Essential Guide to Maine Brewery Tasting Rooms, Winter 2017
Looking for local beer from the source? This is the map for you.
Brewery tasting rooms have proliferated in Maine in recent years thanks to the craft beer boom and some beneficial changes to state beer laws. From Kittery to Orono to Monhegan Island, breweries are offering up tastes and growler fills of just about any style of beer imaginable. Some of these operations have large spaces and a wide array of tap choices; others are roughly the size of a closet, with only a couple brews to showcase. Read on to find out all the important details.
This list omits brew pubs, which are featured in a separate map. Please note: State law stipulates that a brewery can only fill its own branded growlers, which require a fee but can be refilled on subsequent visits. Also, tasting room hours and tour times are subject to change, so it's wise to click through to a brewery's website or call before visiting.
Updates to the map for Winter 2017 include Dirigo Brewing Company in Biddeford, Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick, Saco River Brewing in Fryeburg, Threshers Brewing Company in Searsmont, and Marsh Island Brewing Company in Orono.
Note: locations are listed in alphabetical order.
New England's original Belgian-style brewery is open for tastings in the retail store every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (taps close at 5:45 p.m.), providing 3-ounce pours of four different beers for free (additional pours are not available). The selection rotates and often features at least one of the company's limited edition offerings. Bottles are also available to purchase and take home. Spots on the extensive guided brewery tours must be reserved through the website.
The tasting room at this ultra hot young brewery is open Wednesday and Thursday noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. Along with flagship ale The Substance, there are two or three other beers pouring, but get there early if you want to bring home any cans: a long line generally forms well before opening.
Along with year-rounders Eddy (a saison) and Blaze (a "Farmhouse IPA"), the tasting room at this recently expanded brewery offers several other small-batch brews to try. Multiple tasting sizes are available for purchase, along with 32-ounce and 64-ounce growlers. The company cans some of its beers, which means a rotating assortment of 16-ounce tall boys may be for sale. Hours are Monday and Wednesday through Saturday noon to 7 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
This nano operation with an emphasis on hops and funky Brett(anomyces) beers is open on Thursday through Saturday noon to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m., and Monday noon to 5 p.m. There are generally two or three beers offered in two sample sizes.
There are typically four to eight beers of diverse styles pouring in this newly-expanded tasting room. Try year-round brews like Daymark American pale ale and small-batch brews from the Seven Barrel and Entrepot ("warehouse") series. Open Monday to Saturday noon to 7 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Buy samples or take home bottles, occasional cans, and 64-ounce growlers. The website keeps an up-to-date list of what's on tap. There's seating inside and out (weather-permitting) and there's often a food truck in the parking lot (also listed on the website).
The Machine Czech Pils is the flagship here, but these guys brew a variety of interesting small-batch styles in their large warehouse, an upgrade from the East Bayside bunker-like former location. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday 3 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Full pours and growlers are available. Look for cans of the Machine Czech Pilz as well as a rotating selection of another brew.
The granddaddy of Maine breweries opened a tasting room last summer, offering a rotating selection of its English-style beers in 5-ounce and 10-ounce pours. A one barrel pilot system has even been rolling out experiments. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Brewery tours start at 2 p.m. and go 20-30 minutes. Call to reserve a spot.
Maine's largest brewery, the home Pumpkinhead, offers a free "virtual" video tour and tastings seven days a week, starting every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Sunday. Full brewery tours are held weekly during the spring and summer; check the website for reservation details.
The expansive Portland tasting room from the Newcastle-based brewers offers picnic table service for draft and bottle samples of the brewery's funky farmhouse ales (5-, 8-, and 12-ounce pours, depending on the beer), as well as bottles to go. The tasting room is open Monday and Tuesday noon to 9 p.m., Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The tasting room is part of the brewery here, so while there are no formal tours, it's easy to see how things work. Samples are available to purchase of year-round brews like Veridian IPA and Pepperell Pilsener, as well as a rotating selection of seasonal and limited edition offerings, from a Rauchbier (a smoked German style) to a Mexican-style corn lager. Hours are Monday through Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Growlers and bottles are available to go.
SoMe (short for Southern Maine) features a rotating selection of beers on tap, from year-round Crystal Persuasion double pale ale to special-edition Red Rum imperial saison. Flights as well as small and large pours are available for drinking in, with small and large growlers available for the road. Limited bottles also available. Open Monday to Wednesday noon to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday noon to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday noon to 7 p.m.
The young brewery from beer legend Tod Mott offers 4-ounce and 12-ounce pours from a short list of rotating beers. Growlers to-go are pre-filled using the Cadillac of growler fillers to minimize oxidation and loss of carbonation. Tasting room hours are Wednesday to Saturday noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., with live music on Saturdays. Tours run at 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and are limited to 15 people (first come, first served).
