Portland Maine's Most Iconic Beers

Portland Maine's Most Iconic Beers

Portland, Maine tops the list of cities with the most breweries per capita. In fact, it’s started to get competitive for some of the impressive new brews in the neighborhood making the popular New England IPAs. With so many breweries opening in the last decade, and some consumer preferences leaning away from beer, breweries have had to expand into offering different beverages and better food in their tasting rooms. In fact, Chef Joe Robbins from Bissell Brothers Three Rivers Kitchen is a semifinalist for a James Beard Award this year. 

With so much competition in Portland’s brewery market, what are some of the beers that have stood the test of time and become truly Iconic? This isn’t about Portland’s BEST beers, but each of these brews deserve to be recognized as titans of a delicious, hoppy, malty industry. 


Geary's Pale Ale

Not only was Geary’s the first craft brewery in Maine, opening in 1986, but it was the first microbrewery on the east coast. David Geary set the standard for quality beer in the northeast with his Pale Ale. That’s why this brew made it onto Food & Wine’s list of 25 Most Important American Craft Beers. With its balanced blend of caramel malts and floral hops, this classic British style pale ale embodies the spirit of Portland's brewing pioneers and continues to delight beer enthusiasts with its timeless flavor profile.


Allagash White

No discussion of Portland's iconic beers would be complete without mentioning Allagash White. Allagash Brewing actually has two entries on the list of 25 Most Important American Craft Beers, but almost nothing is more iconic than their flagship Allagash White. Infused with coriander and orange peel, it is a refreshing and complex brew that has earned more awards than any other Belgian-style witbier in the world. Geary’s started the craft beer movement in 1986 and 10 years later, Allagash paved the way for Belgian-style beers in the US.


Shipyard Export

Cofounded by Fred Forsley and Alan Pugsley, the man David Geary hired to setup his brewery, Shipyard started at Federal Jack’s in Kennebunk, one of Maine’s original brew pubs. After quickly outgrowing the capacity of the restaurant, Shipyard Brewing Company opened in Portland in 1994. Though Pumpkinhead may be more popular,Shipyard Export stands out as a true Maine classic. Brewed in the English style, this golden ale boasts a rich malt backbone with subtle hints of toffee, making it a go-to choice for locals and visitors alike seeking a taste of Portland's brewing heritage.


Bissell Brothers Substance

Here comes the new kid on the block. With so many breweries opening in Maine, Bissell Brothers Brewing Company has impressively emerged as a driving force in Portland's craft beer renaissance. Among its lineup of bold and innovative brews, Substance IPA stands as a shining example of the brewery's commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavor. Bursting with tropical fruit aromas and juicy hop flavors, Substance IPA has quickly become a sought-after brew for hop aficionados seeking a taste of Portland's cutting-edge beer culture.


These four iconic beers represent the diverse and dynamic landscape of Portland's craft beer scene. From the timeless classics to the innovative newcomers, each brew tells a story of tradition, craftsmanship, and passion for brewing. So, whether you're a longtime resident or a visitor to the Pine Tree State, be sure to raise a glass and toast to the enduring legacy of these iconic Portland beers. Cheers!

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