On the saturday (12/5) of the Holiday Ale Fest we trekked down to the new location of American Flatbread. A Vermont based small chain who’s main focus is on baking in their beautiful hand-made wood-fired ovens and will be opening at 411 NW Park ave. right next to the park blocks downtown where they hold the International Beer Fest.
I have heard from some east coasters that they have a good reputation and are known for their pizza.
They will also be building an on site brewery after the restaurant has opened but today they were having a work party constructing their clay oven.
Friend and founder of the Pink Boots Society, Teri Fahrendorf passed along the news of this work party to me and when we arrived she was hard at work with husband John Graber. Everything was done by hand and workers were mixing the wet clay with hay and packing it around the dome of the oven. The base of the oven is all stones with the frame of the dome built with just large sticks and the clay base packed over it so when the oven is in operation the interior wood will simply burn up leaving only the stones and clay.
One of the managers was nice enough to show me around the building, including a separate room that was completely empty down to the dirt floor. This was the room where they plan to build the brewery. They had very little details for me on this except that it would probably be a 10 Barrel system. When asked about bottling I was told their were no plans but that they might make kegs available outside of the brewery.
Looking for a little more info on the web I found some really good reviews for their beers on Beer Advocate and decent ones on Rate Beer.
Most interestingly I found this taplist for their Burlington location on their website:
HOUSE-BREWED ZERO GRAVITY BEER
Wassail Dark Brown Ale with Raspberries
Solstice Gruit Ale Medieval Herbal Brew – No Hops
Old Ale 2009 Our Holiday Strong Ale
Paul’s Pils Czech-Style Pilsner – Light, Dry, & Crisp
Lawson’s Knockout Blonde Hops in Your Corner
Greg Scottish-Style Heavy
AuerBock 6.5% Strong, Malty Lager
London Calling English-Style Session Pale Ale
T.L.A IPA Hoppy Hoppy, Joy Joy!
Smokey The Beer Bamberg-Style Lager w/ Smoked Malt
Boognish Brown English-Style Session Ale
That is a very eclectic lineup of beers. Before seeing this list I was thinking this may be another case of the beers taking a back seat and designed for mass appeal.
But a Bamberg smoked lager? a English Session Ale and a Gruit? wow thats impressive.
They also had a great selection of bottled beers listed. Check out the drink menu here.
One other thing, I caught wind of a rumor that their head brewer out east was thinking of moving out here. Could that mean he was taking over the Portland location?
So not a whole lot of info here I know but I thought it was interesting for the photos atleast. Cant’t wait to see what they do with the place.
Photos by: “SNOB” Ritch