After an extensive renovation to an old building and months upon months of anticipation, Sanford Brewing Company (SBC) recently had their soft opening. So far, I'd say it was well worth the wait.
SBC is Sanford's second microbrewery, though they've just opened and have not yet finished a bath of their own beer, they have a number of craft beers on tap. The space is warm and friendly and inviting with some exquisite wood detail (give the custom made bar a look!). The brewing area is clearly visible behind some huge windows and two large garage doors were open on the mild afternoon/evening when we visited, a very welcoming space, for sure.
We decided to have an early dinner here recently. We started with drinks. Though I originally chose to jsut have some water, i quickly spied some special sodas on their drink menu and chose a homemade raspberry soda. I'm glad I did because it was wonderful, a nice red raspberry flavor was complimented with a bit of mint and some lime juice. Though it was happy hour, our server was not very clear on just what was on happy hour, so when the bill came and i saw that a glass of Moscato was $10, i was a bit surprise. Even in a fairly nice restaurant, $10 for a glass of wine seems excessive. I will say, we were here one time early for a few beers, and they seemed a bit pricey for the size of the pour, too. But time will tell if those prices will draw people. But this time we came for the food, as we've heard good things.
Tommy ordered the SBC burger, your standard burger, but much better than most. He ordered it medium (his preferred temp) but it came out a bit closer to medium rare (my preferred temp) which is probably why I thought it to be great. The bun was nice and soft, too. It was served with lettuce can tomato and came with a side of fries. Tommy thought the burger to be a bit overseasoned, too. The fries are big planks of potatoes. They could have stood about 30 seconds more in the frier to give them a better golden color, but they were indeed delicious and seasoned nicely.
I ordered a Turkey Carver sandwich. The menu clearly states that this is a "shareable" sandwich and I would certainly agree--it was huge and I ended up taking half of it home. But it was oh-so-good, too. It's a cold sandwich but was very tasty. Served with lettuce, fried green tomato, bacon, and a sort of pimento cheese, it was a very good sandwich, i loved it! And still am, as a matter of fact. I will say this about the pickles that garnished Tommy's burger and my Turkey Carver--they were pretty bland and not very "pickly." I'm sure they were house made, but they needed a bit more kick, a bit more vinegar, and a bit more time to pickle. They were not that good. I hope they can improve, as home-made pickles can be a real asset to a menu item--these were not.
I also ordered a side of the onion rings. They were served with a side of a spicy cheese dip that i believe is served with a number of other items. I like the cheese dip, though Tommy thought it a bit too spicy. I did not. The onion rings could use a bit of improvement, though. They were just OK. First of all, they were a bit greasy. The tempura type batter had come off some and the onions themselves (red onions which I liked) were a bit thin, and so not enough onion for the batter, IMHO. I hope that as times goes on they'll use their own beer in the batter, and maybe let the onions sit a bit and dry out (flour would help) before battering them to get a better batter coverage. Mind you, we ate them all and they were tasty, i just thought they (along with the pickles) could use some improvement.
Sanford Brewing Company is very new, and it shows just a bit. But they are also working hard. They've been getting a lot of local attention from friends of ours, and rightly so. The night we were there, some friends came in to eat, and as we were leaving, more friends came by. I think they have a lot of promise, and once they are able to serve their own beers, I think this will be a great addition to the Sanford eating and drinking scene. Our second microbrewery (and a third is on the way) is a hit, and we'll be back, for sure. Give them a try, I recommend them.