The Maine Craft Beer Scene

September 5, 2013

Maine is famous for their wonderful lobster but the craft beers are just as fabulous. Prior to arriving there, I discovered the Maine Brewers’ Guild, which contains the Maine Beer Trail. Established in 2009, the Maine Beer Trail contains information on the Maine breweries and a map to assist you throughout your visit. The best part is if you visit five breweries, you receive a hat and 10 breweries will get you a t-shirt. During our week-long drive through the state we managed to stop at five so here are some of the brews I tried.

maine beer 2 The Maine Craft Beer Scene Marshall Wharf Brewing Company, Belfast (Two Pinchy Lane)

Doppelbock Lager (8.0%) – dark and malty, my love of bock beer just grew with this drop. This was a tiny brewery where you can fill up your growler(s) or sit on the couches whilst enjoying your beer tasting.

Bar Harbor Brewing Company, Bar Harbor (Eight Mount Desert Street)

True Blue Blueberry Ale (5.2%) – we tried blueberry ale in Patagonia in 2011, but the wheat aspect of this one was more than intriguing. Bar Harbor’s first microbrewery was also small, but terrific. I had a great chat with the knowledgeable server and sampling the beers gives you credit to use in the gift shop.

Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor (15 Knox Road)

Coal Porter (6.5%) – one of their ‘classic’ varieties, this was outstanding and reinforced to me that porters are amazing. Perfect on our only rainy day in Maine, the BBQ was a fantastic accompaniment to the beer. The local I sat next to at the bar was super-friendly and couldn’t wait to tell me of the brewery’s history.

maine beer 1 The Maine Craft Beer Scene maine beer 3 The Maine Craft Beer Scene

Gritty McDuff’s, Portland (396 Fore St.)

Red Claws Ale (~4.5%) – dark red-amber with nice nutty flavors. Maine’s first brew pub since prohibition, this was a good place to stop by for an afternoon pint. They also have locations in Freeport and Auburn.

maine beer 19 The Maine Craft Beer Scene

Shipyard Brew Pub, Eliot (28 Levesque Dr. – Route 236)

Old Thumper (5.6%) – bitter style that was easy to drink. Located just across the border from Portsmouth, NH, the GPS almost foiled us in our search for this place. Part of the Shipyard Brewing Company with three other locations.

maine beer 12 The Maine Craft Beer Scene maine beer 26 The Maine Craft Beer Scene

Maine Beer Company, Portland (525 US Route 1)

MO (6.0%) – American pale ale is my favorite type of pale ale and this was delightful with dinner and an interesting bottle to boot. While not officially attending this brewery, it was on my list. Their production is limited, so make sure you get stuck in when in Portland.

The Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire (56 Market Street, Portsmouth)

Barleywine (10.0%) – the ‘knockout’ factor of such a beer always tempts me and barleywine is truly a great style. On our last day in Kittery, Maine, we walked across the bridge straight into downtown Portsmouth, NH. Stumbling across this brewery, it gets an honorable mention here.

What’s your favorite brewery in Maine?


  1. Comment by Andi

    Andi Reply September 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Oh goodness Lucas would have been in heaven!

    • Comment by John

      John September 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

      I’m sure he would. Maine was just awesome!!

  2. Comment by TammyOnTheMove

    TammyOnTheMove Reply September 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    You visit 5 breweries? Awesome, take me there! :-)

    • Comment by John

      John September 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

      There was plenty more to choose from too! If only we had the time.

  3. Comment by Krista

    Krista Reply September 5, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I love the label on the shipyard ale. :-) I wish you guys would come back to Australia so you could introduce me to the best Aussie craft beers. :-)

    • Comment by John

      John September 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Aussie craft beer, gee, it’s been awhile. Stick with the Tasmanian beers and you can’t go wrong!

  4. Comment by Cheryl Howard

    Cheryl Howard Reply September 7, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I love the craft beer scene! Offers up so many more tasty options than what the big beer companies put out there. You guys should come up to Canada and try out our beer. :D

    • Comment by John

      John September 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      One day soon, Cheryl! I actually got a taste of the Canadian craft brews when I was in St. John’s, NL. Pretty tasty :)

  5. Comment by Mary @ Green Global Travel

    Mary @ Green Global Travel Reply September 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I have heard that wine is the new beer and it’s exciting to see these extraordinary craft brewery’s getting some attention. I am impressed by the extraordinary range of options being crafted and understand is passionate about their beer and working hard to develop new varieties.

    • Comment by John

      John September 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Ah, to be a brewmaster! Now that would most certainly be the life :)

  6. Comment by Marina K. Villatoro

    Marina K. Villatoro Reply September 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I had some fine Maine brew when I was visiting Boston, delicious! Miss good beer. Guatemala’s beer is flavorless to say the least.

    • Comment by John

      John September 11, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Marina, is Guatemalan beer really that bad?

  7. Comment by Jennifer

    Jennifer Reply September 11, 2013 at 9:23 am

    You guys should start a beer blog! Love how you always find the craft beers where ever you visit. I’m not a beer drinker myself, but the blueberry ale sounds like it would up right up my alley.

    • Comment by John

      John September 11, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Thanks Jennifer. Craft beer all the way!

  8. Comment by Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    Stephanie - The Travel Chica Reply September 13, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I got to try a few good beers while I was in Maine last summer, and I was impressed. I wish I could have visited a few breweries. Next time!

    • Comment by John

      John September 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

      I would’ve liked to visit more, Stephanie!

  9. Comment by nicole

    nicole Reply September 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I would seriously love to try those beers. We might have to add a beer crawl into our new england road trip.

    • Comment by John

      John September 14, 2013 at 9:57 am

      You definitely should, Nicole! They are delightful.

  10. Comment by estherjulee

    estherjulee Reply September 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    i went to maine a long time ago… and only for the seafood. good to know that there is a craft beer scene up there! :)

    • Comment by John

      John September 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      It’s a pretty good beer trail, too!

  11. Comment by Erik Tomren

    Erik Tomren Reply November 13, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    I’ve been to Bar Harbor Brewing Company, interesting place!

    • Comment by John

      John November 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Bar Harbor the town itself was indeed interesting. We loved it!

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