It seems like it was only recently that our brewmaster, Jason Perkins, was first contacting Doles Orchard (in Limington, Maine) about using their tart cherries for brewing.
Very few farmers were growing cherries in Maine, and we were excited to be able to purchase the fruit locally. That was seven years ago, and since then, we have continued to buy as many cherries as Doles can sell us each season. Doles owners Nancy and Earl Bunting, who decided to plant cherries when they realized there was an overabundance of apple orchards in Maine, also grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and a variety of other fruits. We have been able to purchase and brew with many of these crops: Coolship Cerise, Pick Your Own, and Nancy ale are a few of the beers that came about from this partnership.
Named after Nancy Bunting, Nancy is a sour red ale fermented with Balaton and Montmorency cherries, all grown by Doles. This year’s batch was made with 4,000 pounds of cherries: the beer ages in stainless steel with the cherries and Brettanomyces for just under a year.
Nancy releases at the brewery this Saturday: stop by to meet Nancy and Earl and shop some of their handmade crafts, buy some local hand pies, eat some free donuts and drink some great coffee, and enter our cherry pit spitting contest. Our store will open at 9:30 am. See you there!