This off-the-beaten-path brewery has found a niche with wheat beers, including flagship Gneiss Weiss and Tectonic Tomahawk, an American wheat IPA. Look for limited bottle releases of unusual offerings. The tasting room sells samples and growlers small and large. Hours are Friday 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday noon to 6 p.m.
Off a dirt road, on a 25-acre organic farm, lies this brewery and tasting room, which hosts gatherings on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday 1 to 9 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. There will probably be wood-fired pizza, music, and lots of folks having a good time. There are free small samples with full pours of beers for sale, like the G-String Pale Ale, So Folkin' Hoppy IPA, and other rotating options.
The tasting room sells multiple pour sizes of eight different beers, like coveted Lunch IPA and flagship Peeper Ale. While there are no tours, the tasting room overlooks the brewery floor and gives a view of the action. Growlers are not available, but the tasting room is well stocked with bottles for to-go purchase. Open Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The tasting room offers pours of various sizes of the commercial beers (like Stowaway IPA and Pamola Xtra Pale Ale) as well as small-batch experimental brews. Hours are Thursday through Saturday 3 to 9 p.m. Tours run at 2 p.m. on each of those days and include free samples of the commercial beers.
In the summer (May through October), the tasting room is open seven days a week for tours, pours, and growler fills of brews like Coal Porter and New Guy IPA. In the off season, the tasting room is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try flights, 10-ounce samples, and free food at one of the state's oldest breweries.
The sister brewery of Atlantic Brewing Company, this smaller operation is open for samples of beers like its highly regarded Cadillac Mountain Stout and Thunder Hole Ale. Try a flight of four 2-ounce tasters. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.
The taproom features over a dozen taps, offering year-round selections like Pail Ale and Demon Stout as well as seasonal and special release brews like Liquid Sunshine. Pints and 5-ounce samples are available, along with slices of pizza. Growlers are also available to go. Hours are Monday to Wednesday 3 to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday 3 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday 2 p.m. to midnight.
633 American Pale Ale is the flagship at this brewery, which recently began putting a limited selection of its beers in giant cans. Ken Brown Ale and Black Rocks Stout are a couple other year-round brews. Hours for growler fills and more are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Tours are at 3 p.m. each of these days, except Sundays, with a tasting following the 30 minute experience.
Previously known as Captain Dick's, Hidden Cove recently scored the former head brewer of Maine Beer Company as its lead man. Naturally, IPAs then became a focus. Bottles of offerings like flagship IPA Patroon and seasonal Summer Ale are available, and fans go wild for tequila barrel-fermented Jali (agave, apricots, and grilled jalapeños). Hours are Friday and Saturday noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday and Monday noon to 5 p.m. Samples and growlers to-go are available.
Housed in an old granary right on Belfast Bay, this compact brewery has 17 taps and churns out a startling variety of styles, from its Cant Dog Imperial IPA to Sea Belt seaweed ale, some of which get canned. The tasting room is open Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering samples and growler fills.
Located 10 miles out to sea on an island with only a few dozen year-round residents, the tasting room shuts down from mid-October to May 1. It opens daily the rest of the time, offering beers like Balmy Days Citra-Hopped Kölsch and Dead Man's Cove Black IPA in samples and pints as well as large and small growlers to-go. Perhaps the only brewery in the state that you can't drive to, as there are no cars on the island.
Featuring both lagers and ales, Oak Pond offers tours during business hours, which are Monday through Friday 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. At the end, samples of the beers, like Somerset Lager and White Fox Ale, are available. Growlers can be filled to-go. The brewery also bottles some of its beers.
The brewery's tagline says it best: "Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery producing loud beer from a quiet place." From its flagship Farmhouse Pale Ale (featuring saison yeast and American hops) to the freewheeling Freestyle Series (think Spelt Porter and Czech Red Ale), this brewery has a lot up its sleeves, and even added an orchard and coolship for spontaneous fermentation. The tasting room is open daily from noon to 7 p.m. Samples are available to purchase, and bottles are for sale to go.
Connected to the Winterport Winery, Penobscot Bay produces Mountain Man Double IPA, Wildfire Rauchbier, and a variety of other styles. Samples and growlers are available for purchase. The tasting room is closed January and February, open the rest of the time from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Usually open Friday to Sunday, this is a small operation so call before heading over to make sure someone is there. Growlers of the flagship Pemaquid Ale (a Scottish ale) and other beers like Boothbay Special Bitter and Damariscotta Double Brown are available; bottles have begun appearing, too.
Tumbledown red, Dog Star smoked stout, Artula pale ale, and Longfellow hefeweizen are some of the beers being produced by this small, young brewery. Tasting room hours are Wednesday to Friday 1 to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 7 p.m. Samples, full pours, and growler fills are available.
