Have you ever walked into an establishment and immediately knew it would be one of your new favorite spots?
That’s what happened when I entered 2 Feet Brewing Co. in Bangor, Maine. The inviting and homey atmosphere was practically begging me to sit down at the bar with a fresh brew and stay all afternoon. Add an amazing menu of delectable homemade food, and I was never leaving.
Not to mention that 2 Feet’s signature beer is a dark Saison flavored with roasted jalapeno and ghost pepper – that’s not a flavor you come across every day!
2 Feet is a breath of fresh air in a Maine brewery scene dominated by commercial-feeling warehouses that make 20 varieties of IPAs that all taste the same just slightly different. Its eclectic space, friendly service, and unique beers make 2 Feet stand out of the pack and it wholly deserves to be your next destination brewery in the state of Maine.
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How It Started
Cory Ricker has always loved beer, which led him to start experimenting with brewing his own at home. The hobby quickly turned into a passion for him, which is when he and his wife Nit-Noi started bringing their beer to some homebrew and beer fests around Maine.
It wasn’t long until their beer gained a following – admirers kept asking when or where they’d be able to buy Cory and Nit-Noi’s brews outside of the events. The persistent questions and requests gave them enough confidence to finally go for it. And in 2016, 2 Feet Brewing Co. opened in downtown Bangor.
Fast forward 6 years later and their family-run business is going great after adjusting to life during the pandemic. Corey is the Head Brewer, son Zak is the bar manager, and Nit-Noi is the head chef and backup bartender.
Read on to learn all about their beer, food, and story!
The Beer (and beverages)
First things first – the suds.
As mentioned earlier, 2 Feet’s signature beer is the Barn Burner. It is a dark Saison flavored with roasted jalapeno and ghost pepper. Now, I know what you’re thinking – holy crap that must be spicy! – but you are wrong.
The beer has a hint of spice and a ton of nuanced pepper flavor. The Barn Burner is always on tap and is also the only beer available to take home in cans.
The other 5 taps are constantly rotating with whatever crafty concoction Cory brews in the basement and usually a sour from another brewery.
Some other 2 Feet beers you might find on tap are:
– The Bee Whisperer, a honey braggot
– Beastie Brew, a coffee cream stout
– Woodlot Scot, a Scottish ale with spruce tips
– Banana Bread, a Dunkel
If you’re not a beer drinker, fear not! They have plenty of other beverages, both with and without alcohol. On tap is a hard seltzer called Blank Slate – it is unflavored and you can choose what fruity flavoring to add. I’m not a big seltzer girl, but I had never seen this before – how cool!
They also have 2 slushie machines where they keep wine sloshies churning. That’s right – it’s frozen wine and it comes with whipped cream on top. Mine was cranberry plum and it was probably the best wine drink I’ve ever enjoyed.
In addition, they have a huge list of wines and meads made in Maine that you can order. Their cooler is also stocked with craft sodas from Maine Root Beverages.
One special experience 2 Feet offers that I have never seen at any other brewery is the ability to can your own beer. That’s right! They have a canning machine right next to the bar available to can their signature Barn Burner.
After the bartender fills up your can with beer, you place the top on and pull down the lever to seal it. You even get to put the label on it yourself! It’s really cool to see how smaller canning operations work firsthand.
The food offerings at 2 Feet Brewing are truly the cherry on top of the experience there. Nit-Noi, with the helping hand of her youngest son, makes all of the food by hand. Their menu is anything but typical for a small craft brewery.
First of all, there is no commercial kitchen in the back like you find at most brew pubs. What you see is what you get at 2 Feet, which makes the operation that much more impressive.
Yes, there is “bar food,” such as mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels, wings, and poutine – but as I said, it is all homemade.
My boyfriend and I got the spent grain soft pretzel served with beer cheese and it was absolutely delicious. It’s made with the grains leftover from brewing their beer. We also tried the vegetarian cheese and onion enchiladas.
But the options don’t stop there, as Nit-Noi has made it a point to provide unique and diverse food options… even for the vegans in the crowd. The vegan dishes include Cowboy Caviar (5-bean salad), corn chowder, vegan “sausage” sliders, and more.
Some uncommon menu items I want to try next time include the roasted red pepper and smoked gouda bisque (my mouth is watering just thinking about it), curry deviled eggs, and the Maine lobster pot pie.
In addition to the regular menu, every Friday night, 2 Feet Brewing features a Dinner Special. Past specials include BBQ Brisket Mac & Cheese, Haddock Cakes, and lobster risotto. The specials are posted on their Facebook page (make sure to like for brewery updates) every week and are very affordable.
Wait – don’t forget the cake! The pictures speak for themselves – you won’t be leaving without a slice. The one pictured is a “Hummingbird Cake” which is a banana-pineapple-pecan cake with cardamom topped with pineapple flowers and cream cheese frosting. And yes, of course, it’s homemade by Nit-Noi!
While sitting at the bar, my boyfriend and I started chatting with Nit-Noi. She was more than willing to share the brewery’s story and answer our questions about 2 Feet.
After deciding to open 2 Feet Brewing, Corey and Nit-Noi had to put in some hard work to make their dream a reality.
When they secured an available storefront on Columbia Street, they started looking for all the necessary equipment. Facebook Marketplace became their best friend, and they ended up finding everything for the brewery secondhand.
My favorite story she shared was when they bought their cooler that now holds the to-go cans and non-alcoholic drinks. A bakery a few blocks away had gone out of business a couple of years ago and had an auction to sell all of its equipment.
Nit-Noi and Corey purchased the large cooler but were required to take it off the premises immediately, without time to get a van or truck. So, with the help of a few friends, they pushed the large and heavy (like 500 lbs!) industrial refrigerator up a hilly street in downtown Bangor to the brewery.
This story just goes to show how hard-working and genuine Corey and Nit-Noi are. They opened 2 Feet Brewing because they wanted to make good beer, and that is exactly what they’re doing.
Growing big and taking the craft brewery scene by storm is not their end game, although they are running a successful business.
Following trends and brewing beer to please the New England masses doesn’t interest them. That’s why they started out with no IPAs and have now (regretfully) conceded to only having one on tap at any time.
Corey brews everything out of the basement at 2 Feet and has full creative control over everything that goes into the tanks. There is always something new on tap at 2 Feet because Corey often experiments with new ingredients and yeast.
2 Feet Brewing has made a goal of supporting as many other small Maine businesses as possible. They source as many ingredients as possible from Maine farmers and vendors.
And that isn’t just some anecdote. You can ask Nit-Noi what Maine businesses they support and she will tell you who they are, where they’re located, what they sell, and how 2 Feet has used the items they bought in their beer and food.
If it’s not clear already, I suggest everyone stop by 2 Feet Brewing Co. to take a load off and enjoy a cold one.
Usually, you go to breweries to enjoy time with the people you bring. At 2 Feet Brewing Co., you’ll stay to enjoy time with the people running the show.
2 Feet Brewing Co. Information
Monday through Thursday: 11 am – 8 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm