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Portland, ME

Discuss beer travel and regional information, including the best bars and places to check out around in Canada and around the world, and other chat that is not specific to Ontario.

Moderators: Craig, Cass

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sprague11
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Portland, ME

Post by sprague11 »

Apologies if there's another thread on Portland East, too lazy to search the archives.

Was in this area for some business. Not a ton of beer to bring back due to space requirements but Portland is jumping! Some highlights:

NEIPA is everywhere. Managed to quickly hit a few breweries for some samples, as well as a massive share. A lot of the breweries are concentrated around an industrial park (Foundation, Allagash, Austin Street, Definitive, Battery Steele are all within a 2 minute walk from eachother. Goodfire and Lone Pine share a space toward the downtown. Didn't hit Bissell but Swish was at our share.

Will be heading back there next year (thinking about tacking it on as an extra 2 days or so to my yearly VT trip), hopefully with some actual space in my luggage.

FWIW: despite all the hops I consumed over the day plus I was there Allagash was still the highlight for me (was able to hook up with someone who shared some coolships in exchange for sharing some Motley). Goodfire's Waves was the the tops in terms of NEIPA (which I'm officially tired of for a few weeks).
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Thanks for posting this up! I'm heading for a vacation to the Maine coast in a week, staying in Kennebunkport.

Have a brewery tour booked for Allagash, and have a Google Map of all the local breweries. Looks like there's lots to check out there!

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El Pinguino
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Post by El Pinguino »

Allagash is definitely a top visit for me in Portland Maine too.
I skipped Bissell and other hop-heavy spots for it back in May.

sprague11
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Post by sprague11 »

Portland has always been a good beer city but things have exploded there recently (One friend remarked it was bordering on oversaturation with all the hazy IPA). I'd still pop in to the 4 or 5 hop factories in the industrial plaza (Definitive had a damn good BBQ food truck) but tour-wise Allagash is the place to hit.


A lot of good coffee in the city too - brought back some beans from Bard and Black Cat.
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo

midlife crisis
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Post by midlife crisis »

You don't really mention pubs - did you have a chance to visit any? In 2014 I had an overnight there and managed to get to the King's Head and Novare Res, which were the top two on Beer Advocate at the time. Haven't been back so don't have any current info.

sprague11
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Post by sprague11 »

Didn't do any pubs in Portland though Definitive was doing pours. Had some drinks at Barreled Souls in Saco which was really good, as well as the famed Ebeneezers in Lovell
"A good light beer is one that doesn't taste like piss!" - Frank d'Angelo

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cratez
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Post by cratez »

Driving from Toronto to Portland with my wife next week. First time visiting for both of us.

I put the guide below together using combined BA and RB place ratings. Wanting to know if there are any glaring omissions, or overrated places we should skip. Also up for any suggestions on worthwhile tourist attractions/things to do.

Plan is to arrive Saturday evening and leave around noon on Thursday, so our time will be a bit limited (Sunday to Wednesday are the main days while in town).

Any help is much appreciated!

Breweries / Brewpubs

Ø Maine Beer Co. - 525 US Route 1, Freeport - RB: 95 / BA: 90 / CS: 93
Ø Allagash Brewing - 50 Industrial Way, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 90 / CS: 91
Ø Oxbow - 49 Washington Ave, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 86 / CS: 89
Ø Bissell Brothers - 4 Thompsons Pt Ste 108-109 - RB: 88 / BA: 88 / CS: 88
Ø Liquid Riot - 250 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 80 / CS: 86
Ø Rising Tide - 103 Fox St, Portland - RB: 82 / BA: 84 / CS: 83
Ø Foundation - 1 Industrial Way‎, Portland - RB: 81 / BA: 84 / CS: 83
Ø Battery Steele - 1 Industrial Way, Ste 12, Portland - RB: 76 / BA: 83 / CS: 80
Ø Urban Farm - 200 Anderson St, Portland - RB: 77 / BA: 80 / CS: 79
Ø Bunker - 17 Westfield St, Unit D, Portland - RB: 76 / BA: 82 / CS: 79

Bars / Eateries

Ø Novare Res Bier Café - 4 Canal Plaza, Portland - RB: 98 / BA: 90 / CS: 94
Ø The King's Head - 254 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 87 / BA: 90 / CS: 89
Ø Eventide Oyster Co. - 86 Middle St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 88 / CS: 88
Ø The Great Lost Bear - 540 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 87 / BA: 85 / CS: 86
Ø Duckfat - 43 Middle St, Portland - RB: 85 / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Nosh Kitchen Bar - 551 Congress St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Pai Men Miyake - 188 State St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Mash Tun - 29 Wharf St, Portland - RB: 74 / BA: 95 / CS: 85
Ø The Thirsty Pig - 37 Exchange St, Portland - RB: 84 / BA: 83 / CS: 84
Ø LFK - 188A State St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 84 / CS: 84
Ø Central Provisions - 414 Fore St., Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 84 / CS: 84
Ø Slab - 25 Preble Street Ext, Portland - RB: 80 / BA: 86 / CS: 83
Ø Arcadia National Bar - 24 Preble St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 83 / CS: 83
Ø Little Tap House - 106 High St, Portland - RB: 80 / BA: 84 / CS: 82 (Arcadia)
Ø Flatbread Company - 72 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 73 / BA: 86 / CS: 80
Ø Salvage BBQ - 919 Congress St, Portland - RB: 74 / BA: 83 / CS: 79