Best known for its pubs, Sebago also has a tasting room at its production brewery. Free tours and tastings are held Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. (call ahead to let them know you're coming). There's a rotating selection of beers from year-round Frye's Leap IPA to seasonals like Slick Nick Long Winter Ale to the Single Batch Series and experimental brews. Growlers are filled Wednesday to Friday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In a basement speakeasy-like space, this young brewery offers a wide variety of small-batch beers, like Space Gose and "breakfast beer" MC A.M. All are brewed on a small, now-uncommon Burton Union System, which means they’re 100% oak barrel-fermented instead of produced in stainless steel vessels. Small and large pours are available, as well as 32-ounce growlers to go. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
In a re-purposed horse barn, this small operation offers a handful of beers, including Lying Bastard Pale Ale and Dementia Dog Double IPA. The company added a wood-fired pizza oven so you can get a snack while you sip. Small and large pours are available, plus growler fills to go. Hours are Friday 3 to 8 p.m., and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.
A tiny “community supported brewery” making ales and lagers, Strong offers tastings, pints (prices vary depending on the beer), and 32- or 64-ounce growlers to go of beers like Localmotive and Soulpatch Porter. There’s even a growler “share” program, similar to pre-paying for a farm share. The brewery underwent an expansion in 2015. Open Tuesday to Thursday 1 to 7 p.m., Friday 1 to 8 p.m., and Saturday 1 to 7 p.m.
Focused on but not limited to British styles, Airline (formerly Square Tail) opened its doors in early 2015 with the slogan, "Peace, Trout, and Milk Stout." Play horseshoes outside and purchase samples or growlers of regular beers like Lazy Paddle Milk Stout and Mooned Loon Pale Ale. Look out for one-offs like a Fiddlehead ESB, too — yes, brewed with fresh fiddleheads. Open Thursday and Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
A brewery for the aspiring artist to decorate the wall or simply enjoy what someone else has created, Blank Canvas is putting out traditional beers with a twist, like Coconut Red or Oatmeal Raisin Stout. Buy samples in-house or leave with a growler. Open Thursday to Saturday 3 to 9 p.m.
This is the state's easternmost brewery, and one of its smallest, with a one barrel (31 gallon) system. Expect traditional styles as the young business gets its sea legs: a red ale, an IPA, and a brown ale were some of the first released. Purchase samples and light snacks or take a growler home. Open Thursday through Sunday 2 to 8:30 p.m.
Try a wide, rotating line-up here, from a Kölsch or a stout to a cream ale on nitro. Sit on the patio when the weather's clement, hunker inside with a stack of vinyl when it's not. Snacks available from Woodman's Bar and Grill, a sister business. Samples available to purchase, growlers to go. Open Monday to Thursday 3 to 10 p.m., Friday 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 7 p.m.
Call ahead or check Facebook carefully before visiting this young, IPA-centric brewery, which is currently undergoing an expansion and move to a new space. Growlers and crowlers (can-growlers) are available, as are occasional bottles.
Homebrewers and friends Ian Dorsey and Neil Fredrick took the leap from their garage to a business in early 2016, opening their brewery in downtown Westbrook. The former limousine garage has been transformed into brewing space and a nautically-themed tasting room, where an expanding line of their beers are on tap and in crowlers. The tasting room is open Thursdays 4 to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Food from nearby restaurants can be brought in or delivered, and the owners plan to host food trucks this summer.
This nanobrewery from two friends from Lewiston opened mid-February, serving three beers: a cream ale, a smoked pale ale, and a hoppy session ale. Pours and growlers are available Wednesday through Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
After some delays, Fore River Brewing opened the doors to its South Portland tasting room in January of 2016 where a red ale, IPA, and nitro milk stout are available. Stop by to check out the rustic space built from reclaimed materials Wednesday through Friday from 2 to 9 p.m., Saturdays noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays noon to 8 p.m.
The latest beverage business to join yEast Bayside is Lone Pine Brewing, makers of Portland Pale Ale, Brightside IPA, and What What Wheat Ale. The tasting room is open Thursday and Friday, 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. The Friday night summer concert series costs $5 and includes a pint.
Tom Bull's Bull Jagger Brewing Company was reborn as Dirigo Brewing, this time in Biddeford with business partner Mike Paulin. Focusing on German styles, the tasting room is pouring samples Wednesday and Thursday noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 8 p.m.
Located on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, this tasting room and beer garden serves an eclectic selection of beer from former Shipyard brewer Jared Entwistle. Visit the brewery Wednesday and Thursday noon to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This diminutive brewery and tap room in Orono offers primarily a variety of pale ale and IPAs, with some German styles like pilsners and hefeweizens. Visit the tap room for a flight or a pint, Monday through Wednesday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Marsh Island's beer can also be found in cans at the brewery and through distribution.
Try some hoppy IPAs, a seasonal saison or a coffee stout at this young Fryeburg brewery. The tasting room is open for pints and growler fills Thursday, Friday, and Saturday noon to 7 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.