Creativity isn’t confined to what can be hung on a wall or performed on a stage or read aloud in a coffee shop. Creativity is a drive to make something of your own, to differ to innovation over stagnation. Throughout the pages of our April issue of Old Port we explore Portland’s creativity and celebrate the individuals behind the creations.
We visit three breweries to learn what inspires the brewers to craft their beers and how the surrounding environment is incorporated, sometimes literally, in the recipes (Taste of Place, page 50). At Rising Tide Company, head brewer and co-owner Nathan Sanborn, describes using seawater from the Freeport coast in his tequila barrel-aged gose and how a dessert he loved led to a new beer. “When I’m creating a beer, I often pull my ideas from the world of food,” says Sanborn. “For example, Ursa Major was inspired by a dessert I had—roasted banana gelato. I tried to harness that feeling and brew the stout to bring out roasted, rich characteristics.”
We watch Tempo Dulu bartender Trevin Hutchins as he torches his own mixture of spices and fills a cocktail glass with a smoky aroma (Dine, page 14). We go to Portland Stage, where intricate sets and costumes transport us to another world (Culture, page 30). We take a look inside the creative studio and mind of Colin Sullivan-Stevens, a Portland artist and entrepreneur who worked in a variety of disciplines before creating his first Anchorpak bag prototype out of a single piece of fabric (Interview, page 32). We hear Marcia and Daniel Minter, a creative couple passionate about community, describe how they approach their work (The Art of Style, page 58).
As you explore this issue and explore Portland, keep an eye out for creativity around you. You can seek out creativity, but sometimes it’s more fun to discover it unexpectedly. This happened late last year when I ran into Tim Adams, a founder of Oxbow Brewing Company and another subject of this issue’s brewery story, at Oxbow’s tasting room and blending and bottling warehouse on Washington Avenue. On one of the picnic tables in the tasting room was a handful of test tubes with varying shades and quantities of beer, spread out like blotches of color on a painter’s palette, ready to be blended. Adams is part scientist, part artist when he blends different batches of beer at the warehouse, creating something new. The final product is packaged in bottles emblazoned with labels designed by the brewery’s art director, Will Sears, a Portland artist and sign painter. Whether it’s one person or a group of people behind work you enjoy, seek out the creators. Find out what inspires them. Listen to their stories. In the meantime, explore some of them here.