Portland, Maine has a very legitimate claim to “Beer Capital, USA.” With a vibrant bar scene and a city overflowing with incredible breweries, it’s an easy choice for a craft beer destination. The entire state holds outstanding breweries (Maine Beer Co., Barreled Souls, Mast Landing), but we’ve limited this article to those operating within the city limits of Portland.
We spent a weekend checking out the best food and drink Portland, ME has to offer. These are our picks for the five best breweries in “The Forest City.”
Allgash Brewing Co.
50 Industrial Way | (207) 878-5385
This was an easy choice; Allagash is one of the best breweries in the world. From its work in creating a more sustainable business to producing just straight-up exceptional beer, we’ve long been enamored of Allagash. The Portland brewery has become a national force with distribution that extends far beyond Vacationland and White is the stereotypical gateway drug to “craft,” but a visit to the Forest City taproom is a must. Sample the brews that don’t make it beyond the brewery and pick up rare bottles to bring home with you. Allagash might not be the sexiest brewery on this list, but they’ve proven their excellence time and time again.
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
4 Thompsons Point #108 | (207) 808-8258
Bissell’s IPAs have become trend-setters in the New England IPA scene. A healthy balance of dank and juicy, the Bissell influence is felt throughout East Coast hoppy beer. And, instead of fading into obscurity, Bissell has continued to put out inventive and progressive beers that rival the country’s hottest breweries. No Portland visit is complete without a stop at the Thompson’s Point brewery. Pick up whatever is fresh and bring it home to share with friends. You won’t be disappointed.
Editor’s Note: Bissell Brothers will be attending Juicy Brews Island Getaway in Portland, ME on June 29. Get your tickets here.
Austin Street Brewery
1 Industrial Way #8 | (207) 200-1994
Austin Street has quickly (and relatively quietly by today’s standards) become a top-tier brewery. And they’ve done so by brewing quality, consistent beers. Because they’ve grown so rapidly, Austin Street recently opened a brand new Fox Street location, which just might be the most aesthetically pleasing brewery we’ve visited lately. Swing by either location for fresh Anodyne or Rally, two of my favorite Austin Street beers.
Editor’s Note: Austin Street will be attending Juicy Brews Island Getaway in Portland, ME on June 29. Get your tickets here.
Oxbow Blending & Bottling
49 Washington Ave | (207) 350-0025
Although Oxbow’s home base is in Newcastle, ME, the farmhouse-forward brewery is as much a part of Portland’s beer scene as any other brewery on this list. Oxbow’s Portland location is used for blending and packaging their aged beers and visitors can swing by for a sample from the tap or the bottle. On top of incredible beer, Oxbow happens to have some of the freshest merch in the game, so get your wallets ready. They’ve also partnered with Duckfat to offer Belgian-inspired food in their beer garden. Getting an order of frites is basically mandatory.
Goodfire Brewing Co.
219 Anderson St Suite 6 | (207) 808-8910
One of the most recent additions to Portland’s beer scene, Goodfire has just about mastered the haze game. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a tasty lager on tap, which was exactly what I needed after sampling my way through Portland’s breweries. Food is never far away either; you’ll find the city’s best food trucks popping up in the taproom and slinging handrolls or sandwiches. Goodfire shares a building with Lone Pine, another standout Portland brewery, and is a short walk from the new Austin Street location. Allagash may have set the tone for craft beer in Portland, but Goodfire is carrying the torch into the next generation.
Editor’s Note: Goodfire will be attending Juicy Brews Island Getaway in Portland, ME on June 29. Get your tickets here.
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