The 7 Best Beers & Breweries In Maine

Maine’s rocky north Atlantic coast may be short on wineries but it’s rich in breweries. With the most breweries per capita of any state, as of early 2020, Maine is home to 155 active, licensed breweries, representing over 100 unique brands with a deeply independent strain (like its people) ranging from classically elegant to off the hook inventive. It’s become a beer drinkers paradise currently applying for its own internationally recognized style.

Many Maine breweries have tasting or taprooms. A disproportionate number are in Portland. Stop by and try what you can’t find even in the best stores with their limited batches and seasonal varietals.

No store could possibly carry them all so finding specific ones requires considerable hunting and gathering, which just adds to the fun. One of the best selections in the state can be found in Freeport’s Bow Street Market.

Whether you’re a Maniac or ‘from away’, with riches that could be an embarrassment (but we’re not) it’s hard to know where to start. Here are my top picks. (My taste tests are ongoing, so check back for new additions.)

 

1

Allagash

They excel at Belgians.

Their White is a staple cloudy wheat.

Their Curieux is a stellar bourbon barrel tripel.

 

2

Boothbay Craft Brewers

They do it all without overdoing it … or is it overdoing it just the right amount?

Savor their lush Thirsty Botanist.

 

3

Foundation

They’re playful, richly rewarding, and sometimes even sweet.

Enter their radiant list with an Epiphany.

 

4

Lone Pine

Their flavors are so in step with the independence of the pine tree state.

Taste the place in their evergreen Brightside.

 

5

Bissel Brothers

Their creativity runs deep.

Ease into a wild ride with Substance an IPA with an understated name.

 

6

Maine Beer Company

They excel at IPAs.

Start with their beer Lunch.

 

7

Rising Tide

Though their list is deep, with plenty of range, they excel at lighter classic IPAs.

Try their Maine Island Trail Ale.

 

Discover more Maine resources.

Join me during my Maine photography workshop.

Maine’s 9 Best Oysters & 5 Places To Find Them

I find it mysterious and wonderful! The same oyster species grown in different places taste different. When you eat oysters you taste the seaweeds and kelps that surround them, the minerals in the rock and mud they grow on, and the salt in the waters they breathe. You even taste the temperature they live in. How is that possible? You’ve got to taste it to believe it.

Today (2021), about 150 oyster farms in Maine, extending from York to Washington counties, raise over 11 million oysters per year for the white table cloth market (an industry worth over $8 million). The Damariscotta River estuary in Maine is the largest site for oyster growth. Most Maine oysters have strong, hard shells, plump full meats, and a beautiful briny sweet flavor of a cold fresh clean ocean.

Maine offers a savory adventure with an impressive variety of oysters to choose from.

 

Pemaquid Points burst zaftig and briny.

Winter Points remain firm with brothy umami.

Taunton Bays offer a complex minerality.

Belon Rivers glide coppery smooth.

Dodge Coves supply sweet and sour tanginess.

Bagaduce Rivers balance bouquets in small creamy packages.

Glidden Points achieve an unusually crisp density.

North Haven Islands have a hint of honey.

Gay Islands share a touch of sugar.

Find more at Oyster Finder.

 

Find the best selection in Portland at Eventide.

Find the best selection in Boothbay at Mine Oyster.

Find the best selection in Rockland at North Beacon.

Find the best selection in Rockport at 18 Central.

 

Follow the Maine Oyster Trail here.

 

Want them shipped to you? Try Maine Oysters Company.

 

Discover more Maine resources.

Join me during my Maine photography workshop.

Things To Do In Maine

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There are lots of things to see and do in Maine.

Here are some resources to help make your visit even more special.

