Portland, Oregon may boast popular breweries like Rogue and Deschutes, but Portland, Maine has quite a few breweries of their own.
Maine Beer Company
525 US-1, Freeport, ME 04032
Hours: M-Sat 11-7; Sun 11-5
Located in Freeport, ME near the giant L.L. Bean headquarters, Maine Beer Company boasts what I consider probably the best quality beer of the breweries in the area. Offering a $10 flight of four or $18 for a flight of eight, this brewery is pretty no-nonsense when it comes to naming their beers (e.g. Four of their beers are called Beer I, Beer II, Beer III, and Beer IV). While the $18 may seem a little steep, their pours are very generous and the beers are very strong, so you’ll be feeling nice and good by the end of it.
They have a wonderful seating area outside next to the giant solar panels that power the place and offer pretty good pretzels from a local bakery called When Pigs Fly that would’ve been better if they found a way to serve them hot.
Allagash Brewing Company
50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103
Allagash is probably the most popular company to come out of Maine since most people know of their Allagash White. It’s located technically in Portland, but resides in an office park outside the city; you’ll think you’re lost until you roll right up to it. Allagash offers a free tasting of a flight of four that they choose for you. Their beers are very good, though I could have done without the sour one, and Allagash’s tasting area/patio probably offers the most “fun” since there are games such as Cornhole, playing cards, Jenga, etc. available for the patrons.
Shipyard Brewing Company
86 Newbury St, Portland, ME 04101
Hours: M-Sat 11-5; Sun 12-4
Shipyard is the least well known nationally of the Portland breweries we visited, but it is a local New England favorite. Their brewery is located in the city itself, and their tasting room feels more like a tourist gift shop than a brewery. That being said, in addition to all the souvenirs you can buy, they offer a free tasting in the back tasting room and unlike Allagash, you can pick which four you’d like to try. Their beers are unspectacular, but solid. They could up their glass game a bit though as the tastings were served in dixie cups. All that being said, the server was the friendliest of the three breweries we visited, and I did come away with an awesome Shipyard beer bucket.
43 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101
Hours: Sun-Thur 11-9; Fri & Sat 11-10
On a somewhat related note, Shipyard is a block away from Duckfat, a local Portland favorite eatery. All I need to say is this: Get the Poutine fully loaded with duck and egg. That is all.