Whether you ride the Beast of the Y'East tour bus, join a hash run, or strike out on your own, be sure to explore Portland’s prolific scene of microbrews, spirits and viticulture.
The growing breadth of craft beer, wine and distilled spirit producers is astounding, but in an era of discerning drinkers it takes creative flair and a competitive edge to flourish. Maine is at the forefront of this beverage boom and Greater Portland offers some of the most accessible, palate pleasing imbibing opportunities around!
Photos provided by Allagash Brewing Company
In the area fondly referred to as y'East Bayside, family owned and operated businesses like Rising Tide Brewing
and Maine Craft Distilling
garner a following with year--round favorites like Daymark, a pale ale, and Fifty Stone Whiskey. Just off the Portland peninsula Allagash Brewery
, New England Distillery
, and a growing number of up-and-coming breweries are another hub of liquid refreshment. Then there’s the Old Port, home to hot spots like the Sweetgrass Tasting Room
where quintessential Maine ingredients from blueberries and apples to maple and rhubarb, flavor dessert wines. It’s also where the granddaddy of Maine beer producers, Shipyard Brewery
If you're pressed for time, the best way to visit the widest variety of these businesses is to join a tour. The premier touring companies, for lovers of libation, are the Maine Brew Bus
and Maine Beer Tours
. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the fermentation processes and tools of the trade as guides offer an informative and entertaining dialog to complement your experience. Oh, and there's plenty of samples too!
Portland Beer Week is an event that celebrates beer culture and takes place in late autumn. Increase your beer knowledge exponentially as you enjoy special beer and food pairing menus at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Collaborations between breweries, home brewers and local coffee roasters ensure there’s new and tantalizing tastes at every table.
The Craft Beer Cellar on Commercial Street carries a commendable selection of award-winning local brews bottled and canned to perfection. You can peruse their wares and continue expanding your beverage horizons or find a few favorites to take home.
There's something new brewing every season, so to stay on top of the latest buzz, we recommend repeat visits.
Bangor and Portland Both Named Top 20 Beer
Destinations in US
It used to be that beer was just a part of the experience of
visiting Maine. Now, for many, it's the reason to visit Maine.
The Maine Brewers' Guild was proud to report that both Bangor
and Portland have been listed as a top 20 beer destination in the United States
in a new Beer Tourism Index produced by Travelocity.
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metro area ranked #4
within Large Metro Areas rankings and Greater Bangor ranked 11th in the Small
Metro Area categories. Maine is the only state on the east coast to have two
cities within the rankings.
"We aren't kidding when we say we are brewing some of
the best beer in the country - and now you don't have to take our word for
it." joked Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers' Guild.
"While we take great pride in the top quality beer our brewers are
crafting here in the state - rankings like these are the result of the efforts
from a whole ecosystem of industry stakeholders: from distributors and
restaurateurs to hospitality providers, economic development and government
officials, tour operators, and even our farmers. The word is getting out about
our beer scene - but there's still a tremendous amount of opportunity ahead."
Travelocity's new Beer Tourism Index looked at a number of
factors to create the rankings. "By examining the location of all
breweries in the U.S. and looking at other factors important to a successful
"beercation,” including the availability of rideshare services, accessibility
via air, and the average cost of lodging, this index identified the best large
and small metro areas to sample some of the nation’s best craft beers."
Maine is now home to 86 licensed breweries, with 11
operating in Bangor metro area and 29 operating in the Portland-South
Portland-Biddeford metro area.
The Maine Brewers' Guild is Maine's craft beer nonprofit
with a mission to promote and protect the Maine craft beer industry.