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Clash in the Farmhouse


central farmhouseJen likes to fancy herself as a cheese maker.

This interest took us to the Central Street Farmhouse in the heart of downtown Bangor.

Don’t let the name fool you, The Central Street Farmhouse is essentially a one-stop shop for home brewers. Home brewers are men who create their own beer at home. It’s a relatively new craze, kind of like fantasy football — only there’s actually something you can share with friends at the end of the day.

Home brewers put together a complicated system of hoses and buckets, mix different chemicals and ingredients and wait for their new beer recipes to ferment in a basement or garage. The product is drained into bottles and finished with an old-fashioned bottle capper.  The concoction, usually a bitter or strange flavor of ale, is then foisted on friends during weekly card games or football parties.

I have never met a women who home brews.

But don’t worry, the good folks at the Farmhouse acknowledge this gender divide. In an apparent attempt to attract the female demographic, store owners have added a baby boutique on the second floor. What could go better together than beer and babies?

The second floor is loaded with with things like lobster onesies, designer diapers, a variety of funky rattles and organic belly cream. It’s my guess that no man has ever set foot on the second floor of the Farmhouse.

Having no interest in either home brewing or locally made nooks, I followed Jen inside. She was on the hunt for a cheese making ingredient called rennet. Apparently home brewers also use this hard-to-find ingredient for their beer production. I’m not sure what rennet is or why your big box grocery store won’t stock it.  I understand it’s something that comes from the stomach of a cow, which may explain its scarcity.

Inside, Jen was excited to learn the Farmhouse carried the needed rennet. I was excited to hear the clerk playing the Clash on the store record player….yes, record player.

The turntable was winding through “Give’em Enough Rope.”

Jen made her rennet purshase. “Do you want to see what’s upstairs?” she said.

“No, he’s playing the Clash.”

“I’m going upstairs.”

“Take your time. The best song on the album is coming up next…. “Tommy Gun” right?”

The clerk checked the jacket and confirmed “Tommy Gun” was the next song.

Jen disappeared upstairs and I disappeared into a rock and roll anthem for the ages and the greatest three-note guitar solo of all time.

As the record played out, I chatted with the clerk, a young man perhaps in his late 20’s, about his record collection neatly filed and displayed behind the counter. He told me about a store in Waterville, a college town about an hour away. He said it was called the Record Connection.

We haven’t been to the Record Connection yet

And Jen hasn’t made any cheese.


From → About Jen, Bangor

  1. David Ferrara permalink

    Any blog that boils down (pun intended) to beer, cheese and classic rock works for me.

  2. Em Rankin permalink

    Love this one. Hope you’re considering freelancing some of this jazz! Very clever.

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