Portland, Maine

Driving from Toronto to Portland with my wife next week. First time visiting for both of us.

I put the guide below together using combined BA and RB place ratings. Wanting to know if there are any glaring omissions, or overrated places we should skip. Also up for any suggestions on worthwhile tourist attractions/things to do.

Plan is to arrive Saturday evening and leave around noon on Thursday, so our time will be a bit limited (Sunday to Wednesday are the main days while in town).

Any help is much appreciated.

Breweries / Brewpubs

Ø Maine Beer - 525 US Route 1, Freeport - RB: 95 / BA: 90 / CS: 93
Ø Allagash Brewing - 50 Industrial Way, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 90 / CS: 91
Ø Oxbow - 49 Washington Ave, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 86 / CS: 89
Ø Bissell Brothers - 4 Thompsons Pt Ste 108-109 - RB: 88 / BA: 88 / CS: 88
Ø Liquid Riot - 250 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 80 / CS: 86
Ø Rising Tide - 103 Fox St, Portland - RB: 82 / BA: 84 / CS: 83
Ø Foundation - 1 Industrial Way‎, Portland - RB: 81 / BA: 84 / CS: 83
Ø Battery Steele - 1 Industrial Way, Ste 12, Portland - RB: 76 / BA: 83 / CS: 80
Ø Urban Farm - 200 Anderson St, Portland - RB: 77 / BA: 80 / CS: 79
Ø Bunker - 17 Westfield St, Unit D, Portland - RB: 76 / BA: 82 / CS: 79

Bars / Eateries

Ø Novare Res Bier Café - 4 Canal Plaza, Portland - RB: 98 / BA: 90 / CS: 94
Ø The King’s Head - 254 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 87 / BA: 90 / CS: 89
Ø Eventide Oyster Co. - 86 Middle St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 88 / CS: 88
Ø The Great Lost Bear - 540 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 87 / BA: 85 / CS: 86
Ø Duckfat - 43 Middle St, Portland - RB: 85 / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Nosh Kitchen Bar - 551 Congress St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Pai Men Miyake - 188 State St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 86 / CS: 86
Ø Mash Tun - 29 Wharf St, Portland - RB: 74 / BA: 95 / CS: 85
Ø The Thirsty Pig - 37 Exchange St, Portland - RB: 84 / BA: 83 / CS: 84
Ø LFK - 188A State St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 84 / CS: 84
Ø Central Provisions - 414 Fore St., Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 84 / CS: 84
Ø Slab - 25 Preble Street Ext, Portland - RB: 80 / BA: 86 / CS: 83
Ø Arcadia National Bar - 24 Preble St, Portland - RB: N/A / BA: 83 / CS: 83
Ø Little Tap House - 106 High St, Portland - RB: 80 / BA: 84 / CS: 82 (Arcadia)
Ø Flatbread Company - 72 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 73 / BA: 86 / CS: 80
Ø Salvage BBQ - 919 Congress St, Portland - RB: 74 / BA: 83 / CS: 79


Ø Bier Cellar - 299 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 91 / BA: 89 / CS: 90
Ø Back Bay Superette - 1037 Forest Ave, Portland - RB: 73 / BA: 92 / CS: 83
Ø Old Port Spirits - 79 Commercial St, Portland - RB: 71 / BA: 84 / CS: 78

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There is Belleflower, which opened up recently enough to not show up on Ratebeer, but the single beer I’ve had from them was very nice. I also liked Lone Pine, and Goodfire are very good. You should also move Eventide to the very top of the food list, but make sure to put your name down early in the day, our wait was like 5 hours (they don’t do reservations but you can add yourself to the waitlist via an app I think).

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Thanks for the heads up about Eventide. We want to make it a priority, so we’ll be sure to add our name to the list early. Cheers!

Maine Beer Co should be towards the bottom of the list, in my opinion. I’ve been to Portland probably 100 times and have gone once. That place is so overrated it’s absurd. But if you like them, it’s a. Nice place to visit with a good list.

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I do love their beers, and my wife likes their stuff too, but I will keep your comment in mind. We are considering hitting Bissell Brothers instead, and maybe prioritizing another tourist attraction on the same day. Part of me also wonders, though, whether a beer geek can justify making the trek to Portland without visiting Maine Beer Co.? Can you elaborate on why you feel it’s overrated?

It used to be that they mostly only had their flagships available. I just looked it up, and it seems it is a little more diverse, but most of what you get there you can get in stores.

Oxbow and Allagash are musts if course. Rising Tide is skippable. Liquid Riot is a cooler space than it is a good brewery. Bissell hasn’t impressed me lately but it is really close to Allagash. Austin Street I don’t see on your list but they have been making rounds at small festivals and make generally solid beer.

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The Holy Donut for a dozen. Sweet potato :doughnut:


Second this.

Interesting - I was going to saw I am often underwhelmed by Oxbow but I just looked at my ratings and I have a bunch at 3.7+ So I liked what I had. I think part of the reason I thought that is we have a couple that I didn’t enjoy as much as the average rating for them, and they are often pricey bottles when we get them here in Ontario, so they feel like a bit more of a gamble at the import price range than what I assume they cost in Maine.

Unless you care about the ticks, you could easily axe Urban Farm and Rising Tide…probably Liquid Riot, too. Someone else mentioned Austin Street and I thought they made some good stuff and it’s right there with Foundation and Allagash, so might as well.

I can’t emphasize enough how awesome Novare Res is. You would be much better off spending more time there and less time going to mediocre breweries like the ones I mentioned above.

Salvage BBQ was okay food, but it’s not great BBQ. I don’t even know why I bother with trying BBQ anymore. Eventide was really good. I liked it a lot more than Duckfat, which seems to be the other place that gets a lot of hype.

I guess I didn’t ever add and rate Central Provisions, but it’s a solid place. Though not really beer focused. Great cocktails and food.

Strong second on Holy Donut.

The Portland Observatory (pretty close to Oxbow) is a cool way to spend like an hour if you want to do something touristy in town.