A Walking Brewery Tour of Portland, Maine

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There is a continuous argument over what city has the most breweries, but when it comes to breweries in Portland, Maine, the tally is always among the top two or three per capita. Portland is the largest city in Maine with only 66,000 people, but nearly half a million when you add in the surrounding area. With a population so comparably small to the rest of the country, Portland has a whopping 30 breweries with 17 of them being in Portland proper. And according to the Maine Brewers Guild, Maine is home to 165 breweries. There’s no lack of good beer here.

Maine house with weights

Portland, Maine Breweries

While we’ve got the full list of breweries in Portland, Maine, laid out below for you to explore, sadly we only made it to a few, along with one of our non-brewery favorite stops, Maine Craft Distilling (which also had some great beer).

  • Allagash Brewing Company
  • Austin Street Brewery
  • Banded Brewing Company
  • Batson River Brewing & Distilling
  • Battery Steele Brewing Company
  • Belleflower Brewing Company
  • Bissell Brothers Brewing Company
  • Brickyard Hollow Pizza & Brewpub
  • Bunker Brewing Company
  • Definitive Brewing Company
  • Fore River Brewing(temporarily closed)
  • Foulmouthed Brewing
  • Foundation Brewing Company
  • Freeport Brewing Company
  • Geary Brewing Company
  • Goodfire Brewing Company
  • Gritty McDuff’s Brewpub
  • Hi-Fidelity Brewing
  • Island Dog Brewing
  • Kit NA Brewing
  • Liquid Riot Bottling Company
  • Lone Pine Brewing
  • Mast Landing Brewing Company
  • Newscapes Brewing
  • Oxbow Blending and Bottling
  • Rising Tide Brewing Company
  • Sea Dog Brewing
  • Shipyard Brewing Company
  • Stars & Stripes Brewing
  • Urban Farm Fermentory

Portland, Maine One Day Walking Brewery Tour

This was our Portland, Maine, brewery tour, which we managed to accomplish in a day. We hope you find yourself with more time to spend here, because these breweries deserve your attention. Remember, we are only here to guide you, to get you started. So be sure to let us know all about your Portland beer tasting experience in the comments below.

East End Portland Walking Brewery Tour

Lone Pine Brewing

Since we only had a day in Portland, we planned our walking brewery tour around the East End along Washington Avenue, where we were also lucky enough to find an off the main road spot to park overnight on the streets of Portland.  Having your house with you wherever you go is one of the best things about living in an RV, especially when you are on a walking tour of breweries. 

We began our day at Goodfire Brewing Company, located on the backside of Lone Pine.  Good beer, good use of limited space, but with so many breweries, this one just wasn’t going to make the cut to return to.

Urban Farm Fermentory

Walking just a few feet to the front of the building, we wandered into Lone Pine. There was a vast selection of IPAs, an open and airy brewery, along with a cute open space with community tables right on the street, allowing for some great people watching and fostering community.

You all know IPAs aren’t my thing, so Kenny chose a flight of them, and I sampled from him.  A couple of good hazy IPAs, but nothing over the moon to draw us back.  While we did strike up a good conversation with another couple thanks to the community tables that encourage conversations, the place itself was, again, just another brewery in a long line of breweries that we have visited on our travels.

We’re not huge kombucha fans, but always up for something new. So we walked across the street to Urban Farm Fermentory where they brew using locally foraged ingredients with a special fermentation process.  This place had wonderful ambiance with wooden picnic tables, benches, and a farm-like ambiance complete with high wooden beams in the inside and beautiful wooden touches matched perfectly with greenery and herbs throughout the tasting room.  Specializing in kombuchas, gruits, and meads, what they do, they do well.  If you like these types of beers, this is one we highly recommend you check out.  Great place, great feel, comfortable, cozy, like a cabin in the middle of a farm.

Telling Room fence in Portland, Maine
Telling Room fence in Portland, Maine

Art Along the Tour

Off again to check out something different.  While we are not on vacation, we have created our own schedule in life since moving into RAIF.  Having done this, it is very nice to take a stroll on a late summer’s day in a new city.  Talking about the people we just met, the places we have been, and just strolling along, our attention wandered to an interesting fence surrounding some apartments.  This was not your normal fence, but an art project created by local school kids. Their stories crafted directly into the metal via a non-profit called the Telling Room.

Oxbow Blending and Bottling

Feeling inspired, we made our way to Oxbow Blending and Bottling.  We didn’t make it to the farmhouse tasting room in Newcastle, the recommended location, but we enjoyed the Portland location. It is a gorgeous facility, sharp in its elegance, but managing a modern and cozy feel at the same time.  Stock full of community tables inside, the outside hosted barrels strategically placed all around the courtyard, encouraging intimate conversations with friends.  

Not to be outdone by the breweries that also offer food (aka brewpubs), Oxbow shares space with the famous Duckfat sandwich shop’s newest creation. (Duckfat is featured on many restaurant recommendation sites.) The Duckfat Friteshack, a snack shack specializing in quick eats and its infamous duck fat fries, is located on site at Oxbow. Good food, good beer, good people.

