Maine Beercation Suggestions
Every time I think of Maine, I think about 4 things: Steamed Whole Lobster, Lobster Rolls, Good Beer and… did I mention, Lobster? Check out this list of brewery highlights and helpful tips to make the most out of your upcoming beercation to Maine. 80 Breweries and counting as of 2016.
You’ll get the most brewery experiences if you focus your Maine Beercation in the Portland area. With so many breweries to hit, it’s hard to visit them all. But you should definitely try!
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
4 Thompsons Point #108, Portland, ME 04102
A MUST STOP FOR IPA LOVERS. If you’re all about those low bitterness, hazy juice bombs, this place was made for you. They’ve got a handle on the NE-style. Plus it’s a funky, fun industrial space that has an open concept so you can see right into the brewery area. Concrete floors, two-story ceilings, lots of big windows to let the sun stream in and brightly painted accent walls make up the decor of the space.FULL BREWERY REVIEW
PRO TIP: Go to Bissell Brothers FIRST if you’re trying to score some of their cans to take home. Check out the website for can release dates/times. There will be a line so arrive early. The supply goes quick!RELEASE SCHEDULE
Stroudwater Distillery & Cellardoor Winery Tasting Room
4 Thompsons Point, Portland, ME 04102
If you’re not in a hurry to hit the next brewery on your itinerary, be sure to stop in at both the distillery and the winery tasting room a few doors down from Bissell Bros. There are some really interesting selections and they are great places to pick up gifts for folks back home that might not be “that into beer.”
If you’re not into standing in line for cans and want to pop by the brewery later in the day, be sure to see if anything is going on at Thompson’s Point. There’s an outdoor theatre that hosts various concerts and festivals throughout the year with the backdrop of beautiful sunsets along the Fore River. Unfortunately you can not bring in your own alcoholic beverages. (boo!)
15 Ocean St, South Portland, ME 04106
I have to be honest. I wasn’t a fan of the flight of brews I tried during my visit. Basic beers with a bit of a burnt, smokey taste to them. But maybe they were having an off-week in brewing. I’d definitely give them another try since they’re about 10 minutes from Bissell Brothers. The food we had was delicious, the staff knowledgeable and attentive and it had a great tasting room atmosphere.
Allagash Brewing Co.
50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103
The grand-daddy of Maine breweries, Allagash Brewing Co., opened in 1995 brewing their very first batch of Allagash White. They continue to be a powerhouse of belgian-inspired ales across the country and are making a name for themselves in the sour ale category. Be sure to check out their Coolship Series when available.
Definitely take the brewery tour. It’s about an hour long. Then, get a FREE, guided-tasting session – available 7 days a week. You’ll get 4, 3oz pours in the tasting flight.TOUR SCHEDULE
Note that you can NOT purchase full pours. But you can buy bottles in their retail store for off-site consumption. Some are classic Allagash brews and others are rarer, hard to find selections.TO-GO BOTTLE LIST
PRO-TIP: After visiting Allagash, swing by Austin Street Brewery, Foundation Brewing Co. and Battery Steele Brewing They’re all in the same industrial park.
Austin Street Brewery
1 Industrial Way, Suite #8, Portland, Maine, ME 04103
An up and coming nano brewery serving up samples of the 3 beers on tap. They’re making a name for themselves among beer enthusiasts for their hop-forward pale ales and juicy IPAs.
While they don’t have full pours for purchase, you can buy a bottle of beer to consume on premise inside their tiny taproom or in the outdoor biergarten (a few picnic tables in a roped off area). Austin Street does do growler fills as well.BREWS AVAILABLE
Foundation Brewing Co.
1 Industrial Way, Suite #5, Portland, Maine, ME 04103
A brewery stop for fans of classic, European beer styles as well as fruited, wild and barrel-aged brews – all of which are getting quite high scores on both Untapped and Beer Advocate.
Foundation recently installed a canning line so visitors can take home a little bit of Maine beer goodness.DRAFT & CAN LIST
Battery Steele Brewing
1 Industrial Way, Suite #12, Portland, Maine, ME 04103
The newest kid on the block, Battery Steele opened its doors in April 2017 with a 10 barrel system, canning line and rustic taproom.BREWS AVAILABLE
Oxbow Blending & Bottling Co. (aka Oxbow Brewery’s ‘other’ location)
49 Washington Ave, Portland, ME 04101
Oh those complex farmhouse ales from Oxbow! We dig saisons. Probably our second favorite style, right behind our #1: IPAs. We fell in love with Oxbow prior to our trip when we picked up bottles of Crossfade (hop-forward saison) and Sasuga! (tart & funky rice saison) during one of our Massachusetts beercations. Oxbow is carefully crafting spectacular saisons you have to experience fresh from the source.TAPLIST
The blending and bottling facility in Portland, MA is the newest of their 2 locations. They have a very large, rustic tasting room with plenty of bar seating and picnic table seating as well.
