Portland, Maine: Beer Nirvana

As Alan, the author and editor of A Good Beer Blog told me,

“Sitting in Maine, you are in one of the Nirvanas for great craft beer in all of North America.”

With that being said, we’ll begin with some must have beer in Portland, Maine lists.

The Best Bars & Brewpubs in Portland, Maine

  • The Great Lost Bear
    With 60+ beers on a rotating tap list, GLB was Voted #4 on BeerAdvocate.com’s Top 50 Places to Have a Pint 2003. All About Beer Magazine said the Great Lost Bear, “is our idea of a Perfect Bar”; Gourmet Magazine said its “One of the greatest bars on earth…”
  • Novare Res Bier Cafe
    Novare Res is THE beer destination in Portland. Boasting over 250 bottles of beer and 25 rotating taps from around the world. Not to mention some of the best cheeses in the market. Click here to read my personal reviews of Novare but really, the amazingness of Novare Res speaks for itself!
  • Brian Boru
    Brian Boru has a fun old-world feel, a decent tap list, and probably their best asset – a great patio and second floor deck and always excellent entertainment. Click on the link for more user reviews from Beer Advocate.
  • Ri-Ra
    While not unique to Portland (there are actually 8 Ri-Ra’s scattered across the country), it’s still a fun place to go for a drink. Right on the waterfront, this pub still maintains that old fashioned Irish pub feel. It’s also home to Tuesday night Trivia Night parties (which is a great time, but fills up quickly, so get there early!)
  • Bull Feeney’s
    Located on the corner of Fore and Exchange Streets in Portland’s Old Port, this Irish-style pub is a great place for a pint, especially on Saturday nights when Dave Rowe graces the downstairs stage (yes, there’s more than one). An impressive Belgian (and Belgian-style) bottle list — just ask — and the most complete selection of Scotches in town; check it out!
  • Sebago Brewing Co.
    Great food & beer brewed on the premises in the heart of the Old Port. Check out the website for a virtual tour, “from grain to glass”.
  • Three Dollar Dewey’s
    Their slogan is “Portland’s Best, Copied by the Rest!” and that might not be too far from the truth. Three Dollar Dewey’s features a great menu, complete with ethnic, local seafood and vegetarian specials, and a beer list that is virtually unmatched. Grab a window seat so you can watch the fishermen coming into port.
  • Gritty McDuff’s
    From the website, “When Gritty’s Portland Brew Pub opened in 1988 it became Maine’s first brew pub since prohibition and a leader in the state’s microbrew revolution. Since then, locals of every stripe and visitors from around the world have been enjoying fine, small-batch ales brewed on-premise, great pub fare and a real old world pub atmosphere… Gritty’s has become a Maine institution, garnering many awards for Best Bar, Best Brew Pub and Best Beer.” Gritty’s is definitely a favorite of mine and a must-have for all People From Away.

Portland, Maine Breweries

Portland, Maine Homebrew Supply Shops

  • The Hop Shop
    Great homebrew supply shop just up 95 in the town of Gray, ME
  • Maine Brewing Supply
    Portland’s own homebrew supply shop, Maine Brewing Supply (located right next door to the Great Lost Bear on Forest Ave.) is convenient, friendly, and well-stocked (in both supplies and commercial beers-to-go). If you’re looking to start homebrewing, or even a seasoned veteran, don’t let an opportunity to visit Maine Brewing Supply pass you by.
  • Madden Beverage
    Beer and wine shop that carries homebrewing supplies located in Saco, ME.

Other Portland, Maine Local Beer Must-Haves

If there is something you’d like to see on this page which isn’t here, please email me and I’ll get it posted.