The Best Beer Bars in Portland, Maine

LittleTapHouseLast week I wrote about the amazing breweries in Portland, Maine, but there are a lot of great places to enjoy a local brew. You could most likely go out for weeks and never hit the same place twice. As you would expect, they’re not all created equal. Some are charming dives, some are high end fancy pants. These are the places I go when I want to go and appreciate some good craft brews. I’m not ranking these in any order at the moment, just off the top of my head.

I would love to add to this list, so if you see something that needs to be there, be sure to leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

Craft Beer Bars in Portland, Maine

Bissell Brothers At Little Tap House

Bissell Brothers At Little Tap House

  • Little Tap House I think they have a dozen or so drafts. You won’t find any non craft beer in this place. It’s a great place to enjoy a beer before a live show at the State Theater. The food is quite good, and do awesome happy hour specials that are usually $5-6 and feature a beer paired with a small app.
  • Great Lost Bear – With something like 70 draft beers, this place is very popular and has been around forever. They do flights of 5 for $6.25 or $10 if you get the more expensive stuff, so it’s a fantastic place to try new things. Food is standard pub fare you would expect, although their buffalo wings are top notch.
  • Novare Res Even though it has a limited menu, Novare Res makes up for it with a truly world class beer selection. Lots of imports here, there’s something for everyone.
  • Sonny’s – Sonny’s is a cool, fun place near Tommy’s Park. The building used to be a bank. Pretty good menu, a fantastic place to take a date or group of friends.
  • LFK – Great beer selection. Last time I was here there 3 people with typewriters clacking away. They’re too cool for a website (really, they don’t have one to link to).
  • Thirsty Pig – If you like pork products, you’ll probably like this place.
  • Otto Pizza – My favorite pizza in Portland, Otto always has a great local selection of beer to go with their unique and delicious pies.
  • Salvage BBQ – I’ve never been here, but everyone I know won’t stop talking about it. It’s sister restaurants are Local 188 (which you should also go to, and Sonny’s, which I mentioned above.)
  • Sebago Brewing Company – They don’t brew in Portland, but they do have a restaurant with all their brews available.
  • Pai Men Miyake – Pai Men Miyake has great food and 12 taps, including 2 dedicated full-time to sours.
  • Nosh – Amazing burgers, incredible brews. Order the bacon dusted fries. Do it. It’s basically a rule.

There are more. MANY MORE. There are honestly so many it would be kind of crazy to cover them all in one post. In the future I’ll be writing about the best locations to watch sports, enjoy apps, best seafood, and many more Portland related topics. Be sure to follow me on twitter for updates.

Portland, Maine Breweries and Beer Culture

Tasting delicious beer at AllagashI love Portland, Maine for many reasons. It may be a small city, but it has more bars per capita than most places in the world. The beer culture in Maine has always been strong. After all the Maine Brewers Festival is in it’s 20th year. The number of breweries in Portland however, has increased over the past few years. I wanted to share some of the breweries and pubs that Portland has to offer, should you ever make it out this way.

Breweries in Portland, Maine

Allagash Brewing Company

The Tasting Room at Allagash.

  • Allagash – You may have had Allagash White, but I can assure you it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone that works there is allowed and encouraged to experiment with batches. The tasting room is nice, with a cool outdoor patio in the summer. They’ve recently expanded and are one of the best companies in Maine. Tours and tastings are free and it is always the first thing I recommend to out of state beer drinkers.
  • Bissell Brothers – Their Substance IPA Is one of the best I’ve ever had, and is damn near impossible to find in cans. Drafts are available at a few places in town, but they never stay stocked for very long. This is one of the hottest beers in Portland in my opinion. They’ll show you around, and you can try the beer for $3 or $6, which is totally worth it. They’re located next to Allagash, and they just added a pinball machine, giving the tasting room a bar like atmosphere.
  • Taps at the Foundation Brewery

    Taps at the Foundation Brewery

  • Foundation Brewery Also located next to Allagash, Foundation makes some really nice beers. They can give you a tour if it’s not too busy in the tasting room, which offers $1 4oz samples. Definitely delicious and worth checking out since you’re there already.
  • Geary’s – Geary’s has been around for a very long time. They make beers with pretty strong flavor profiles. Also located near Allagash, but they have a very limited tour schedule, so it’s always best to call ahead.
  • Rising Tide – Rising tide is a new-ish brewery that used to be next to Allagash (seeing a theme here?) but have since moved to Fox Street. Thankfully there are a few other breweries in that area. They make some great IPA style beer. They’ve teamed up with Allagash to do some really interesting stuff in the past. In fact, most of the breweries have a great working relationship. Free to visit, pay $1 per sample, or you can get pints. They have outdoor games in summer.
  • Bunker Brewing Co. – Bunker makes my favorite pilsner style beer in Maine. They’re a smaller operation, basically located next to Rising Tide. They have a close relationship with my favorite place to get oysters, (Eventide Oyster Co) and make a beer using oyster juices or something. It’s surprisingly good.
  • Maine Craft Distilling – Not beer, but it’s next to Rising Tide/Bunker so might as well grab some free tasters. Since we’re talking non-beer, be sure to hit up the Urban Farm Fermentory (also near Bunker) for some hard cider or kombucha, as well as Maine Mead Works just up the hill for some delicious mead.
  • Shipyard – People go bonkers for their seasonal fall beer, Pumpkinhead. Even if you don’t like it, there’s no denying that they’ve done a lot for small brewing in Maine. They’re the 3rd largest ‘micro’ brewery in the country I believe. They also make the beer for href=”http://www.seadogbrewing.com/” target=”_blank”>Sea Dog.
  • Gritty’s – Gritty’s is a pub that brews on premises, has outdoor seating, and typically is packed on the weekends. Food is standard pub fare, and the beer is very drinkable. Really a super fun place to be with live music on weekends.
  • Infiniti Infiniti Brews beer and distills their own liquor, also has food and outdoor seating. I haven’t had a chance to try everything they offer, but I like what I’ve had so far. Their food is expensive, but pretty tasty. Definitely going to be a hotspot this summer.
  • Austin Street Brewery– I know nothing about this place. They’re brand new in 2014 and just got a home on Industrial Way. Once I check them out, I’ll update with a little review.

