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

Exhibit – Worldwide – Cove Street Arts – Portland, Maine

After a year of staying close to home, travel around the world through the photography of twenty-three Maine artists. Curated by Bruce Brown, this exhibition features stunning photographs from every continent but our own. From natural vistas to manmade wonders to intimate glimpses into diverse cultures, the scope of this show is truly Worldwide.

Judith Allen-Efstathiou, Linda Alschuler, Roberta Baumann, Brendan Bullock, John Paul Caponigro, David Clough, Christian T. Farnsworth, Barbara Goodbody, Ella Hudson, Knapp Hudson, Carl Austin Hyatt, Nanci Kahn, Michael Kolster, Dennis Landis, Olga Merrill, K. Min, Munira Naqui, Robert Pennington, Damir Porobic, Ni Rong, Jan Pieter Van Voorst Van Beest, David Wade, and Katarina Weslien

See the exhibit in person at Cove Street Arts in Portland, Maine.

Preview the exhibition here.

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.

New Photographic Studies Of Maine's Rocky Coast

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Wherever I go I explore the world visually with a camera. Sometimes this is during a walk. Sometimes this is during a workshop. Other times it’s while I’m making a body of work. You might think it distracting to think about one thing while you’re doing another but I find that working on two different ideas at the same time often leads to a fertile cross-pollination. I find new ideas this way.
Of course, you’ve got to stay flexible. Recently, while I was leading a photography workshop in Maine’s Acadia National Park I went looking for the cairns so many visitors leave behind. I don’t like them in public lands, because when I go there I want to be able to experience the land uninterpreted. Still, I appreciate the playful contact people have with the land when they make cairns. So to work on my ambivalence I started making art out of the cairns. But this time, they weren’t there. I was pleasantly surprised and a little disappointed, which also surprised me. So I started to make my own cairns to photograph, intending to scatter them before I left, and never got to it because the first two stones I picked up were all I needed that day. The relationships between them and their environment were much richer than I expected. It felt like arranging still lifes, which I did for hours – and I’m sure I’ll do it again.
These studies relate to my series Alignment.
View my Maine Cairns studies here.
View my studies of Maine Artists here.
View more studies of Maine here.
Find out about my Maine fall photography workshop here.

Studies With Master Artists In Maine

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Kenneth Nolan

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Eliot Porter

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Alan Bray

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Wolf Kahn

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Alex Katz

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Lois Dodd

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Dahlov Ipcar

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Jamie Wyeth

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Andrew Wyeth

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Louise Nevelson

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Eric Hopkins

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Fairfield Porter

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Alan Magee

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Robert Indiana

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Peter Ralston

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Paul Caponigro

For years I’ve been photographing postcards of artworks made by master artists in Maine. Each artist has their own strong connection to the same place and their own way of seeing it. Do they find what’s iconic about Maine or do they make it iconic? Photographing images of their works in locations that feel relevant to their works provides a unique way of looking into Maine, what they make of it, and what I make of it.
View more studies here.
Find out about my Maine Fall Foliage photography workshop.
 

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.

Melt Down – New Exhibit Opens March 23 @ Maine's CMCA

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Exhibit

Melt Down

March 23 – June 9, 2019

Center For Maine Contemporary Art

Rockland, Maine

Melt Down, features stunning photographs and videos by ten distinguished Maine artists whose work addresses climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. “Melt Down” has been organized by CMCA curator emeritus Bruce Brown, and includes the work of artists John Paul CaponigroJohn EideElla HudsonJonathan LaurenceJustin LevesqueJim NickelsonJan PiribeckPeter RalstonShoshannah White, and Deanna Witman.
Through their experiences recording and responding to the visible and visceral markers of irrefutable change in the Polar Regions, the artists in “Melt Down” bring these physically remote places and the compelling need for action to a wider audience. Their work provides a route for inspiring awareness and response when overwhelming data and science have failed to motivate.
 

Opening Reception

March 23, Saturday, 5-7 pm

Sunday Salons present artists talks.

I talk May 5.

with World Ocean Observatory Director Peter Neill