While Maine’s ever-growing craft beer scene understandably slowed down a bit during 2020 and early 2021, it’s come roaring back to life since the spring, with six new breweries already open all across Maine, and four more expected to open by the end of the year.
Want to figure out who’s who, and where? Read on.
Belleflower Brewing opened in March, in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, to wide acclaim. Founded by former employees of Boston’s acclaimed Trillium Brewing, this trendy addition to the Portland scene creates hop-heavy pales and IPAs alongside more decadent treats like a sour gose and an imperial stout. Beers are on tap in their tasting room, or in cans, to-go. They also make some wicked shandys, including a lemonade and beer cocktail that’s a perfect summer quencher.
Technically, St. Albans-based Gordon’s Grog opened in 2006, which was when founder Trevor Gordon started brewing. But his hand-built tap room was a process nearly 15 years in the making, officially opening on Todd’s Corner Road in April of this year. There’s a mix of ales, reds, porters and blondes and other classics on tap.
We already wrote about Horn Run Brewing, the new brewery located on Eastport’s scenic waterfront, which opened in May. It’s already amassed a loyal following in Washington County, with the brewery actually completely selling out of beer on several weekends. Expect saisons, witbiers, pales and IPAs to be reliably on tap.
Further south, Odd by Nature, a Cape Neddick brewery that opened a tiny tap room in June, takes a different tack, eschewing the punched-in-the-face-by-hops approach for, instead, looking to ice cream, candy and pastries for inspiration. Case in point: Shark Attack, its popular sour gose, is brewed with the addition of blue gummy sharks and marshmallows, while Keeping It Cinnamon, Stupid, is made with roasted hazelnuts and Cinnamon Toast Crunch churros. Beers are on tap only.
Also opening in June was Bath Ale Works, a new brewery named in honor of Bath Iron Works, but ironically located two towns over in Wiscasset. It’s a no-frills, family friendly brewery creating English and traditional ales, nestled in between a Shaw’s and a Family Dollar on busy Route 1.
Love beer, but can’t drink it because you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten? Boy, are you in luck: Lucky Pigeon Brewing in Biddeford is Maine’s first exclusively gluten-free brewery, and it opened just last week in the Pepperell Mill development. Right now, there are just ales and IPAs on tap, but expect more variety as they get their feet underneath them.
Looking ahead, there are four more breweries set to open all across the state between now and the end of the year. In Portland, Hi Fidelity Beer is shooting for a September opening for its East Bayside location, which will also feature live music and other arts programming. In October, the Androscoggin County town of Lisbon Falls will get its first brewery, Olive Pit Brewing, on Main Street in its downtown.
In November, another Maine brewery will attempt to fill another niche in the craft beer market: non-alcoholic beer. KITna Brewing, based in Portland, plans to offer up its first non-alcoholic beers in time for Thanksgiving. And Bad Little Brewing, which will be Machias’ first-ever brewery, is hoping to start brewing beer in its newly renovated headquarters in the historic Clark Perry House sometime by the end of the year.