Summer 2015 Maine Brew Guide
Summer in Maine means lobster rolls, visits to the beach, and warm weather. What it also means is beautiful drives along the beautiful Maine coastline or amongst the luscious greenery inland…to local breweries. Maine has so many areas that are worth a visit but not just because they have phenomenal food and scenery but because they have producers of delicious local beer. For the next few pages I’ve sectioned out areas of Maine that are perfect destinations for good beer, good food & good company.
Greater Portland Area
Portland, Maine is an area that is expanding exponentially in the areas of food and beverage. Breweries and brewpubs are becoming a staple in where people want to visit when they think of Portland, Maine.
Bissell Brothers Brewing is a growing brewery that brews delicious hoppy beers that are approachable and tasty. Their flagship beer called The Substance is a dank 6.6% ABV IPA that packs citrusy and piney flavors that will convert those of you who don’t like IPAs to the hoppy side of the beer-force. Bissell Brothers are located in an industrial parkway with 4 other breweries surrounding it. Saturdays are always fun because you can park your car and spend most of the afternoon at each brewery while enjoying lunch at a different food cart outside of Bissell Brothers door.
Sebago Brewing Company is located in the heart of downtown Portland, Maine and it’s a brewpub. That means you can drink their seasonals, year round, and pilot batch beers all while munching on Sebago’s awesome upscale pub food. Their new summer seasonal is called Simmer Down Summer Session Ale. Simmer Down weighs in at 4.9% ABV and is a clean and crisp summer beer in a glass.
Located in Freeport right off of highway 295, Maine Beer Company are well known for their westcoast-style hoppy beers. They produce awesome beers year-round like Mo and Peeper that you can always find at their brewery and local bars. Their brewery is as clean looking as their beer logos and just as beautiful. If you’re hungry, drive down the road to Main Street and try some food and beer at Gritty’s Brewpub. LLBean is also located down the road for your all of your rugged Maine needs.
Get back on 295 and head north for dinner (or any meal for that matter) at Ebenezer’s Brewpub in Brunswick. Ebenezer’s brews some pretty amazing beers that match their food’s excellent quality. Chris Lively own and runs both this location and it’s much older sister pub in Lovell, Maine (which only serves beer).
If you’re in an extra special mood to visit a third location, head 40 minutes east to Boothbay Craft Brewery. Boothbay, Maine is a breathtaking destination by itself but the fact that they have a brewery and a restaurant is bonus. Boothbay Craft Brewery and the adjoining Watershed Tavern offer a unique brewery and dining experience in a quiet rural setting. Situated on 6 acres with on premise rental cottages, RV sites, and free range chickens from the backyard farm you will enjoy some of the finest fresh made ales with farm to table fare. Brewery tours daily at 3pm in season and a rustic cozy tavern to enjoy pints and wood-fired pizzas. A rumored fireplace for those cool evenings and an outdoor biergarten for the warm summer days with a regulation Bocce court and a fire pit makes for a laid back visit to the Boothbay Region a must plan adventure. Daily dinner specials and beer releases often posted on Boothbay Craft Brewery’s Facebook page. Dining reservations strongly suggested. 207-633-3411
Southern Tip of Maine
Run by a home brewing father-and-son dynamic duo named Dave and David Rowland, SoMe Brewing Company is located in the lovely city of York, Maine. SoMe really does well with some of their beers in terms of flavor and uniqueness. They make a single hop beer called Crystal Persuasion that uses 100% Crystal hops. It’s a heft pale ale that is 8% ABV and has lots of citrus flavors.
Tributary Brewing Company is just 10 minutes away in Kittery, Maine which is a hop skip from the New Hampshire border. Kittery is a hot bed for Tributary was started by Tod Mott, a brewer with a tremendous amount of brewing legacy in the North East. They make amazing examples of simple styles from IPAs to Porters.
In the old mill buildings in Biddeford and saco are a brewery and a brewpub that are right around the corner from each other. One is Banded Horn Brewing Company and the other is Run Of The Mill Pub. Banded Horn has been brewing beer for just over a year now and has been making a splash in the beer scene in Maine. They brew a very nice traditional German Pilsner called Pepperell Pilsner, named after the building they are located in.
Run Of The Mill has been in operation for a bit longer than Banded Horn and makes some of the best pub style food that I’ve ever tried. Their Bug Lager is brewed year-round and pairs perfectly with their cuisine. The brewpub is located right over the Saco River,which is the perfect view during the summer on Run Of The Mill’s outside deck.
Barreled Souls Brewing Company is located just a few blocks from Funtown/Splashtown USA and the Cinemagic in Saco, Maine off of Route 1. They love to brew beers with unique ingredients. Occasionally they brew beers like their MCAM which is brewed with bacon and 25 pounds of cinnamon and The Fennel which is brewed with grilled oranges, grilled fennel and sage leaves.
If you head 2 hours North West of Portland to the Farmington & Skowhegan area you’ll find two really nice destination breweries called Bigelow Brewing Company and Tumbledown Brewing Company. Tumbledown is in Farmington and located in a mini-mall. Tumbledown
Bigelow is nustled into little farm in Skowhegan, Maine. The owners refit a custom-built horse barn into a cozy brewery with a fireplace. My favorite beer from Bigelow is their Dementia Double IPA, a hefty double IPA that is piney and delicious.
Tumbledown Brewing Company is located in Farmington, Maine that are very small in operation yet produce traditionally styled craft beers. Their Tumbledown Red Ale is their flagship and is a malt forward ale that keeps you wanting more.
This is probably the most beautiful drive of all the areas to Marshall Wharf Brewing Company and then to Atlantic Brewing Company. Once you get off the highway 95, take route 1 all the way to Belfast, Maine first to arrive at Marshall Wharf. This is a great location to eat lunch or dinner on the ocean with the attached restaurant to the brewery called Three Tides that specialized on small plate tapas. You can find all of Marshall Wharf’s beers on tap at Three Tides. Marshall Wharf is known for their hoppy beers as well. They love to brew fresh IPAs and Pale Ales that are really tasty.
Bangor is a city often forgotten by visitors to Maine. It’s a city that is growing at a rapid rate in both the culinary and beverage industry, just like Portland. The Drive to Bangor can be done 100% on highway 95 which has beautiful views of Maine’s inland terrain. Geaghan’s Pub is located on Main Street in Bangor.
Another awesome (and new) brewery located just under 15 minutes outside of Bangor is Orono Brewing Company located in the college town of Orono, Maine. They are brand new to the brewing scene in Maine and have been producing some broad variety of beer styles. If you need a good bite to eat, head across the street to Woodman’s Bar & Grille for a scrumptious burger with Orono Brewing’s beers on tap.