So, what hath the pioneers of Maine craft brewing wrought? In the mid-’80s, on the cusp of the microbrewing trend, it turns out this wasn’t a trend at all. Horn-rimmed glasses, the Walkman, the Cabbage Patch Doll and the Rubik’s Cube were all ’80s trends. But beer? Nope.
In fact, beer made on a relatively small scale and handcrafted with the utmost care is a phenomenon that had staying power. Today, with nearly 40 craft brewing companies in Maine, there doesn’t seem to be any let-up to the momentum of microbrewing. And Maine has a diverse selection of breweries that share one common theme: They are serious about making an absolutely great product.
And when we say diverse breweries, we really mean it. Take Friars’ Brewhouse in Bucksport, for example, where one of the Franciscan Brothers of St. Elizabeth of Hungary—Brother Donald Paul—brews his trademark Whoopie Pie Porter. Or Maine Beer Company, which has a mantra of “Do what’s right” and gives a percentage of its profits to environmental non-profits. Then there’s Penobscot Bay Brewery in Winterport, where above and beyond the many beers they brew, their own beer-flavored ice cream is served. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.