Stores

Ø Bier Cellar - 299 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 89 / CS: 90
Ø Back Bay Superette - 1037 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 73 / BA: 92 / CS: 83
Ø Old Port Spirits - 79 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 71 / BA: 84 / CS: 78
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

Amazing! That will be a lot of fun.

I've only been to Portland once for an afternoon - I spent a week in Kennebunkport and couldn't get away for a bigger explore.

However, I did go to Allagash which is 1000% a must-visit. One of the best tour experiences I've had. Granted, I had the "industry" tour so got to see a bit more than the regular tour. But I'm sure it's awesome either way. Nice tasting area to hang and enjoy some beers. Be sure to pick up some of the brewery exclusives while you're there. I remember a House beer that was delicious and of course the coolship beers are top notch. I see on their site that they're closed Tue & Wed so make sure to hit it up when you get there.

Literally across the street from Allagash is a bit of a brewery district, with Foundation, Austin Street and Battery Steele all in the same industrial park building. You can walk around the building and hit each one in a circle. I recall that they are your standard "U.S. industrial park" breweries but worth a visit out of convenience.

I've heard nothing but good things about Novare Res so I would put that at the top of the list. But I feel like you can't go wrong in Portland.

What's your route driving over?

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cratez
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Post by cratez »

Cass wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 12:02 pm I did go to Allagash which is 1000% a must-visit. One of the best tour experiences I've had. Granted, I had the "industry" tour so got to see a bit more than the regular tour. But I'm sure it's awesome either way. Nice tasting area to hang and enjoy some beers. Be sure to pick up some of the brewery exclusives while you're there. I remember a House beer that was delicious and of course the coolship beers are top notch. I see on their site that they're closed Tue & Wed so make sure to hit it up when you get there.

Literally across the street from Allagash is a bit of a brewery district, with Foundation, Austin Street and Battery Steele all in the same industrial park building. You can walk around the building and hit each one in a circle. I recall that they are your standard "U.S. industrial park" breweries but worth a visit out of convenience.

I've heard nothing but good things about Novare Res so I would put that at the top of the list. But I feel like you can't go wrong in Portland.

What's your route driving over?
Thanks Cass! This is all really helpful. Particularly the heads up about Allagash's hours. We'll need to make it a priority either Sunday or Monday, otherwise we'll miss out. Good to know about the brewery district across the street. Foundation and Battery made the list, so we'll be sure to check them out. Novare Res is walking distance from our Airbnb and is being eyed for a full night of eating and drinking, most likely. Thinking of taking the I-90 and I-95 on our way to Portland, but I'd be open to the 401/Montreal route if people have found that faster.
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott

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Cass
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Post by Cass »

cratez wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:51 pm Thinking of taking the I-90 and I-95 on our way to Portland, but I'd be open to the 401/Montreal route if people have found that faster.
Awesome, that trip will be a lot of fun - envious! This is certainly not faster, but I would table for consideration the Cornwall -> Plattsburgh Ferry across Lake Champlain -> Burlington -> Waterbury -> Montpelier -> onwards (or reverse) route. I've always enjoyed the ferry simply as its a lovely scenic break from driving and of course lots of fun beery things along the I89 in VT, and a break from only interstates. Google Maps says it is only 45 mins longer on this route vs. the I90/I95 but you'd need to have the extra time to meander.

Have a great time, and please report back!

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cratez
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Post by cratez »

Cass wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:00 pm
cratez wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:51 pm Thinking of taking the I-90 and I-95 on our way to Portland, but I'd be open to the 401/Montreal route if people have found that faster.
Awesome, that trip will be a lot of fun - envious! This is certainly not faster, but I would table for consideration the Cornwall -> Plattsburgh Ferry across Lake Champlain -> Burlington -> Waterbury -> Montpelier -> onwards (or reverse) route. I've always enjoyed the ferry simply as its a lovely scenic break from driving and of course lots of fun beery things along the I89 in VT, and a break from only interstates. Google Maps says it is only 45 mins longer on this route vs. the I90/I95 but you'd need to have the extra time to meander.

Have a great time, and please report back!
I'll definitely report back, and we'll keep the ferry in mind for coming home, when we'll have a bit more time to spare. I appreciate your help!
"Bar people do not live as long as vegan joggers. However, they have more fun." - Bruce Elliott

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Craig
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Post by Craig »

I prefer the 2 North from Burlington to the ferry, personally. Fun little drive.

But if you really want scenic, make sure you take the 302 through the white mountains.

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