Wild Bevy Distilling in Wells. Photos by Angie Bryan

Wild Bevy Distilling in Wells feels fun and inviting before you even sit down. Whether it’s the gardens where many of the ingredients used are grown, the covered dog-friendly patio with fire pits, or the smell of fresh herbs that hits you as soon as you enter, you’re already excited about checking out the menu.

Husband-and-wife team Michael and Mae Littlefield, both Mainers, opened Wild Bevy Distilling about a year ago with the intent of creating not only a “garden-to-glass” tasting room featuring responsibly foraged ingredients, but also a space for friends and families to gather for events such as yoga classes, trivia nights, farmers markets, art markets, live music and food trucks. The “wild” part of their name comes from a combination of their emphasis on wild ingredients, such as beach rose and white pine, each of which forms the primary flavor in one of their signature gins (which I liked so much that I bought a bottle of each to take home), and the “bevy” part represents both a community of like-minded people and a nickname for adult beverages.

There are a variety of seating options inside the chic tasting room, but my drinking companion and I opted for the comfortable wooden barstools with short backs and footrests, so that we could sit right at the bar (which, I am sad to report, did not have hooks underneath) and watch the bartenders plucking herbs directly from the pots in front of us. The menu offered 11 craft cocktails (all of which you could order as a mocktail if you preferred), four to-go cocktails, two frozen cocktails (including a weekly special), three dessert cocktails, and three flights, one of which included all five Wild Bevy spirits (rose gin, pine gin, summer bourbon, winter rye and vodka).

Wild Bevy’s Millions of Peaches and Watermelon Solstice cocktails.

It was difficult to decide what to start with; pretty much everything sounded fresh and delicious. Despite being a pilot, my drinking companion did not order a flight, instead going for the $15 Millions of Peaches (house-made, brown-butter-washed, peach-infused bourbon; house-made ginger liqueur; peach and black walnut bitters; and dark brown simple syrup). I ordered the $14 Watermelon Solstice (pine gin, house-made watermelon puree, lime juice and basil syrup, topped with soda water and rimmed with salt).

Coolcumber Mojito mocktail and Blackberry Smash cocktail.

For round two, my friend chose the $9 mocktail version of the Coolcumber Mojito (fresh cucumber and mint, lime juice, house-made mint syrup and soda water), and I went with the $14 Blackberry Smash (vodka, house-made blackberry and pineapple puree, muddled mint, blackberry syrup, pineapple bitters, and orange and lemon juice).

The Blackberry Smash, while still tasty, was our least favorite – there was only a minor undercurrent of pineapple and the drink wasn’t nearly as blackberry-forward as we had hoped or expected. We loved the Millions of Peaches, but thought it felt more like a fall or winter drink, especially because of the warming sensation from the ginger liqueur. The Coolcumber Mojito mocktail was light, refreshing, and fabulous – we could easily have consumed a gallon of it, and we didn’t miss the alcohol at all. That leaves the Watermelon Solstice as the star, with the final sip just as flavorful and perfectly balanced as the first.

Lighting and music were both at reasonable levels, service was fast and friendly, and a small retail area sells merchandise, their own spirits, and other cocktail-related items and ingredients.

Whether you prefer mocktails or cocktails, carve out time to make a stop at Wild Bevy the next time you’re headed anywhere near Wells. You won’t be disappointed.

Retired diplomat Angie Bryan writes about Maine’s cocktail bars while making as many puns as her editor allows.

Please sign into your Press Herald account to participate in conversations below. If you do not have an account, you can register or subscribe.

filed under: