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German-style beer from the woods of Maine

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

“Work Hard. Play Hard. Be Gneiss” simply stated is what this local brewery is about, and as their website announces, Gneiss Brewing brings you German-style beer from the woods of Maine.

Situated at the foothills of White Mountains in Limerick, the brewery is a special and unique stop for travelers and locals. Everything the co-founders do stands out from common standards found in the beer world today and we are lucky to have this distinct spot in our neck of the woods.

Back in 2013 when Gneiss first opened, the east coast was starting to distinguish themselves in the IPA world, the hop-focused brews were sweeping the popularity contest and especially here, the New England-style IPA was just beginning the road to getting established as a style of its own characteristics. Nevertheless, Dustin and Tim decided to explore a different tradition in brewing. Tim recalls the summer of 2011, when Dustin first brewed the German Hefeweizen that eventually will become their flagship Gneiss Weiss and the focus of the brewery’s style. One of my other personal favorites is Sonnenschein, a clean and crisp kolsch which was absolutely refreshing after a long day in those humid 90F days that are hopefully a thing of the past. As October approaches so is the release of this year’s batch of Obsius, a wheat Stout that is smooth and creamy. Yet, if you absolutely love IPAs you will not be disappointed with your visit to the brewery, Dustin and Tim knew that the style couldn’t be overlooked, thus the Tectonic Tomahawk, a white IPA with 6.7% ABV & 75 IBUs was born. “It took some dialing in, but we feel like we have found a great balance between hefeweizen flavor and hop flavors with that beer, and the IPA fans who come to the brewery agree!” says Tim, Co-Founder & Marketing/Tasting Room Manager.

The visit to the brewery is a great adventure that could be part of a fun day trip. In the tasting room, you can try flights of the year-round and seasonal varieties or a bigger pour of your favorite. Hang out inside or relax at the beirgarten where you can spot the brewery pigs greeting visitors by the fence of their enclosure. If you are wondering about these unusual brewery dwellers, they come Wyndswept farm down the road and according to Tim:

“Each year we raise 5-6 pigs and feed them the spent grain from our brewing operations, and encourage them to turn the land over for us as we continue to fight back the forest reclaiming the spot we cleared for the brewery back in 2012. We send our spent grain from winter brewing operations down to Wyndswept to feed the mother pigs during the winter, then keep the grain during the Summer and Fall to feed their offspring up at the brewery. its a great little cycle of sustainability we have going here!” - Tim B.

Plan to spend some time while here, lounge in comfy outdoor chairs or picnic tables, enjoy time with friends, or play corn hole. On certain days you can catch Willie’s Wurstwagon slinging bratwurst, and if you enjoy a little spice in your life the jalapeno cheddar is superb. Thanks to recent expansion, you can now pick-up cans at the brewery which is the best option if you are from away, but as a regular visitor, investing into a growler is a great and sustainable way to bring the beer home and to a dinner table. I asked Tim what else you can do around the area when visiting the brewery and to my surprise there’s actually a plethora of fun activities and attractions to choose from:

“I often hear people say there is NOTHING to do in Limerick, but that couldnt be further from the truth. If the weather is good and you are into it, Woodland Valley Disc Golf has some of the most fun and interesting terrain for Disc Golf in the State! Also, there are so many great hikes in the area, such as Sawyer Mountain, Knox Mountain and even up to Burnt Meadow Mountain. If outdoors activities arent your thing, there are a multitude of shops and artisans in the area to visit. Writ's Chocolate House, Hilltop Boilers, Nature's Way Greenery, Annies Teeny Tiny Quilt Shop, Steeplebush Herbs, Naturally Jammin, BarnSwallow Pottery, Vickie's Olde School Gift Shop, Harris Turkey Farm and so many more are all within a few minutes drive from the brewery. Also, when the fruit is in season Libby and Son's U-Picks, Dole's Orchard, Brackett's Orchard and McDougal Orchard are all in the area as well. Lots to do out here in Limerick and the surrounding towns!” - Tim B.

The current tasting room hours are Fridays 2pm-8pm, Saturday Noon-7pm & Sunday Noon-5pm, these hours will change after Veteran’s Day Weekend (Winter Hours: Fri 2-7pm & Sat 12-6pm)

So stop on by and checkout these upcoming events:

  • 9/22 - Willie Wurstwagon Pop-Ups: 9/30, 10/13, 10/27, 11/9 - 11/11

  • 9/22 - Corn Hole Tournament to benefit York County Habitat for Humanity

  • 10/6 - 5 Year Anniversary Party: Beer, food & live Music, this is a ticketed event

  • 11/09 - 11/11 - The Snowflake Trail is the annual open house of 12 small businesses in Limerick, Limington and Newfield, Maine.

By Dasha Smirnova


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