathleen and Bev Pigeon as well as her sister and brother-in-law, Nic and Lesley Bramer.
The idea started about nine years ago after it was learned Kathleen Pigeon couldn't have gluten, so the four began home brewing gluten-free beer, and the rest is history.
Lucky Pigeon is located in Pepperell Mill 13-131.
The space I visited on Saturday was an inviting one, with comfy chairs,
|A listing of Saturday's 10 gluten free brews, to the right the taps are waiting|
plenty of booths and 10 beers on tap.
Tavern manager Britt Bartlett, who also heads up beer packaging and canning, said Lucky Pigeon offers up a unique experience for gluten-free folk.
"To be able to come in and sit down with a flight of quality, fresh drafts, it's something people really enjoy," he said.
A flight is a rack of four 5-ounce glasses of beer, so that tasters can identify which ones agree with their palate most.
Both Ian Anderson, who was bartending on Saturday, and Bartlett guided me through the choosing process, detailing various brews as hoppy, fruity, lagery or pilsnery.
Their beers are made mostly from corn and millet.
|Tavern manager Britt Bartlett shows he can juggle tennis balls as well as several different jobs at Lucky Pigeon Brewing Co. in Biddeford. Looking on is bartender Ian Anderson.|
After brief discussions I chose a Building 13 American lager, an Eclecticus blonde ale, a Plumage Belgian style ale and a Kay'Lee Irish red ale.
Whenever they serve a flight, glasses are drank from left to right and go down the board in descending order so you can keep track. A flight costs $12.
Bartlett said they rotate their beers seasonally and will have some stouts through the winter.
My favorite was the Plumage, a heavy ale with a satisfying finish. It's also one of their highest by alcohol content at 6.1 abv. By comparison Budweiser is at 5 and Bud Light is at 4.4.
We left with a four-pack of 16-ounce Plumage cans, which cost $21.
Bartlett said the cost of making a 100 percent gluten free beer does not come cheap.
Call it a flight of fancy on a summer's day.
The easiest way to get to Lucky Pigeon is taking the train out of Dover to the Saco train station. Then walk directly out to Main Street, take a fight and follow Main Street for about 10 minutes. You'll see Building 13 on the right, walk to the end of the building and take another right down the back side. Lucky Pigeon will be on your right near the end.
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