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Old 07-18-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Vacation in Maine - Where to Stop for Good Local Beer

I will be traveling from New Jersey to Raymond Maine near Sebago Lake. I see that Portland has several breweries. Can anyone recommend where I should go in Maine or stop along the way to Maine?

Thanks

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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Portland Maine:

Rising Tide Brewery
Allagash Brewery
Shipyard puts on a great tour and has decent beers.
Nova Res Cafe is a beer geeks heaven.
Great Lost Bear has awesome food and good tap selection
Sebago Brewery is good too.

Portsmouth NH:

Redhook has awesome tours
Thirsty Moose Taphouse has 140 taps and good food
Earth Eagle Brewing. Owners also own a HBS adjacent.


those are my favorite places. I live in York ME and I frequent both porstmouth and portland.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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I was in Kennebunkport Maine just last week. We went to 4 breweries (with tasting rooms only), 3 brewpubs and 2 restaurants in Portland and Portsmouth.

Breweries:
The only official tour we did was at Allagash. The 75 BBL 5 vessel brewhouse was a sight to see (it wasn't there 2 years ago during our last trip) as was the 2 barrel rooms. They give you 4 free samples and the tour was free (reservations online). 2 of the 4 samples were tasting room only beers, no distribution. The other 2 were Confluence and White. They had bottles of their Coolship Red for sale, limit 2 per customer.
Maine Brewing had 8 beers on tap. Besides their standards they had some Saisons too.
Earth Eagle is a Nano that has great gruits and good standard beers. They had a sour mash going last week so maybe you'll get to try whatever that turns into.
Throwback has a 3 barrel system and is a great example of how to start out on a small budget. We got an informal tour by one of the owners (Annette). The jalepeno Pilsner was our favorite. They had a 6% barrel aged stout with Brett that was pretty good and I liked the Schwarzbier.

Brewpubs:
Run of the Mill Brewpub lives up to it's name. The best beer was a guest beer.
Portsmouth Brewery was meh. Food was ok but nothing special. I liked the quality of the beer better at Earth Eagle...we stopped there first before going to the Portsmouth brewpub.
This was our second trip to Maine and we decided to give Federal Jacks in Kennebunkport a second chance since it's very close to the house we rented. Stay away from this place. Beer is bad and so is the food. Pretty sure they use ringwood in everything and don't know how to treat it. If you don't know what diacetyl tastes like and want to find out, then definitely give them a try.

Restaurants:
Novare Res doesn't have a huge food menu but an awesome draft and bottle list including sour and wild ales which include a few Cantillons. My sister in law somehow talked the waitress into giving me the Lambic basket we were using!
Flatbread in Portsmouth had really great flatbread (go figure) and an ok draft and bottle list. They had the Throwback Schwarzbier on tap but someone must have screwed up since it tasted like half root beer. It was an interesting combo so I drank it anyway.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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Since you'll be in Raymond, check out Bray's Brewpub in Naples...just up the road from you.

+1 to other posters list, pretty much nailed all the hot-spots.

Federal Jack's is owned by shipyard, so their beer is going to be all Ringwood. I'm not sure any of the the Shipyard affliates (Seadog, Fed. Jack aren't going to be Ringwood, frankly. Until recently, maine was awash with Ringwood beers...in addition to their company, they consulting on both Geary's and Gritty, so they tend to follow the ringwood example too. Its better now.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:27 PM   #5
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i'll second maine brewing company.. haven't been there but their "mean old tom" is one of my favorite beers!

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #6
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Novare Res in Portland has a great beer selection and a cool Belgian cafe vibe. When Pigs Fly Wood Fired Pizzeria in Kittery has awesome pizza and a generally excellent if not huge (about 20) draft list.

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Old 07-18-2013, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krenshaw View Post
i'll second maine brewing company.. haven't been there but their "mean old tom" is one of my favorite beers!
That was my favorite there as well. I've had some of their stuff here in philly and wanted to try their hoppy beer fresh. I think my expectations were too high but it was still good.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
Since you'll be in Raymond, check out Bray's Brewpub in Naples...just up the road from you.
.
This - I was there last year, and it's great pub, with a good beer garden.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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Gritty McDuff's has a good beer called Black Fly. You can find on tap at most places. I went to the Riverfront in Augusta and grabbed a few beers there. If you're interested in good food, that BBQ joint isn't bad. Not the best I've had, but good with a cold beer. It's only a few minutes from the highway, as well. I just made the trip 2 weeks ago from NJ. Totally worth it. Have fun.

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Old 07-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #10
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Jeez, almost forgot to mention Baxter Brewing company! They make some tasty beers...everything in cans. Their IPA is pretty good.

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