For better beer – Words and images by Mike V. Sardina
Things Are Different on Milo Time
Although it might not seem as such, Maine is a fairly large state geographically. And like many New England states where the infrastructure might not be entirely robust, there often isn’t a direct route from point A to point B. It can sometimes take a while to get somewhere, but of, course that’s often true of many, many things in life.
To get to Milo, Maine from downtown Portland, it will take you about two and a half hours. More like three if you are driving a freighted box truck. And that’s if the weather is nice and the road conditions are ideal. And be sure not to hit a moose.
The 2010 census lists the population of the Piscataquis County town at just over 2,300 people. Driving through it, past a pizza joint…a hardware store…it seems smaller. But for Peter and Noah Bissell, and for apparently several hundred other earnest people, Milo is home.
Milo is also home to Bissell Brothers’ (my current employer) second production brewery, slated to open in under two weeks. The facility houses the original 10-barrel, Bissell Brothers TigPro system that was sent up North after a 20-barrel brewhouse was installed at the brewery in Thompson’s Point. The facility is home to custom built coolship, a Forest Stone joint that is simultaneously a deliberate, technical work of utility and a creative, whimsical work of art.
Foeders, barrels, stainless tanks of varying shapes and sizes, a facility dedicated to the wild-sour-funky-spontaneous-long term forms of brewing. Very different beers, in a very different environs. A very different front-of-house operation, and a very different group of beer enthusiasts (or perhaps not so much) who may end up visiting. Very much a challenge and very much a mystery of what’s to come up North. But we shall soon see what’s to come of Milo Time…