Updated on February 20, 2024

The Hop Culture team has been to Portland, ME, quite a few times. From hosting one of our flagship Juicy Brews festivals to our women in craft beer festival called Beers With(out) Beards, we’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the best breweries in Portland. To put it simply: We love Maine’s capital of beer.

Nature breathes through the city; it’s not shut off by it. The truly farm-to-table restaurants, agriculturally-minded shops, and lush green spaces remind visitors that the rest of Maine isn’t too far away.

Portland’s excellent food and drink scene has never been a secret, but whatever gems may have been hidden were unearthed when Bon Appetit named Portland its restaurant city of 2018—a very well-deserved distinction.

The beauty of a city like Portland, ME, though, is that it never stops growing. Sure, your favorite little Portland joint may have blown up overnight, but there’s going to be a new crop of hotspots just around the corner.

For instance, we only learned about Belleflower Brewing, one of our “Best Breweries of 2023,” last year.

Visiting Portland, ME, should be on any beer lover’s bucket list. The city 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. While the entire state has incredible breweries (Maine Beer Co., Barreled Souls, Mast Landing), we’ve limited this article to those operating within the city limits of Portland.

So if you’re planning a weekend to come to Portland to eat some lobster rolls and drink great beer by the ocean, these are our picks for the nine best breweries in “The Forest City.”

The 9 Best Breweries in Portland, Maine

Allagash Brewing Co.

50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103 | (207) 878-5385

allagash brewing rainbow tap handles
Photography courtesy of Allagash Brewing

This was an easy choice; Allagash is not only one of the best breweries in Portland, Maine, but also 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.

While the Portland brewery has become a national force with distribution that extends far beyond Vacationland and White is the stereotypical gateway drug to “craft,” 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.

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Belleflower Brewing

66 Cove St, Portland, ME 04101 | (207) 805-1696

belleflower brewing gilded meadow dunkel
Photography courtesy of Belleflower Brewing

We’ve spoken pretty highly of Belleflower, one of our “Best Breweries of 2023.” And for good reason. It all started when our friend Mike Dyer, co-owner of Untold Brewing (a previous winner of our “11 Best Breweries to Watch in 2023”) told us to check out these folks.

“They have a gorgeous taproom, strong ties to the local community, fantastic beer, and are simply great people,” Dyer told us of the woman-owned, family business.

So we connected with co-founders Katie and Nick Bonadies (who previously worked as the VP of brewing operations at Trillium), along with Melissa and Zach Page, who were gracious enough to send me a package of beer (in place of my visiting Portland, ME, this year).

Accordingly, Katie and Nick sent us a compilation of hazies, double IPAs, IPAs, and sours, showcasing ingredients like malt from Blue Ox Malthouse. Oh, and Flashlight Tag – Peanut Butter and Chocolate, an imperial stout with peanut butter and roasted cacao nibs that has been one of the best stouts we’ve tried all last year.

On the hoppy side, everything stunned us. Each one of Belleflower’s IPAs surprised and delighted. From Hexology, a 7.3% ABV DIPA with Mosaic, Citra, and BRU-1 expressing candied grapefruit and orange, to Barn Hex (Mosaic, Strata, El Dorado), a New England DIPA with oats that reminded us of an orange creamsicle.

But the hazy Scrugsy blew us away like the Santa Ana winds, making it onto our list of “The 37 Best Beers to Drink in Spring 2023.”

Named after a one-eyed dog that Belleflower Co-Owner Katie’s mother had when she was young, Scrugsy was the first IPA Belleflower ever brewed.

So vibrant and fresh, Scrugsy hits me like a neon sign in a sea of billboards. All my taste buds turned on, blinking and flashing as if I’d won a brand-new car on a game show. Ding ding ding!

Amazing that a true OG impressed us so much.

After chatting with the quartet more, we quickly learned that, at Belleflower, almost every beer has a story like this, traced back to a memory, a place in time, or a story. And every decision and direction they take is thoughtful.

Stepping into their brewery is like opening up a scrabook of stories.

From homebrewing to learning the ropes at Trillium in its earliest days to opening a brewery in a new city, the tale of Belleflower is an adventurous path of twists, turns, and thrills. Which you’ll learn through every excellent beer you drink—be that hazies and West Coasts to dunkels and stouts.

Mike, you didn’t steer us wrong, which is why we’re naming Belleflower to our list of the best breweries of 2023! Got any more suggestions for us in 2024!?