 

15 Colorful Things To See During Maine’s Fall Season

6 Great Maine Museums To Visit

The Best Breweries & Beers In Maine

Maine’s Best Oysters & Where To Find Them

 

Places To Visit

 

Portland, Portland Museum of Art, 207-775-6148

Brunswick, Bowdoin Museum, 207-725-3275

Waterville, Colby Museum, 207-859-5600

Rockland, Center For Maine Contemporary Art, 207-701-5005

Rockland, Dowling Walsh Gallery, 207-596-0084

Rockland, Farnsworth Museum, 207-596-6457

Rockland, The Strand Theatre, 207-594-0070

Owls Head, Owls Head Transportation Museum, 207-594-4418

Camden, Bay Chamber Concerts, 888-707-2770

 

Places To Eat

 

Bar Harbor, Havana, 207-288-2822

Belfast, Meanwhile In Belfast, 207-218-1288

Camden, The Waterfront, 207-236-3747

Camden, Natalie’s, 207-236-7008

Camden, Long Grain, 207-236-9001

Maine Destinations To Photograph

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Get this ebook free.

 

From the solitary summit of Katahdin, to the deeps of more than 22,000 lakes and ponds, to the 3,500 miles of tidal coastline, the wild beauty of Maine is irresistibly beautiful. Inland you’ll find sweeping mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, and farms. Along the rocky coast, you’ll find countless islands, beaches, lighthouses, and fishing villages.

This ebook collects images of Maine made in the locations that I have returned to photograph most often for more than 25 years.

Each image is accompanied by a short description of the location.

Interactive links access Google Maps and additional resources.

This valuable resource will help you make the most of your explorations of Maine.

22 images

22 pages

 

Find my Maine workshops here.

6 Great Art Museums To Visit In Maine

There’s lots of great art in Maine!

Here are six great museums presented geographically from north to south.

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Waterville

Colby Museum of Art 

A collecting and teaching museum focussing on American art. It houses and displays the largest collection of John Marin and Alex Katz’ paintings as well as Richard Serra’s works on paper.

 

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Rockland

Farnsworth Museum

There’s always something new and old on view at the Farnsworth. The museum has one of the nation’s largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth, which is extended by the Olson House (Christina’s World) in nearby Cushing.

 

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Rockland

Center For Maine Contemporary Art

A contemporary arts institution, presenting a year-round program of changing exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and established artists with ties to Maine.

 

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Brunswick

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Assyrian reliefs in Maine? And much more! The Bowdoin art collection includes Antiquities, European,and American collections including memorabilia from Winslow Homer’s nearby studio.

 

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Portland

Portland Museum of Art

Significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine, the museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming, from special events, family activities, and community conversations to PMA Films, curator talks, and tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.

 

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28ogunquit - The view from the lobby sculpture gallery at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art has captivated artists--and visitors-- for many years. (Dan Gair/Ogunquit Museum of American Art)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ogunquit

Ogunquit Museum of American Art

Celebrating its origins in Ogunquit’s art colonies it acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets American art.

Looking for more fun things to do?

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Rockland

Maine Lighthouse Museum

One of the largest lighthouse museums in the United States.

 

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Thomaston

Owl’s Head Transportation Museum

Its mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and operate pre-1940 aircraft, ground vehicles, engines and related technologies significant to the evolution of transportation for the purpose of education. Special events offer car rallies and air shows.

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Bath

Maine Maritime Museum

It sits on a 20-acre campus on the banks of the Kennebec River in “The City of Ships”. Daily cruises visit some of Maine’s most iconic lighthouses from the water and get an up-close look at Navy vessels under construction at Bath Iron Works.

15 Colorful Things To Look For During Maine’s Fall Season

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Maine is beautiful! And it’s never more beautiful than in the autumn during harvest season. The air is crisp and the place comes alive with color. It’s extraordinarily picturesque. Here are a few highlights to look for this fall.

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Mountains of color

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Color on the water

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Color in the air

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Color on the ground

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Fields of late season wildflowers

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Blueberry fields so red they look like they’re on fire.

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Sometimes they actually set the fields on fire.

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Rocky quarries

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Tumbled beach stones

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Playful cairns

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Quaint lighthouses

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Working harbors

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Rugged island life

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Mysterious misty mornings

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Rich evening afterglow

And this is just the beginning. There are so many more reasons to visit Maine in autumn! Who knows what you’ll find.