East End Portland Walking Distillery Tour

Hardshore Distilling Company

But we had more to sample, so sample we did. Normally, we don’t search out distilleries, but we passed by one on the way to Oxbow that caught our eyes. So we decided to head back, but lo and behold, we came across another distillery and decided to check that one out, too.

Hardshore Distilling Company used its limited space well, taking up the parking lot on Washington Avenue, turning it into an inviting outdoor space.  And with a garage door opening onto the street, we couldn’t help but feel personally invited into its artistically lit tasting room. Not being a fan of gin, which Hardshore specializes in, the bartender took the time to ask us what flavors we did like and proceeded to create a latte inspired gin cocktail. This is a place worth visiting again.

Maine Craft Distilling

But, still unwilling to call it a night, we wanted to check out the one we had initially seen – Maine Craft Distilling. Located in the same building as a homemade bagel shop and right behind a fresh oyster house, this place couldn’t be bad.  As we rounded the corner, we could hear music pouring from the doors, conversations and laughter everywhere.

Maine Craft Distilling

Honestly, when I first walked into this place, I was a bit overwhelmed.  Not because of the place, but because of all the feelings that surfaced.  I wanted to be here, wanted to feel like an adult, wanted to savor the food and sip on a handcrafted cocktail, all while tapping my foot to the beat of the music.  I wanted to do all of this without worrying about money.

In our travels, we love food and drinks and going out to experience new places.  Who doesn’t like this when they travel? But we are not on vacation, we are working and on a budget.  Or at least we try to be. So, budget be damned, we stayed. We had a cocktail, decided against the food (our kitchen was parked just a few feet down the road), and we enjoyed the boot stomping music.  After all, we are adults.

Kenny had heard many good things about Lunch and Dinner, two highly acclaimed IPAs from Maine Beer Company, and since we did not get a chance to go there, he was excited to find one of them, Lunch, on the menu here. Worthy of the acclimations, he quite enjoyed this beverage and definitely recommends it.

Maine Craft Distilling

I, on the other hand, usually not much of a fancy cocktail drinker, budget be damned, went for the coolest concoction on the menu: the Common Ground.  Made from their very own Whipple Tree Apple Brandy, honey, and bitters, and handcrafted by the bartender, this cocktail was divine. Enjoying our drinks and the festive atmosphere, I finally relaxed about the budget, knowing that we wouldn’t be spending money the next few days.  Kenny wandered off for a moment and came back with a new friend.

Always the one to say hi and start a conversation, this time, he started one with an employee who happened to be off-duty. He, however, offered to give us a tour of the distillery.  Feeling like VIPs, we were ushered through some beautiful glass double doors. (They actually offer tours and tastings to anyone who is interested.) We were given a full description of their spirits, as well as several tastings of anything they had to offer.  

Maine Craft Distilling

Learning more about their system of farm to flask distilling, using locally sourced ingredients was enlightening, but what really made the connection for us with this distillery over the other breweries that we visited was the people, as usual.  The second we walked in the door, we felt like guests and wanted to stay, but it was time to go.

Hearts and Bellies Full

As the night waned, and the stars brightened, we made our way back home, content in the knowledge that while tonight felt familiar and comforting, tomorrow would be filled with the unknown, making it, ironically, familiar and comforting.

Apple Brandy Maine Craft Distilling Cheers

The morning came on with a force, just like our appetites, and we wouldn’t be doing our jobs, if we didn’t recommend a stout breakfast to start your stout day.  We highly recommend Forage Market, located in the same building as Maine Craft Distilling, it offers freshly brewed coffee and homemade, wood-fired bagels.  You’re already drooling, aren’t you.  I am!

We’ve always said that the beer we love, no matter where it was found, is due to the people we meet while drinking it.  It’s the same with good coffee, good cocktails, and good food. Here’s to the people we meet while searching for the good things.

PRO TIP: Portland Industrial Way Mini Tour

(aka the Allagash Brewing neighborhood brewery tour)

While we didn’t hit up our pro tip tour during a whirlwind 24 hours walking Portland’s East End, a Maine brewing icon, Allagash Brewing, is at the heart of an excellent little brewery walking tour of its own. If you trek on over to Industrial Way off of Interstate 85 and Forest Ave., you’ll find Allagash Brewing, home of the infamous Allagash White.

But, not only will you find Allagash, literally within footsteps, there are four other craft breweries to visit! Seriously, all five breweries are either across the street or right next door to each other. Aside from Allagash, you can easily saunter to Austin Street Brewery, Battery Steele Brewing, Foundation Brewing, and Definitive Brewing.

And before we let you go, there’s one more brewery you’ll need to visit, Monhegan Brewing Company. Located 10 miles out to sea on Monhegan Island, Maine, this is a must visit brewery that, um, we didn’t visit. Hopefully you do as we say and not. as we did and give Monhegan a visit, so you can tell us all about it!

Maine’s Craft Brewing Hidden Gem

If you make it to the far northeastern portion of Maine, you know, where you’re not sure if you are in the U.S. or Canada? Be sure to check out a tiny town called Lubec Brewing Co. in Lubec, Maine.

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