Known as Vacationland, Maine is a great place to visit for its amazing nature, beautiful beaches, and historic towns. The state’s biggest city, Portland, should be considered Beercationland for craft beer lovers.
Portland, Maine has one of the most vibrant craft beer scenes in America. The quality and diversity of amazing breweries make Portland a must-visit for beer lovers. From the influential craft beer giants, Allagash, to newcomers like Bunker, Portland has some of the best breweries in the world.
Portland’s small size and tight-knit craft beer scene make the city an incredible place to spend time exploring, eating, and drinking. Here’s our list of the ten must-try breweries in Portland, Maine.
- Allagash Brewing Company
- Bissell Brothers Brewing Company
- Foundation Brewing Company
- Austin Street Brewery
- Oxbow Blending & Bottling
- Maine Beer Co.
- Lone Pine Brewing Company
- Bunker Brewing Company
- Goodfire Brewing Company
- Foulmouthed Brewing
Allagash is Maine’s biggest craft beer success story. Forging their own path, choosing to brew Belgian-inspired beer since 1995, they’ve never compromised on quality. Respected worldwide as unique and amazing brewers, these legends of Portland continue to innovate.
Allagash White is the beer that garnered them nationwide attention. And while it’s delicious in its own right, their range of wild, sour, and funky beers is what set them apart. Leading the way in American spontaneous fermentation, they have a range of wild beers made using their coolship – one of the first in the U.S.
Allagash is committed to quality, while respecting tradition, and is a brewery that every Portlander can take pride in.
The best IPA brewery in Maine, and arguably all of New England, Bissell Brothers are trendsetters and a genre-defining brewery. Their growth occurred during the rise of New England IPA and they were at the forefront of the style’s beginnings. On top of their world-class IPAs, they brew a range of delicious lagers and stouts.
The Substance Ale is their flagship beer – a unique IPA that’s dank, juicy, and insanely drinkable. Simply put, it’s one of the best beers in the world, and to top it off, it’s brewed using 75% Maine-grown grain
If you have time to spare, consider taking a drive to Bissell Brothers Three Rivers. This is their newly built mixed-fermentation brewery in Milo, Maine making incredible sours and saisons.
Quietly brewing original beers since 2014, Foundation keeps production small and quality high. They primarily focus on innovative American styles.
Foundation’s story, like many Maine breweries before them, started at 1 Industrial Way. Steps from the Allagash brewery, 1 Industrial Way has housed several of Maine’s top breweries over the years. Foundation chooses to keep a limited production, staying in its original tiny industrial space.
Try out Epiphany, their dank, resinous, and citrusy IPA. It’s full-bodied and smooth while maintaining a delicious malt profile with a fruity finish.
Another brewery born out of 1 Industrial Way, Austin Street has moved production to its Fox Street location, still in Portland. Their original location now serves as a blending and bottling plant, with a small tasting room. Their unique perspective on brewing has set them apart in the Portland scene. They continue crafting a range of hoppy beers without shying away from experimentation
Patina Pale Ale is a wonderful, straightforward, and easy-drinking beer. Very hoppy, but with a balanced drinkability, this is the pale ale everyone wants in their fridge at all times.
Oxbow Brewing is based in Newcastle, Maine, about an hour’s drive north of Portland. Luckily for Portlanders, Oxbow opened up a barrel house right in the middle of the city of Portland.
At this trendy out-post, Oxbow created a farmhouse atmosphere where they bottle a range of their beers and also offer a large tasting room. Here you can try many beers from their Newcastle brewery as well as the beers blended on-site.
Try out their classic Farmhouse Pale Ale for a funky, hoppy, balanced delight. If you’re lucky, they’ll have the Barrel-Aged FPA – taking their flagship Saison to complex and vinous new heights.
Before the New England IPA craze, Maine Beer Co. was making ridiculously hoppy beers with a soft mouthfeel and restrained bitterness. Different from their West Coast counterparts, Maine Beer Co. put a strong emphasis on hopping in the whirlpool and fermenter. Their strict quality control and the use of only the finest hops contributed to their rapid growth and respect in the American craft beer scene.
Located just a few miles north of Portland, Freeport is a quaint New England town most notable for the L.L.Bean store and headquarters. Tasting Maine Beer’s Peeper Pale Ale directly from the source is worth the drive alone. Intensely fragrant and fruity, this 5.5% pale ale showcases the freshest American hops.
Adopting the modern American take on a craft brewery, Lone Pine relentlessly brews a massive range of styles. They focus on hoppy beer – double dry hopped, triple dry hopped, you name it. They’re also capable of producing excellent pastry stouts, fruited sours, and experimental mixed fermentations.
Oh-J, their Imperial IPA, is a perfectly executed, juicy, tropical, haze-bomb. Layers of soft and juicy fruit sit atop a lusciously rich mouthfeel.
If you happen to be over in Gorham, Maine, be sure to visit their satellite tasting room.
With a focus on lagers, Bunker Brewing Company differentiates itself in the crowded Portland scene. They also make exceptional hoppy beer and stouts, but their lagers are clean, crisp, and classic.
Although their beer flies off the shelves, Bunker chooses to brew the slow way. Allowing their lagers the needed time to smooth out and condition. Their barrel-aged stouts are similarly long-aged, giving them months to mellow and absorb the intricacies of the barrels.
Brewed in small batches, Goodfire focuses on extremely hopped-up IPA and pale ales. Similar to New York juggernauts Other Half Brewing, Goodfire experiments with new hops and multiple dry hop additions.
On top of their hazy IPAs, they also put out some nice seasonal beers like Lutro, their salted lemon gose. Super fresh and tangy, a perfect accompaniment for a hot day at one of Maine’s sandy beaches.
The only brewpub on our list, Foulmouthed Brewing is not only an excellent brewery, but they offer up some exciting cuisine. Inspired by culinary flavors, Foulmouthed brews some very unique and interesting beers.
There’s always something new to try, but their regular beers are definitely worth revisiting. Ume Gose, a gose brewed with fresh plum and house-made umeboshi (salted plums and shisho), is salty and sour, with rounded complexity.
Almost all of the breweries we listed have an on-site tasting room or full-on bar. We highly recommend you check out these breweries directly from the source for the freshest beer and amazing experience.
For bars, Portland certainly has no shortage. The best craft beer bars in Portland, Maine are Novare Res Bier Café, Mash Tun, The Great Lost Bear, and The Thirsty Pig.
If you’re in Portland, you have to try their famous lobster rolls. Luckily, the best beer to pair with a lobster roll is brewed right in the city! Allagash White’s balanced citrus, subtle acidity, and clean profile pair exceptionally with a rich lobster roll.
Portland has an international airport, the Portland International Jetport, just miles from downtown. Being a relatively small city, downtown Portland is easy to access from all modes of transport.
If you’re doing an East Coast road trip, Portland is only 100 miles north of Boston along the I-95. It’s definitely worth the visit for the craft breweries, great food, beautiful scenery, and amazing people.