Visitor's Guide 2015

Something’s BREWING Whether you ride the Beast of the y'East tour bus, join a hash run, or strike out on your own, be sure to explore Portland’s prolific scene of microbrews, spirits and viticulture. Photo: courtesy Sebago Brewing Company

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The growing breadth of craft beer, wine, and distilled spirit producers is astounding, but in an era of discerning drinkers it takes creative flair and a competitive edge to flourish. Maine is at the forefront of this beverage boom and Greater Portland offers some of the most accessible, palate pleasing imbibing opportunities around. In the area fondly referred to as y'East Bayside, family owned and operated businesses like Rising Tide Brewing and Maine Craft Distilling garner a following with favorites like Daymark, a pale ale, and Fifty Stone Whiskey. Just off the Portland peninsula Allagash Brewery, New England Distillery, and a growing number of up-and-coming breweries are another hub of liquid refreshment. Then there’s the Old Port, home to hot spots like the Sweetgrass tasting room where quintes- sential Maine ingredients, like blueberries and maple syrup, flavor dessert wines. It’s also where the granddaddy of Maine beer producers, Shipyard Brewery, resides.

If you're pressed for time, the best way to visit the widest variety of these businesses is to join a tour. The premier touring companies, for lovers of libation, are the Maine Brew Bus and Maine Beer Tours. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the fermentation processes and tools of the trade as guides offer an informative and entertaining dialog to complement your experience. Oh, and there's plenty of samples too! Portland Beer Week is an event that celebrates beer culture taking place in late autumn. Increase your beer knowledge exponentially as you enjoy special beer and food pairing menus at bars and restaurants throughout the city. Collabora- tions between breweries, home brewers, and local coffee roasters ensure there’s new and tantalizing tastes at every table. The Craft Beer Cellar on Commercial Street carries a commendable selection of award-winning local brews bottled and canned to perfection. You can peruse

their wares and continue expanding your beverage horizons or find a few favorites to take home. There's something new brewing every season, so to stay on top of the latest buzz, we recommend repeat visits. The fourth weekend of October, the waterfront is hopping with food, wine, and beer aficionados celebrating the vibrant culinary scene at our annual Harvest on the Harbor—come see what's on tap!

LOCAL TIP Visit Vena’s Fizz House for an education on using diversely flavored bitters to accent your purchase of Maine distilled spirits, beer, and even food!


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