We grab our seats on the patio at Lone Pine Brewing. It's a spectacularly sunny and warm early September afternoon as our host Becca offers us a tray full of slightly cloudy, honey-colored wheat beer.
Lone Pine is the last stop on our tour of craft breweries in Portland, Maine, and we down a few varieties, including this freshly poured Honey Whole Wheat Ale. By this time, the weekend had become a somewhat impromptu whirlwind tour, following our taste buds around a city that has built an incredible reputation for craft beers.
We spent parts of two days drinking our way through the port city during a visit on our cruise on Scenic Eclipse. It wasn't all drinking all the time, though.
Portland offers plenty of charms. We included runs along the picturesque waterfront park to get each of our days started.
And we . . .
Well, that was it.
So, a bit of jogging and visits to eight separate craft breweries over two days.
But this time, we gravitated toward one of our favorite ways to explore what a new destination has to offer.
The city has a legit claim as "Craft Beer Capital of America." In fact, a C+R Research study released in 2019 reveals that Portland, Maine, boasts the most breweries per capita in the U.S., with 18 breweries per 50,000 people, edging out Asheville, N.C.
We had long known about the delicious brews coming out of Maine. But it wasn't until we stepped off the ship to wander out on a self-guided, Google-informed walking tour on a Saturday afternoon that we realized just how many cool bars are within easy reach of the port. The city is highly walkable and easy to get around. We checked out three breweries on our own on the first afternoon.
Self-Guided Tour (All of these are within a 15-minute walk from the port)
Sebago Brewing Co. -- We found the Sebago Portland Brewpub just five minutes from our ship and settled in for our first Portland craft brew of the weekend. There would be a few more flights and pints, so I started with a Simmer Down session ale at Sebago.
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. -- This brewer is a definite trend-setter and known as one of the creators of the New England-style pale ale, with its hazy natural body. The brewery's flagship beer is The Substance, an almost creamy IPA with hints of citrus. We grabbed a four-pack on our way out.
Urban Farm Fermentory -- This spot is right across the street from Lone Pine. Urban Farm features fermented drinks like kombucha, ciders, mead and beer made with locally harvested and foraged ingredients.
We left Portland with four four-packs, picked up as cherished souvenirs from our visit that we brought home to share with friends.
Thanks for reading,