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Oxbow Blending & Bottling

49 Washington Ave | (207) 350-0025

oxbow blending and bottling best breweries portland maine
Photography courtesy of Oxbow Blending & Bottling

Although Oxbow’s home base is in Newcastle, ME, and they have a beer garden in Oxford, 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 houses hundreds of oak barrels used for blending and packaging their mixed-culture and spontaneously fermented farmhouse ales 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. And with frequent DJ nights and vinyl swaps, the Belgian-inspired brewery is always a good time, particularly in the wee hours of the night. Plus, Oxbow is licensed to serve spirits, so you can end your night properly with a glass of amaro.

Lastly, they’ve also partnered with the award-winning Duckfat to offer Belgian-inspired food in their beer garden. Getting an order of frites is basically mandatory.

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Bissell Brothers Brewing Company

38 Resurgam Pl, Portland, ME 04102 | (207) 808-8258

bissell brothers baby genius ale
Photography courtesy of @bissellbrothers

Bissell Brothers’ IPAs have become trend-setters in the New England IPA scene. A healthy balance of dank and juicy, the Bissell Brothers influence is felt throughout East Coast hoppy beer. And, instead of fading into obscurity, Bissell Brothers 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 Bissell Brothers’ brewery. Pick up whatever is fresh and bring it home to share with friends. You won’t be disappointed.

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Austin Street Brewery

1 Industrial Way UNIT 8, Portland, ME 04103 | (207) 358-0492
115 Fox St, Portland, ME 04101 | (207) 358-0492

austin street brewery new menu best breweries portland, me
Photography courtesy of @austinstreetbrewery

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, growing to a second Fox Street location in 2018. The newer location might be the most aesthetically pleasing brewery we’ve visited in Portland. Swing by either location for fresh Anodyne or Rally, two of our favorite Austin Street beers.

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Definitive Brewing Company

35 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103 | (207) 536-1288

definitive brewing company best breweries portland, me
Photography courtesy of @definitivebrewing

We named Definitive one of our favorite breweries of 2019, and the brewery has only continued to impress over the last five years with definitely good sours, stouts, pales, and IPAs.

Like a new sour series called Raindrops, released quarterly starting with Citrus Raindrops, a session sour with tangerine, blood, orange, and lime. Or Robin, a whopper of an imperial stout with chocolate, coconut, walnuts, and graham crackers.

Definitive’s deft way of moving elegantly between all these quite different styles makes them one of the best breweries in Portland.

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Battery Steele Brewing.

1 Industrial Way Units 12 & 14, Portland, ME 04103

battery steele brewery flume dipa best breweries portland, me
Photography courtesy of Battery Steele Brewing

Less than a hop, skip, and a jump from Austin Street’s Industrial Way taproom, Battery Steele offers a steady stream of IPAs that will jump start your juice-loving tastebuds. For example, Flume Cubed, a pumped-up version of their revered double IPA Flume. This version amps up the volts as a triple IPA with loads of Galaxy, Citra, and Mosaic.

That’s just one of the outstanding beers you can expect from the brewery started in an old barn in South Portland by founders Jacob Condon and Shane Noble.

Besides IPAs, Battery Steele also brews pale ales, pilsners, stouts, and lagers.

With two fantastic breweries in one location, visit Industrial Way for a day of epic Portland, Maine taproom hopping.

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Goodfire Brewing Co.

219 Anderson St Ste 6, Portland, ME 04101 | (207) 808-8910

goodfire brewing company beers best breweries portland, me
Photography courtesy of Goodfire Brewing Company

Goodfire has just about mastered the haze game. We were also pleasantly surprised to see a tasty lager on tap, which was exactly what we needed after sampling our 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.

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Lone Pine Brewing Company

219 Anderson St, Portland, ME 04101 | (207) 536-4952

lone pine brewing company best breweries portland maine
Photography courtesy of Lone Pine Brewing Company

Located a snappy one-minute stroll from Goodfire in the same industrial complex, Lone Pine brews some of the most exciting New England IPAs in Portland. For instance, Juice Punch, a hazy featuring Citra, Galaxy, and El Dorado hops that the brewery proclaims is sort of a “nod to nostalgia with an eye to the future,” including innovative yeasts and fermentation techniques.

Plus, with many of the city’s best food trucks making frequent appearances, you can head to Goodfire and Lone Pine and make it a real day of drinking and eating at two of the best breweries in Portland, Maine.

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