April 7th marks the day in 1933 when the Cullen-Harrison Act was signed into law, reversing the prohibition of selling beer in the United States. Today, we’re happy to just know it as National Beer Day.
With 165 active and licensed breweries in Maine, and over 16 located in Portland, National Beer Day is a big deal in a state boasting the most breweries per capita. Whether you’re a fan of the hoppiest of hoppy IPAs, or venture toward a light beer fit for welcoming warmer weather, here’s our POP-certified list of a few of the breweries, beer bars, and beer stores in Portland that have been really raising the bar.
Allagash Brewing Company: (50 Industrial Way) No newcomer to the scene, and in fact, quite well known across multiple state lines, Allagash Brewing Company is a certified B-Corp brewery that is striving to use beer as a force of good. Allagash has vowed to benefit employees, customers, and the environment, in all their business decisions.
Known for their Belgian-style brews, Allagash Brewing Co. also offers a great selection of wild, sour, barrel-aged and spontaneously fermented beers to try out as well
Located in the Riverton district, this one is a bit off the usual beaten path in Portland, but still holds itself as a staple as Maine’s biggest brewery.
Belleflower Brewing: (66 Cove Street) Belleflower Brewing Co is a small-batch craft brewery that is family-owned and operated.
Known for their thoughtful beer that is brewed using local ingredients, prioritizing high-quality ingredients in every batch, the brewers at Belleflower focus on creating variety and distinction between batches. For you, the beer lover, expect new releases each week that are unique and delicious.
In addition to their beer selection, Belleflower also offers a patio seating that’s a reprieve from the bustling Old Port scene. Often hosting a rotating selection of food trucks and trailers from greater New England, Belleflower is a great place to enjoy a meal with friends and family while trying out some of their amazing brews.
Bunker Brewing Company: (17 Westfield St. D) Located in Portland’s Libbytown neighborhood, this small craft brewery is known for offering the finest ales and lagers in addition to collaborating with local artisans on small batches of quality beer. Dog-friendly, this modern craft brewery is built out of a 1920s-era garage, which on a perfect day becomes patio-friendly, heck, you may even catch their line-up of live bluegrass music during your next visit! Full and half pours are available on site.
Oxbow Blending & Bottling: (49 Washington Avenue) Located in Portland’s exploding East Bayside neighborhood, Oxbow Blending & Bottling is where Oxbow Brewing Company does just that, blend and package all of their aged beers.
Home to their large urban bar and event space, Oxbow Blending & Bottling has become a cultural hub and community gathering space for both the locals and tourists. They frequently host a number of activities ranging from live music and DJ dance parties to educational events such as beer, wine, and cheese tastings, and even seasonal intramural disc golf leagues.
For those that don’t already know, Oxbow has partnered with the award-winning local restaurant Duckfat for their in-house food program as well as their shared outdoor space tucked down the alley of Washington Avenue. If you are really trying to make a day out of it, Oxbow has surrounded itself by other spectacular eateries, fermenters, distillers, and roasters all within walking distance.
Rising Tide: (103 Fox Street) Celebrating thirteen years of great beers, Rising Tide Brewing Co. is an independent family-owned brewery that is guided by creating flavors, quality, consistency, community, and a love for all things outdoors.
Anchoring Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, each of their beers is thoughtfully crafted using the highest quality and safe brewing ingredients. You can join them on their patio or in their tasting room for fresh craft beers and delicious comfort food. They offer a wide variety of small-batch craft beers and a selection of gluten-free beverages including wine and hard cider. A treat for your well-behaved pup too on those summer days, Rising Tide’s patio is dog-friendly.
The Great Lost Bear: (540 Forest Ave.) Since 1979, The Great Lost Bear has provided Portland with delicious food and one of the best on-tap selections you’ll find, boasting over 70 taps featuring local brews, craft beers from across the country, and old favorites. With daily rotating $4.99 pint specials, Short Beer Nights (24 ounce pours for the price of a pint) every Monday and Tuesday, and an extensive food selection to match their beers – this Portland classic can’t be missed!
The King’s Head: (254 Commercial St.) If you’re walking the Old Port’s legendary working waterfront, and want to stop in for a beer, don’t skip out on The King’s Head. Just a quick walk down one of Portland’s wharfs on Commercial Street, you’ll find a cozy gastropub boasting one of the best draft lists in the city, not to mention a fantastic menu of locally sourced food.
Don’t skip out on their patio in the warmer months – where you can sip on some of Maine’s best brews literally feet from the water!
Maps: (64 Market St.) This homey basement bar, aptly decorated with maps across its walls and ceilings, is known for its loud vinyl music, local and international beer selection, and – cakes. It’s a great stop for a local bar where you can try some of Maine’s best beers, as well as a few brews you may not have heard of, but don’t skip out on their rotating confectionaries!
Novare Res Bier Cafe: (4 Canal Plaza #1) If you are in the mood to try a beer you’ve never had before, your best bet may be to head on over to Novare Res. With 33+ taps and 400+ bottles at any given time, you’ve got a good chance of finding a new favorite at this unique Portland staple. Sample their huge collection inside at their traditional German bar tops and tables, or outside on their incredible, spacious patio area.
Three Dollar Dewey’s: (241 Commercial St.) First opening in 1980, Dewey’s is hailed as the first place in Portland to pour a pint, and despite closing its doors briefly in 2018, it has long been known as one of the best options in Portland for sampling unique and craft-brewed beers. Since reopening in March of 2019, Three Dollar Deweys has reclaimed its spot as a Portland favorite, featuring 36 tap lines, and a delicious food menu, including a large vegan selection.
The Thirsty Pig: (37 Exchange St.) Priding itself on handcrafted links and drinks, The Thirsty Pig is the go-to spot in Portland for unique, house-made sausages alongside a selection of Maine’s finest craft beers. With a food menu that rotates almost daily, and a dog-friendly patio, this is a great stop for a summertime lunch while sampling some of the best beer that Portland has to offer.
RSVP Discount Beverage: (887 Forest Ave.) If you’re looking to satisfy any of your alcohol-based needs, RSVP Discount Beverage is a great stop to get most, if not all the items on your list. Since 1993, RSVP has been committed to charging the lowest price possible under Maine state law, and they pass those prices onto businesses just as much as consumers. The locally owned distributer provides service to over 60% of Portland, and that includes their great selection of local and internationally brewed beers.
Whether you’re looking for a keg, or single bottle of a craft brew you’ve never heard of – they’ve got you covered. Don’t want to drive out to get it yourself? Check out the next listing to find out how to get RSVP’s huge selection delivered to your door!
CarHop Curbside & Delivery: (Delivery Service) Sometimes, you’re just not ready to leave the house. Trust us, we get it. Luckily, it’s 2023, and we have delivery services to bring us the best food Portland has to offer, and one local vendor takes it one step further. Hop on the CarHop website, or download their app, and they’ll deliver beer, wine and spirits directly to your door. Choose from restaurants, breweries, or retail beer stores and get your favorite drink brought to you at your home!