Blaze Brewing • Mast Landing Brewing • Sebago Brewing
Beer tourism has recently become a phrase in Maine’s marketing and economic vernacular. Maine visitors and residents alike plan day trips and vacations with an itinerary built specifically around brewery visits. With more than 110 breweries operating in the state, and one of the highest concentrations of breweries per capita in the country, Maine is on the forefront of the world of “Beercations.” This feature is the beginning of an ongoing segment we call “Destination Breweries.” These are chosen breweries whose town, location, atmosphere and ambiance of tasting room, and of course, amazing beer are what we love.
Camden gets its first harborside microbrewery
Camden, Maine has a lot of natural jewels—the nearby Mt. Battie, a stunning harbor, and now, with the summer opening of Blaze Brewing Co., another showpiece—a harborside microbrewery with bold American-style beers on tap.
In the summertime, the town is bustling with visitors who come for the slower pace of life, whether it’s taking in some of the eclectic family-owned shops, going out for a sunset sail on a three-masted schooner, or enjoying some of the freshest seafood the area is renowned for.
Kurafuto (the Japanese word for“craft”) is the latest pub to complete restaurateur Matthew Haskell’s trifecta of combining two restaurants and one microbrewery all in one location at Bayview Landing. Both Hoxbill, Haskell’s fine-dining establishment and Karafuto, a small counter-service restaurant, will share the brews coming out of the glass-enclosed production room that links both restaurants.
On a sunny day, there’s nothing better than sipping on their inaugural #12, a double IPA and sampling the freshest oysters and clams from the raw bar while out on the stylish deck overlooking the harbor or made-to-order noodles, sushi, and sashimi out in the beer garden.
Haskell, who favors Belgian styles, is excited to work with his brewers to roll out four or five palate-pleasing summertime brews such as a Ginger Witbier, a hoppy IPA, and a Saison.
Additionally, this August, Haskell plans to open Blaze Urban Pizza next to the waterfront concerts facility in Bangor. This counter-service fast-casual restaurant and tap room will feature gourmet wood-fired pizza and Blaze Brewing Co. as the in- house microbrewery. This summer is looking blazin’ hot with cool brews.
Extremely Tasty Brews Await at Mast Landing Brewing Co.
Portland may take the crown for having more breweries per capita, but it’s worth tracking off the beaten path over to one of its suburbs, Westbrook, to experience Mast Landing Brewing Company at 920 Main Street.
Stroll along the Westbrook River Walk overlooking the The Presumpscot River, before hitting shops and restaurants on Main Street.
Then, check out the microbrewery—Westbrook’s first—which opened just three years ago in an industrial building with the intent to carve out an ultra-local niche. Its name, a nod to Maine’s rich nautical heritage, boasts a number of refreshing, crisp pale ales such as the Tell Tale, their flagship tropical pale ale, Little Choppy, the perfect summer session ale or Shorts Weather, packed with peaches and apricots to enjoy out on their casual outdoor beer garden with picnic tables and umbrellas. Don’t miss their new “Small Drops” series of one-off beers, brewed in 30-barrel batches that push the boundaries of craft beer. Come in for a taste, and grab cans to go!
Sebago Brewing in Gorham for brewery tours, tastings, and wood-fired fare
Why is Main Street in Gorham the place to be? It’s where you’ll find Sebago Brewing’s new Destination Brewery, the perfect spot for craft beer enthusiasts and families alike.
The Tasting Room has a full-service open kitchen serving wood-fired pizza, creative sandwiches and unique entrees, all focused on locally sourced ingredients. Naturally, the menu is beer-centered and changes frequently.
The Tasting Room features 16 taps with Sebago favorites such as Simmer Down and Frye’s Leap IPA – and you might catch a small batch from the new pilot brewhouse. (If you prefer a different beverage, Sebago also offers regional distilled spirits and select wines.) Guests are welcome to choose their own flight and samples. Pours and prices vary depending on the day.
The highlight of your visit may be the free brewery tour. There are several tours a day, where tour guides share the history of Sebago Brewing and then walk visitors through the brewing process – the milling area, the fermenters, the canning line, and more.
The Destination Brewery is open Sunday-Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Thursday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sign up for a free tour at the Tasting Room. (Tour scheduling will be available online soon.)
Visit sebagobrewing.com to find out more about Sebago Brewing Company’s events and beers.