Beer, Wine & Live Music


Usually, a Saturday night out in Portland Maine for me means closing the bars down in the Old Port then sneaking over to Sangillos to make their last call.  This past weekend I switched things up a bit and had a low key evening of sipping craft beer, tasty wine and munching on salty snacks all to live music in the background.  Where did this all go down?  An establishment that I have walked by countless times and finally had a reason to go in: Blue on Congress St.

The reason for my visit to Blue was to watch my boyfriend’s Uncle’s band play a set.  They go by the name of Abram Taylor and their “garage jazz” sound fit perfect in Blue’s low key lounge atmosphere.  The acoustics are not too overpowering here so patrons can either enjoy dinner from their condensed chalk board menu or lean back with some brews, munch on tasty bar bites and watch the Congress St foot traffic stroll by.

Throughout the summer I have tasted a lot of delicious beers but the most memorable so far has been the Spring Peeper Ale I had at Blue (yes, the name is ironic for the season).  When I saw the name on the beer menu I knew it sounded familiar, then I remembered I had sampled it at last year’s Maine Brewer’s Festival at the Portland Expo.  My vocabulary for describing the taste of beer and wine has never been sophisticated, which is why i usually feel uncomfortable at wine tastings trying to chat the server up to be proved worthy of a heavy pour.  My laments terms to describe the Spring Peeper would be crisp and refreshing with no lingering after taste, and the best part of all is that it comes in a 22 oz bottle!

My wine list is not very extensive so I was excited to see two familiar names on their chalk board.  The first being one of my stand by wines, it’s a Vinho Verde called Gazela. It’s made with premature green grapes so it’s a bit sour and has some fizz which I enjoy because it fills the void of prosecco without hurting your wallet.  The second familiar name on the menu is another white wine called Domaine de Pouy 2005 Cotes de Gascogne (mouth full but the second half states the region of France it was produced in).  I will definitely be scouring the wine isles for a bottle of this in the future, it went down smooth and one glass just wasn’t enough!

What I can take away from my trip to Blue: a new favorite beer, wine, and a trusted location for great live tunes and service.

Blue on Urbanspoon

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About Holly

The Story of Holly

Told by Miz Emily

Holly first introduced me to the concept of "caw-ing" almost 3 years ago. My life has never been the same. By day this crow works the office life but by night you will certainly find Holly (Party Pants) Stevens in her Jamaica Plain kitchen cooking and dancing the night away in true crow fashion. Proudly hailing from Maine's Old Orchard Beach, this wild one has figured out how to combine her love for New England- its history, its food, & its boozy dance parties- with her love of classic elegance. Holly's food is fresh, locally produced, healthy, and full of flavor. A self-described salt hound, no taste bud goes untouched by a meal at Holly's nest. By combining simple salads with rich pastas, fish, and soups, no visitor will leave unsatisfied. Moreover, no hangover goes uncured when morning walks with Holly are kicked off with a hidden stash of irish coffee, and finished off by a nice warm plate of oven potatoes and frittata.

Glancing around her kitchen you will find a few staple items including a mini whisk (for perfect salad dressing), the classiest compost bucket I've ever seen, a kick-ass vegetable hutch, and most importantly a tasty beverage ready to meet your hand. Her home is cozy and warm, and her hospitality is outmatched by no one. On the bookshelves you will find recipes given to her by friends, and books like Omnivore's Dilemma and Salt: A World History, the later being one of the best book suggestion I've ever received, and the subject of her college thesis. Never missing the chance to make a dinner party a dance party, Holly is in constant motion, ready to motivate the group with classy tunes like Credence, Al Green, and GirlTalk. Unless, of course, Top Chef is on.

One thought on “Beer, Wine & Live Music

  1. I really love wine. I remember the first time I tried some when I was just 13 years old. My mom let me taste a bit of her white on Thankgiving. Right then and there I became a wine drinker. lol I would guess that I have tried quite a few hundred different wines over the years. It’s kind of fun experiencing a new one and learning about how and where it was grown. I’ve been thinking about checking out a wine club lately and I’ve been thinking about this 4 Seasons club. I read a review about it on this site. Have you had any experience with it, or would you recommend any other wine tasting club?