If you step off of Ellsworth’s Main Street and into the Airline Brewing Co.’s pub and feel as if you’ve been transported to the United Kingdom, its owners will consider that a success.
From drinks to décor, Gary and Sharon Cresswell want their pub to evoke the experience of an English pub. Gary is an Englishman, from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and he and Sharon have visited hundreds of British pubs in the last decade to see what they wanted to incorporate into their own place when they had the chance.
Airline Brewing Co.’s exterior, for example — black with gilt inset and hanging flower baskets — is modeled after London’s Red Lion pub. One of the inside walls is lined with caricatures that ran in the British Vanity Fair in the 1800s, which the Cresswells bought in London.
The beers served in Ellsworth are made at Airline’s brewery in Amherst. It takes its name from nearby Route 9, known locally as The Airline. Ray Edgar is the brewer, and one of the things he is focused on is hand-pulled, real cask ales.
One of those ales is called Pride of Ellsworth, and though it is brewed in Amherst it will only be served in Ellsworth. The beer is a South London-style bitter that combines dried fruit aroma with English yeast esters.
Many of Airline’s beers have a lower alcohol by volume, ranging from 3.3 percent to 4.9 percent, which Gary said makes them very drinkable.
There are also are finely prepared small plates to go with the drinks, ranging from a farmhouse salad to a cheese toasty sandwich (grilled cheese) to a cheeseboard with nuts, spreads, breads and crackers.
Airline Brewing Co.’s pub in Ellsworth is located at 173 Main St. It is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/airlinebrewingcompany/.