Hi-Fidelity Beer, a new nanobrewery focused on low-alcohol beer, opens Friday in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood.
Located at 200 Anderson Street, the three-barrel brewery will be among the smallest in the city, according to co-owner PD Wappler. Hi-Fidelity has 1,700 square feet of space on site, with a front area of 425 square feet that can seat approximately 30 patrons, including a 20-seat bar that wraps around the interior. The brewery will have around ten additional places outside.
“We’re not very tall, but hopefully that will add to the comfort,” Wappler said.
Wappler said he and his partner Dante Maderal wanted Hi-Fidelity beer to be a low-alcohol (less than 6% alcohol by volume) alternative to most larger, higher-strength draft beers in the Portland breweries these days. The brewery will offer at least three of its new beers this weekend, including a British bitter (3.3%), an American IPA (4.7%) and a smoked porter (5.2%).
Wappler said many of his friends in the local artist community have gotten sober in recent years, so Hi-Fidelity will also be offering a variety of creative soft drinks, including malt sodas made from their beer wort. “We try to be inclusive and offer something for everyone,” Wappler said.
Hi-Fidelity Beer includes a small kitchen area, so the brewery will also have a limited menu with items like red beans and rice with andouille, and breakfast sandwiches. The brewery will also have a full liquor license as well as an entertainment license so it can host local musicians, as well as open mic and comedy nights. Wappler said they don’t plan to can Hi-Fidelity beers and won’t often partner with restaurants or other outside vendors to sell their kegs.
“We follow a low-to-no distribution model,” Wappler said. “If you want our beer, come to our brewery and have a great time.”
Hi-Fidelity will be open Thursday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Monday from 2 p.m. to midnight.
NEW BATHROOM BAKERY
A new Italian bakery from owners of Solo Italiano and Solo Cucina Portland Market in South Portland is due to open this summer on Center Street in Bath.
Solo Pane e Pasticceria is located at 29 Center St., the former location of Center Street Bakery. Sole Pane held a pop-up at the bakery last weekend to preview some of its offerings, and its Facebook page features photos of the bakery’s bread, Italian pastries and pizza.
Owners Paolo and Mercedes Liboa and Jesse Bania could not be reached on Tuesday for more information on when the new bakery will officially open. Sole Pane’s website says the company was inspired by Solo Cucina’s market cook program.
FISH & WHISTLE OPENS
Biddeford’s highly anticipated new seafood restaurant, Fish & Whistle, opened its doors last weekend.
Fish & Whistle chef/co-owner Jason Eckerson said he was offering a limited menu for opening weekend and the “squidwich,” a calamari sandwich with tartar sauce, was a top seller.
“It went even better than we expected, and we actually sold some of the food,” Eckert said.
Eckert, a former sous chef at Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, opened Fish & Whistle with his wife, James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef Kate Hamm, in the 299 Main St. space that had been occupied by the former Italian fusion restaurant Yeto’s. .
Eckert plans to introduce new dishes every week this summer as he, Hamm and their team of six gradually build out their full menu of yeast-breaded fish and chips and sandwiches made with fish or fried chicken on small Japanese milk breads that Hamm bakes in-house, as well as cakes and pies sold by the slice.
COOKBOOK FOR A CAUSE
Culinary Arts Students in Southern Maine Learning program will celebrate a newly compiled cookbook of their recipes at a fundraising dinner and launch party on Thursday at Broadturn Farm in Scarborough.
The cookbook contains nearly 20 recipes from students in the LearningWorks YouthBuild culinary program, including dishes prepared by the students themselves with the help of their teacher, as well as recipes handed down by their mothers and grandmothers. The book was designed and published in-house. The project began last fall as students were asked to write essays about their most powerful food memories, according to Katy Sargent, development and communications coordinator for the nonprofit LearningWorks, which provides community-based education programs. free in southern Maine for decades.
“Their initial reaction was that they felt their experiences weren’t special or unique,” Sargent said. “But in the end, it was a great source of pride and confidence for them. They discovered that their experiences mattered and were interesting.
Portland photographer Molly Haley took photos for the cookbook, and Sargent said the students made their own culinary style for the shoot, arranging the components of their recipes as they thought best.
About ten students will be present at the event to sign copies of the cookbook and discuss their dishes and the family traditions behind them. The event’s caterers, Lake & Co., designed a menu inspired by student recipes, Sargent said.
Tickets for the event are $75, available on line. Proceeds will help fund free LearningWorks programs.
After a three-year hiatus, Boothbay Harbor’s lobster-biting contest, the Claw Down, will be held on June 16 at the Commercial Street Shipyard.
Ten chefs from the Boothbay area will take part in this year’s Claw Down to cook up the best lobster dishes, served in bite-size pieces and judged by a panel of three judges as well as visitors who can vote for a People’s Choice award.
The Claw Down usually takes place in September, although it has been canceled the past two years due to the pandemic, as well as in 2019 due to scheduling and logistical issues. Lisa Walby, executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event, said they chose to hold it now rather than in September because local chefs are busy with foliage customers d autumn at this time.
“Plus, it gives them bragging rights for the season,” Walby said.
The Claw Down starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $80, available for purchase on line.
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