Find out more about my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Photography Workshop here.

iPhones Invite Experimentation

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I find making images with my iPhone extremely stimulating. For me, the device implicitly offers an invitation to play, reminding myself how important spontaneity is in making good images, and to experiment, growth and innovation require risk. Doing this offers me an opportunity to make images in situations, of things, in ways I ordinarily wouldn’t. It also raises very important questions, “When should I use a more professional tool?”, “When should I return to my standard practices?”, “What’s gained and what’s lost?” I haven’t found a single easy answer. I’ve found many hard ones – and more questions. Simply engaging this process has made me see in more versatile ways and make stronger images, both studies and finished works.
Here are a few of my recent experiments.
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Use standard tools as props.

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Bring new props.

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Make postcards.

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Combine photographs and drawings.

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Make double exposures.

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Create composites.

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When I start making images with my iPhone that I would ordinarily make with a DSLR it’s probably time for me to switch tools – again.
Find out more about my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Workshop.
Learn more about iPhone photography here.

Play With Your iPhone To Improve Your DSLR Photography – Charles Adams


Every year, during my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Workshop my assistant Charles Adams and I explore making photographs  with our iPhones.
Charles talks about his experience.
“Making images with an iPhone can be a terrific creative exercise. If you regularly shoot with a DSLR, the iPhone can simplify things and offer a new experience. I find this to be the case during every fall foliage workshop. I leave my Canon in the car along with all of the photographic requirements and responsibilities that I usually attach to it. It’s a freeing experience. Suddenly the pressure to make the best photographs of my life is no longer there. I’m free to play.
Being able to process your images seconds after shooting them is also key to the iPhone experience. The many apps available make it possible to shoot, edit, share, and get feedback before even getting back in the car. In my case, apps have a direct effect on which pictures I chose to make. If I know I’m going to apply water color and oil painting filters to my images, I try to shoot accordingly. I set out to find good compositions with strong “bones” or solid structures that can benefit from the addition of dramatic effects.
The resulting images are fun to create. Changing the tools you use to make your images can offer new insights into your own photography. I strongly recommend allowing yourself to play.”
Visit Charles’ website here.
Find out about my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage workshop here.

Exploring Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park

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Jose Senna

While Maine’s Acadia National Park is one of the most visited parks in the nation, most visitors don’t make it up to the lesser known Schoodic peninsula (about an hour and half away from Bar Harbor by road, less by boat).
During my Fall Foliage workshop we immersed ourselves in this enchanting location for two days, staying at the Schoodic Institute.
1_Bala

Balachandar Venkatesan

2_Woody

Woody Stone

3_Scott

Scott Tansey

4_Thomas

Thomas Barothy

5_Kathy

Kathy Bristor

6_Joe

Al DeValle

7_Barbara

Barbara Wrubel

8_Mike

Mike Buffis

9_Sherry

Sherry Teefey

10_Bill

Bill Mauzy

Now that you’ve seen participants’ impressions in images read what they shared in words.

Read More

Sketches From Acadia, Maine

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During my recent Fall Foliage / Acadia Maine Workshop we explored many of the highlights of Acadia National Park; Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Monument Beach, Sieur de Monts, Wonderland and more …  including an overnight stay on the Schoodic Peninsula at The Schoodic Institute).
We had great color, great weather, and great light. Great weather means a little bit of everything; clear sunny days with direct light, overcast days with soft indirect light, fog and mist, even a little rain (perfectly timed, mostly over night). It was an almost perfect study of weather, the many lights it brings, and the many moods it creates. We oscillated between two powerfully magnetic poles, the colorful forests and dramatic seacoast.
People ask me if it’s challenging to make images in a place I’ve visited so many times. I tell them its like reconnecting with an old friend; the relationship gets deeper. What’s most challenging is that many of the subjects don’t complement and even challenge key aspects of my life’s work, so I take a lighter more personal approach and rather than rushing to finished professional results I engage in deep play, asking many questions and trying many things, both new and old, to find more clarity in my creative life.
Here are a few of the sketches I produced on sight with my iPhone.
You can enjoy many more images on Google+.
Find out about my next Fall Foliage / Acadia Maine Workshop here.
Email info@johnpaulcaponigro.com to receive advance notice on our next Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Workshop.
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