On this year’s fall visit to Portland, I happened to notice that our drive would take us past Biddeford and the Banded Horn brewery. That was the first of a few serindipitous visits to a few craft brewery tasting rooms in the Portland area. Somehow we failed to notice how many area breweries offer tastings these days—so much to check out.
Banded Horn in Biddeford was stop 1 on a Friday afternoon. The friendly, funky tasting room occupies about half of the brewing space inside an old mill complex. And I do literally mean funky, because the premises smell like spilled beer. Good experience nonetheless. We opted to share a tasting flight of four pours for $10, which let us taste more and consume less alcohol. The most interesting beers to us were Eldir, a German-style Rauchbier, and Gratzer, an oak-smoked wheat ale.
If you go: Relax on their outdoor deck in good weather. Games are available inside on their industrial-cool premises.
Early Saturday afternoon brought us to Freeport, where a stop at the Maine Brewing Company was in order. The place was hopping on that sunny fall day and two food purveyors had set up shop in the parking lot. Lunch!
We split a large muffaletta sandwich and salt and vinegar chips for $16. A tasty value from the Kind Stack Sandwich Co. Beers were Post Ride Snack session IPA for $5 each.
Late in the day, we visited Rising Tide in Portland. We try to stop here on every visit to the city. Always busy, welcoming vibe, and we can typically find a nice dog or two to meet outside in the parking-lot-turned-patio. The El Corazon taco truck was just rolling away, but we could have had lunch if we arrived earlier—and not stuffed from the muffuletta sandwiches we already ate.
Beers of choice were Waypoint, a coffee porter, and Zephyr IPA (I think, because my husband had that all to himself). These were 10 ounce pours for $4.
On Sunday we had time for one last visit. The destination was Foundation Brewing Company on the outskirts of Portland. We opted for a $10 sampler. Zuurzing, a sour farmhouse ale, and the hoppy Cosmic Bloom were our favorites here. I didn’t much care for the Modern Wonder lager. A local couple that we met said there’s usually a food truck onsite (weekends, at least) if you want lunch.
You could also visit Austin Street Brewery in the same building and Allegash across the road if you had time and a designated driver. We had neither, alas.
And not that I found this in time, but here’s a handy roundup of beer tasting rooms in Southern Maine, courtesy of Eater.