Sometimes, when you’re on vacation with the kids, something triggers an earlier, younger, and, shall we say drinkier time and you find yourself, like we did, at a local brewery in Maine with a 5, 10, and 12-year-old. Something about a sign on the highway with the words “brewery” and a brief conversation with your spouse about how someone in the back seat needs probably needs to use the bathroom and before you know it, you’re staring at a humungous barrel of beer with a giggly guide who looks and talks like she made a quick stop at work on the way back to the dorm from a fraternity party.

We arrived at the Atlantic Brewing Company in the middle of a tour, just as Giggles was explaining the brewing process to a group of 30 or so sunburnt visitors. The boys got restless and ran around, I mean stretched their legs, outside for a bit until we moved into the tasting room. This is where we all got a very pleasant surprise. Not only do they make beer, they make root beer! My two oldest sons are root beer aficionados and were extremely excited to have their own tasting of Atlantic root beer and blueberry soda. And my youngest, who is rarely allowed to have soda, got to have a sip of the forbidden fruit. My husband enjoyed some of the more bitter ales and I loved the blueberry ale.

It was a beautiful late summer day and the food from the onsite restaurant beckoned. We’d been smelling BBQ since we arrived and the food certainly matched the mouthwatering smell. We ordered up a feast for four which only set us back $42 and included chicken, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs, with plenty of sides. Our youngest played with some new friends while we savored our meal and drinks in the lingering late afternoon sun.