If you didn’t already know, the Northeast is one of the brewery meccas of the world. One of the absolute can’t-miss stops on this pilgrimage is Portland, Maine. This small costal city offers more than just lobster rolls, it actually has the most breweries per capita in the world. Below we will break down some of the best spots in this brewery hub.
Industrial Way. Within one street lies 5 breweries, which is more than enough to have a day. Located just outside of downtown Portland– in what has become an incubation ground for the Portland brewing scene– lies Definitive. This brewery is one of the newer ones to the scene, but don’t let that fool you. Definitive has some of the best juice bombs and stouts on the East Coast. If you are lucky enough they will have Stuffed on tap, an Oreo-inspired stout which tastes exactly how it sounds. Another must-try for the stout crowd is Baby Steps, this coconut forward stout pours like Oprah Winfrey, rich and thick, with heavy notes of toasted coconut. For the IPA crowd, you really can’t go wrong with whatever is on tap. During the summer, enjoy the back patio which usually has a food truck going and an array of lawn games. Once you are done here, make sure to check out the neighboring breweries, which we will dive into later on this list.
Bissell Brothers is a Portland beer institution that any avid beer fan is sure to have on their bucket list. Bissell Brothers started off in the same beer complex as Definitive but has far outgrown that space and relocated. Not only do they have great beer but there is also a Mexican joint attached with a walk-up window.
After you’ve had a couple of their signature IPAs you can grab a ridiculously large platter of nachos for the table. Bissell Brothers has the vibe that every brewery aspires to have: beer hall style tables, a second floor seating area that overlooks the brewing operations, and an outside patio for the summer. Beer-wise, any of their IPAs are top notch. A few fan favorites are Substance, Swish, and Reciprocal. However, if you are all IPA’d out they also have a great selection of German-style beers.
Battery Steele is taking us right back to the same beer park as Definitive– and this is a great second stop. Their flagship beer Flume is stuff of dreams for a juicy beer lover. Flume boasts heavy notes of fruit, a tangible mouth feel and a haziness that resembles orange juice. Depending on the day, you might be lucky enough to try multiple iterations of it. Beyond their flagship, you can expect to find anything from sour IPAs to marshmallow stouts, and everything in between.
Did you really think we were going to make a brewery guide to Portland and leave out one of the godfathers of the craft beer scene? Many people know Allagash for their flagship wheat beer, Allagash White. However, at their brewery you will have access to some beers seldom released to the general public. Allagash is what every craft brewery dreams of growing up to be one day.
Also, we highly recommend their brewery tour for two reasons:
1. Because there is a beer tasting at the end.
2. And because it is actually one of the most informative brewery tours you will ever go on.
Just make sure to book in advance because in busy season they often sell out.