The November/December print issue of Dispatch Magazine interviews only a couple of Maine’s great craft breweries (we went to four of them, to be exact). But here at Dispatch we recognize that our beautiful state has many more notable craft brews floating around than just ones we put in print. Below, you will find a couple of our other favorites with touring details. Happy drinking everybody!
20 years after it’s beginning, this Kennebunkport brewing company has become one of the largest craft breweries in the country. Shipyard Ales’ beginnings were small and started with the opening of Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brew Pub. It wasn’t long before demand outweighed brewing capacity and Shipyard Brewing Company was established. Now the company is a Maine beer staple and continually releases top par brews like the seasonal and very popular Pumpkinhead Ale. Tours take place Tuesday nights from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and we suggest that you book in advance since spots fill up quickly!
Atlantic Brewing Company was started in 1991 when craft brews were just starting to become “cool” again. Based out of Bar Harbor, Atlantic has grown in popularity over the years with their staple brews such as Bar Harbor Real Ale, which is a smooth, malty nutbrown ale. You can tour their facilities daily during the summer season for free. Repeat: For Free! More reason to like them!
Geary’s Brewing, established in 1986, stakes claim to being New England’s first microbrewery. Their recipes find root in the Scottish Highlands and the southern coast of England where founder David Geary spent a period of time training and researching before starting the company. 26 years later Geary’s has grown into a well-respected brewing company with seven full time products and three seasonal specialties with a widespread distribution to fifteen states along the Atlantic coast and reaches inland as far as Ohio. Tours are usually scheduled between Monday through Friday 2-2:30 pm; however, due to a heavy workload, the busy folk at Geary’s ask that you call in advance to schedule your tour.
4. Rising Tide
Rising Tide Brewing Company began with the dream of one man, Portland native, Nathan Sanborn. Having spent a dozen years learning everything he could about brewing, in 2010 he founded the company with partner. Rising Tide aims to create beers that reflect traditional styles of the craft but with a modern twist. Tours typically run on Fridays and Saturdays around 1pm. Because this is a small family-run brewery, cancelations have been known to occur. You can watch for these cancelations on their “Canceled Tour Dates” listed on their Twitter and on their Facebook page. Be sure to also check out their Tasting Room for more information on the brewery.
Run of the Mill Public House & Brewery is a 14-barrel brewpub operation run out of Saco, Maine. The company began when owner Geoff Houghton purchased and renovated an abandoned mill that was built in 1838. Giving heed to its historical physical space, Run of the Mill strives to create an atmosphere and product that reflects this sense of time. The result is well-loved family Pub and a handful of fine imported malts and domestic hops, all of which are rising rapidly in popularity and distribution. Tours are available upon request.
Using the crisp fresh water of Sebago Lake, this brewing company strives for high quality and creativity. Established in 1998, Sebago Brewing boasts a full line of year round craft brews, five seasonal beers, and several extremely anticipated limited editions that are released throughout the year. The company’s reputation is built around the consistency of the product’s quality, which is perhaps linked to the consistency of the brewers themselves, all of whom have been with the company since its beginnings. Tours are available Monday through Friday at 2pm.
The owner and head-brewer at Sheepscot, Steve Gorrill, brewed in his home for ten years prior to establishing Sheepscot in April 1995. Their most popular brew is their flagship Pemaquid Ale, which is a full-bodied Scottish ale, hoppy in its finish and great with hearty food. The folks at Sheepscot don’t hold official tours but invite any one of interest to pop in and check out how a good microbrew is made. A call in advance is suggested.
Photo Cred: John Holzer