It’s almost impossible to keep up with the constant flood of new breweries, beer varieties and other treats coming out of Maine’s brewing industry and alcohol-adjacent companies. As of spring 2022, Maine now has 165 breweries, up from 156 as of April 2021.
Whether you live here year-round or you’re just visiting, how on earth can you decide on which beverage to pick up for your summertime activities? We’re here to help. Here are seven beers, ciders, kombuchas and canned cocktails, all made in Maine, almost all new on the scene and all excellent choices for hot weather and gorgeous Maine scenery.
Floating Holiday, Allagash Brewing Company
Allagash’s latest crowd-pleasing canned release is Floating Holiday, a blonde ale brewed with lemon peel and sea salt. Allagash has been killing it over the past few years with its widely distributed, relatively inexpensive four-packs of craft beer — though you can still get the weird, wild, funky bottled stuff at the Portland brewery and at craft beer destinations. Floating Holiday would, as the name suggests, taste great while sitting in a floatie on a body of water.
Mushroom Cloud, Mason’s Brewing Company
This hoppy farmhouse saison first came out in 2017, but then didn’t reappear on Mason’s list of brews until 2020. Mason’s dubbed it a “lawnmower beer” — the sort of thing that quenches your thirst after trimming up the back 40. It’s definitely got a hoppy bite, but it stays light, as a saison should. Available in stores and at the brewery on the Brewer waterfront.
Staycation Land, Baxter Brewing Company
Another Maine brewery that’s known for its uncomplicated but high-quality brews is Baxter, which last year released Staycation Land, a lager that you can give to those friends and family who tend to prefer a Bud Light but will drink a craft beer if offered. Don’t let that fool you, though: this is an extremely well-made classic lager, easy drinking but with a balanced mixture of bitter and sweet.
Slightly Raddled, Mast Landing Brewing Company
Westbrook-based Mast Landing made this delightful grapefruit-centric kolsch last year, and it was a big enough hit to bring it back this summer — in fact, it just hit tap lines and shelves this week, though it won’t be in stores until later this summer. If you find yourself in Westbrook or Freeport, however, swing by Mast’s tasting room to grab a four-pack of this crispy, zesty, tart, exceptionally sessionable summer beer.
Maine Mule, Maine Craft Distilling
While not exactly the new kid on the block, Maine Craft Distilling’s line of canned cocktails offers an excellent alternative if you’re not a beer person and you’re also not a huge fan of hard seltzer. They’re all good, but the Maine Mule, made with Maine Craft Distilling’s Ration Rum and ginger beer, is particularly tasty with a side of sunshine.
Original Blend, Freedom’s Edge Cider
Freedom’s Edge Cider just launched last summer and has created several varieties of hard cider from its Albion apple orchard and tasting room. Its Original Blend is widely available in stores across Maine, and it’s a satisfying semi-dry cider made from several local and English apples that’s best served ice cold, or even on ice.
Aloha, Maine Booch Brewing
Another brewer that’s new on the scene, Maine Booch Brewing started making kombucha in Damariscotta last year. Technically, it’s called “booch,” meaning it’s properly alcoholic — unlike kombucha, which generally has just 1 percent or less alcohol content. Its Aloha blend is made with hibiscus and ginger, a suitably summery pairing that’s also dandy as part of a mixed drink. Maine Booch Brewing is only available at the brewery, so you’ll have to make the trek to Lincoln County to have a taste or fill up a growler.