Artwork fills the walls of the tasting room in what they call ‘Gallery 49.’ The art exhibits are ever-changing so there’s something new to explore each trip.
Check out Oxbow’s event schedule to see when food trucks will be onsite, when beer releases occur and when DJ-ed dance parties are booked.EVENTS SCHEDULE
Urban Farm Fermentory
200 Anderson St, Portland, ME 04101
Gruit – Mead – Cider – Kombucha – Jun. Urban Farm offers all 5 beverage options in a cozy, artsy, boho taproom experience. I’m a huge fan of herbal infused beverages and you’ll find some pretty creative combinations here. They use seasonal albeit unconventional ingredients like licorice root, balsam fir, rose hips, and such.BEVERAGE LIST
It was one of my favorite stops of the trip. I love when art and beer collide! Every where you look is something visually interesting to explore as you sip on full pours or flights.
Liquid Riot Bottling Co.
250 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
It’s a gastropub, brewery and distillery all in one. In terms of beer, they brew a variety of styles from European classics to trendy, experimental American takes on the classics. They also have a few heavily hopped selections for those seeking dank or juicy beer options. Liquid Riot does can some of their beer. They have an onsite retail store and they distribute to various bottleshops in Maine.CANS AVAILABLE
Maine Beer Co.
525 US-1, Freeport, ME 04032
A bit out of the way in terms of where it is in proximity to other breweries in the greater Portland area. If you love their beers and always wanted to visit, by all means, definitely make the trip the Maine Beer Co. facility in Freeport. They’re currently going through another expansion project. You can follow their progress on Twitter.EXPANSION PROGRESS
But if you’re short on time, you might want to hit up some bottle shops or find their brews on tap at various eateries in the state.
274 Jones Woods Rd, Newcastle, ME 04553
This is the original Oxbow farmhouse brewery location which also has a tasting room that’s open 7 days a week. You can enjoy your brews on premise and there’s also a nice little list of bottles to go. Although most of the taplist is the same as their Portland, ME location, a few are different.TAPLIST & BOTTLE LIST
You can actually rent the 3 bedroom, 1 story house on the property. They call it a farmhouse but think modern, 1 story perched on a hill with views of the brewery, pond and surrounding woods. Not so much those historic 2 story Amish farmhouses you see here in Pennsylvania. You also get $25 in credit to use in the tasting room with each night rented. Cool!FARMHOUSE RENTAL
Check out Oxbow’s event schedule to see when food trucks will be onsite, when beer releases occur and when DJ-ed dance parties are booked.EVENT SCHEDULE
Bier Cellar is the place to check out. Really great selection of top notch brews. We love that you can check out some of their offerings and prices ahead of time on their website. Or hit up their Facebook page for alerts on new things coming in.BIER CELLAR BEER LIST BIER CELLAR FACEBOOK PAGE
Craft Beer Cellar has a nice selection of bottles and cans. According their Facebook page, it looks like they have moved to a new space and are awaiting approval to open. Follow them to stay in the know.CRAFT BEER CELLAR FACEBOOK PAGE
RSVP has not only imports and U.S. craft beers, they also have a “beer geek” section. Sweet! Occasionally, they post on Facebook beers they get in stock.RSVP FACEBOOK PAGE
FOOD & BEERS
Although we didn’t have time to hit up tons of restaurants, these were highly recommended to us. Click each to view their food menu:
- Duck Fat – French Fry Heaven. But they also have a nice selection of sandwiches, salads and soups using locally sourced ingredients. Craft beer, wine, craft soda and milkshakes are just a few of the beverage options at Duck Fat.
- Novare Res – Upscale sandwiches, snacks and 33 beer taps of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts craft beer.
- The Thirsty Pig – Housemade sausage, gourmet hot dogs and local Maine craft beer on tap.
- The King’s Head – Gastropub with a solid tap list including Bissell Bros., Oxbow and more Maine craft beer heavy-hitters.
- Pai Men Miyake – Ramen noodle bowls, hand-made pork buns, gyoza, and sushi rolls. 12 constantly changing beers on draft.
- Great Lost Bear – Tons of food options. Killer burgers. So many beers! (mix of local and distributed)
BEER TRAIL PASS PROGRAM
With over 80 breweries in Maine, you should really check out the The Maine Brewer’s Association website for the full list to plan your own custom Maine beercation. The association has created an additional incentive to visit the breweries in their state and have various levels of prizes depending on how many brewery visits you make. Be sure to follow all of the directions in order to claim your prize!DOWNLOAD BEER TRAIL RULES & DETAILS
THE MAINE BREW BUS
Although we had family driving us around to the various breweries, you can opt to do an all-inclusive tour day with The Maine Brew Bus. You can choose taking a public tour (brewery crawl) or create a custom, private tour for a group of your friends, family or co-workers.PUBLIC TOUR PACKAGES AVAILABLE REQUEST PRIVATE TOUR