A new brewery coming to the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford will brew only gluten-free beer, using millet, buckwheat and rice as ingredients.

Lucky Pigeon Brewing’s head brewer, Scott Nebel, formerly of Maine Beer Co., is experimenting with several styles, including IPAs, a brown ale and a Kolsch-style blonde. The co-owners of the business – Kathleen Pigeon, Bev Pigeon, Nic Bramer and Lesley Bramer – are raising money for a canning machine on indiegogo.com. So far they’ve raised just over $2,000 of their $20,000 goal.

The owners have not announced an opening date, but they say they will offer curbside pickup and delivery before their tasting room opens.


Maine Beer Co. won a 2021 Good Food Award for its Prince Percy Pilsner. Courtesy of Maine Beer Co.

Seven Maine companies won Good Food Awards on Friday, and the good news doesn’t end there: For the first time, you can go online and buy winners’ products from around the country.

This year, the 219 winners came from 41 states, Washington, D.C., and Guam, and fell into 17 categories. The Maine winners are:


Maine Coast Sea Vegetables in Hancock for its Ginger Kelp Crunch Bars.

Crooked Face Creamery in Skowhegan for its Pressed Herb Ricotta.

Turtle Rock Farm in Union for its Apple Rose preserve.

Maine Beer Company in Freeport for its Prince Percy Pilsner.

Ragged Coast Chocolates for its Cassis de Resistance Truffle.

Atlantic Sea Farms in Saco for its Fermented Seaweed Salad and Sea-Beet Kraut.


Maine Grains in Skowhegan for its Pearled Black Barley and Marfax Crop Rotation Dry Beans.

From now through Feb. 7, find 100 winners – including Maine Grains and Crooked Face Creamery – on the first online Good Food Awards pop-up shop at shop.goodfoodfdn.org. Shipping is included.

I’ve got my eye on the Ceylon Cinnamon Elixir made in New York and the Hot Honey with Walnuts and Chilis from Oregon.


Penny Jordan of Jordan’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth was honored last week with the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal.

Jordan, a fourth-generation farmer and community organizer who has a master’s degree in social work, helped launch the Cape Farm Alliance and is a past president of the Maine Farm Bureau. She has served on the board of the Cumberland County Farm Bureau and is on the board of the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society. Her latest project involves creating a new nonprofit called Farms for Food Equity that will help get Maine farm products to food banks and other organizations that fight hunger.


“If there was ever someone who deserved to be recognized for distinguished service in Maine agriculture, it is Penny,” Beal said in a written statement. Beal presented the award virtually at this year’s Agricultural Trade Show.

Jordan, acknowledging the honor on her Facebook page, said it “tops everything in my life…my passion is Maine agriculture and ending hunger (and) it is beyond an honor to have this recognized.”


Now that the temperatures have turned truly chilly, here’s a good way to warm up. Stroudwater Distillery at 4 Thompson’s Point in Portland, is renting fire pits where customers can enjoy cocktails with their s’mores.

The fire pits, which can accommodate up to six people, cost $10 for one hour. Add a s’mores kit to feed six for an extra $15.



Erin French, chef/owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, is filmed for a new show about her restaurant. Photo courtesy of Caleb Mason

The entire first season of “The Lost Kitchen,” a new show chronicling the nationally renowned Freedom restaurant where reservations are made by postcard, began streaming Tuesday on discovery+.

“The Lost Kitchen,” a Magnolia Network original series, is produced by Anchor Entertainment. The pilot episode, “Welcome to the Lost Kitchen,” began streaming in early January and introduced viewers to chef/owner Erin French as she works with local farmers to create her menu. The next five episodes follow French and her staff as they re-invent the restaurant in response to the pandemic.

French also has a memoir coming out, her second book, in April, “Finding Freedom: A Cook’s Story, Remaking a Life From Scratch” (Celadon Books, $28).


A socially distant Valentine’s Day kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? But if you’d like to celebrate with a partner or others in your social pod, watch this space: Maine restaurants are beginning to share their menus for both dine-in and takeout, and I’ll post a few every week until Cupid arrives.

For romantics who want a great view with their pre-dinner drinks, Top of the East at the Westin Portland Harborview will be open for dining from 3 to 9 p.m. Feb. 12-14, with dinner specials and Valentine-themed cocktails each night.


If you’d rather stay home, Top of the East is also selling date night boxes that include a first and third course prepared by the hotel’s chefs and an entrée to be cooked at home. The menu begins with a green salad, followed by mocha-rubbed hanger steak, pan-roasted green beans, and oven-roasted baby red potatoes. The dessert is raspberry cheesecake. The deadline for ordering is noon Feb. 11. Pickup is Feb. 12. Cost: $85 for two. Call 517-8900.

North 43 Bistro in South Portland will open Feb. 11-14 for Valentine’s Day celebrations. Happy hour will be from 4 to 5 p.m., and dinner service from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Takeout will also be available. Entrée options include sirloin, pan-seared scallops, chicken Marsala and roasted vegetable Wellington. Call 747-4009 or go to north43bistro.com to make a reservation or inquire about takeout.

Nina June in Rockport has been on a short winter break but plans to re-open for takeout Feb. 3, and is offering a five-course Valentine’s menu that serves two for $150. The meal will be available for pickup Feb. 12 or 13 and will require some cooking or heating at home. The menu includes Oysters Rockefeller (roasted at home), a red endive salad with horseradish crème fraiche dressing, saffron and shrimp risotto, rack of lamb or halibut filet, and chocolate truffles and palmiers. The menu is up on Tock (exploretock.com/ninajune) for online ordering, or call 236-8880 when the restaurant re-opens Feb. 3. The deadline for orders is 5 p.m. Feb. 10.

Chef Matt Ginn of EVO in Portland is reprising his New Year’s Eve collaboration with chef Colin Wyatt, formerly of Eleven Madison Park in New York City, for Valentine’s Day. Watch the restaurant’s website, evoportland.com, for the five-course EVO at Home Valentine’s Day dinner menu. Dinner for two costs $90. The restaurant is also offering a seven-course tasting menu (with choices) for dining in on Feb. 14, with seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. That menu is already up on the website. Tickets are $130 per person.

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