By Kate McCarty
From Down East Magazine November 2023 issue
Chef David Rinaldi’s kitchen makes dishes like goat birria tacos, beer-battered haddock with honey-miso-butter glaze, and delicate little agnolotti pasta filled with carrot puree — creative fare that would seem right at home in a snug little restaurant with impossible-to-score reservations. But Rinaldi cooks somewhere else entirely: the sprawling Bissell Brothers taproom that seats up to 200 people, at the Thompson’s Point development in Portland. A decade ago, when Bissell Brothers was just starting out, the brewery relied on food trucks to feed guests. Lately, though, the Portland location has seemed as much a restaurant as a taproom. The Bissell Brothers outpost in Milo underwent a similar culinary transformation, as have countless other taprooms across Maine. It all feels rather familiar — like the old brewpub model is making a comeback.