How to get around?

Do not drink and drive, ever. There are plenty of taxi services that can get you all over the city at reasonable rates. I am a fan of ASAP Taxi, mostly because they are fast. Portland is small. Many of these places are within walking distance, and lets face it, compared to places like New York or Boston, Portland is tiny. It’s easy to walk around and pub crawl. Do that instead of drive and burn off some of those calories you’ll be packing on.

Two companies, Maine Beer Tours, and The Maine Brew Bus that will drive groups around to various places for a set price. A little pricey, but it’s super fun to do if you have a large gang of beer lovers. Drinking on the bus is allowed, so it turns into a party on wheels pretty quickly.

For those wanting to drink at home, you can purchase local beers at most of the breweries, or you can visit a number of good stores that specialize in beer. The best one with the best local selection and most knowledgeable staff is far and away the the Bier Cellar, while RSVP, and Friendly Discount Beverage have large selections as well.

All in all, there is no denying that Portland has a kick ass beer culture! Come and experience it for yourself. Did I leave something out? Leave a comment and tell me what I should add to the list!

Why Did I Make The Edelman Song?

OdeToEdelmanI love making weird and funny music videos. A couple of years ago I made one for Rob Gronkowski right before the Super Bowl. It was pretty weird, but a lot of people liked it. I don’t make a lot of music videos, and with the exception of a fundraiser song for my dog Quimby, I hadn’t thought about it in a while. I am a huge Patriots fan, and I realized that I should probably make more videos, and the first person that came to mind was JE11.

Why Julian Edelman?

Julian Edelman seems like a really cool guy. He did one of the funniest AMA’s on Reddit I had seen in a long time, and had starred in his own ‘Smoothie Tyme’ video which was brilliant. I figured He’d appreciate it, even if it wasn’t very good.

The song was written and recorded in 2 days. I managed to complete this video in 4 The song basically wrote itself, but the video was a little harder. I wanted to make something funny, catchy, but more importantly something that people would enjoy. I don’t claim to be anything special. I just really enjoy making weird/funny and sometimes endearing content. JE11 is awesome, and I hope he stays in New England for years to come. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, here it is…

Like it? Hate it? Leave a comment, tell me what you think!

5 Things To Do In Portland On A Snowday

sadtreeIf you haven’t looked out the window, it’s snowing in Portland this morning. For some of us, this means we get to take the day off or work from home. Don’t let that snow get you down! If you are lucky enough to be home today, here’s 5 things you can do that will probably make you feel good.

  1. Shovel – I know shoveling may not seem like a great way to start your day, but when it comes right down to it shoveling is great exercise and getting the blood flowing is a good way to start your day. Don’t be so lazy! Get out there, suck it up like a real Mainer! If you really want to add some feel good to the activity, you can shovel someone else out. Who knows maybe that person will pay it forward and eventually we’ll have a ‘shovel your neighbor’ practice that is just kind of accepted city-wide!
  2. Help Someone In Need – No one likes being alone and snowed in, so if you have a neighbor or know of someone that might need checking up on, run over to Coffee by Design, grab a couple of hot cups of whatever and visit that elderly person who lives alone. Chances are they’ll be glad to see you and you might even make a new friend.
  3. Eat Pizza – Depending on how much shoveling you’ve done, you’re going to need to replenish your energy. Obviously you don’t want to cook for yourself, so why not head to Otto for some delicious winter pie. In the mood for something bigger? Hit up Micucci’s for a slab of their ‘pizza’. FYI, if you order delivery in the middle of a snow storm, you had better tip big!
  4. Fox/Anderson St. Beers – Does this area have it’s own name yet? Brewers corner? Alcohol Avenue? If you can get down there, you have so many great places to go, all within walking distance. Starting on Fox Street, you have Rising Tide and Maine Craft Distiling. Continue down to Anderson Street where you can hit up the Urban Farm Fermentory and Bunker Brewing Co. Just be sure to check to see if they’re open. These places are all known for treating their employees great, which means they may be home as well.
  5. Cozy Up With Maine Music – So, if you’ve followed this list, you are most likely a little tired, and possibly a little buzzed. That’s okay, because all you have to do is cozy up with whatever your beverage of choice is at this point and listen to your favorite Maine musician. Maybe you want to throw on the latest Pete Kilpatrick and mellow out. Perhaps the wintery electronica of The Other Bones does it for you. From Phantom Buffalo to The Mallet Brothers Band, Maine has some diverse tunes to choose from. Not sure what to listen to? Head over to Bull Moose and let them show you the way.

Got an idea for something to do on a wintery day? Leave a comment with your favorite wintery jam!