Tucked away in the northeasternmost corner of the United States is a beer-lover's paradise: Maine. If you're a beer connoisseur, you'll want to plan a trip or vacation to explore this state's many renowned breweries ASAP. Fun fact to throw out as you throw back a few: In 1851, Maine was the first state to outlaw alcohol as part of the temperance movement. And we're so glad it was repealed.
In addition to making great beer, the Maine Beer Co. is committed to the environment -- they're part of Brewers for Clean Water, deliver spent grains and organic liquids to farmers for compost, fertilizer, and feed, and they use solar energy, among other initiatives. Stop by their tasting room, where they have eight beers on tap, including some that are only available at the brewery.
Smaller is better at the Bunker Brewing Co., where traditional, experimental, and seasonal beers are brewed in three-and-a-half-barrel batches. Located in the 1920s-era garage of a former Portland scrapyard, the brewery hosts tastings Thursdays through Sundays.
Although Oxbow specializes in "traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence," you'll find plenty of options at the Newcastle brewery. And if you want to make an overnight of it, rent the on-site farmhouse. And by the way, your rental comes with a $25/night credit to use in the tasting room. Cheers!
A trip to the Bissell Brothers taproom isn't just about beer. The art and music that inspire the brewers shares the stage with the brews themselves. Also part of the experience: eats from their food truck partners.
Although Banded Horn is only two years old, their facilities are housed in the 150-year-old Pepperell Mill complex in Biddeford. Their seasonal Greenwarden is brewed with spruce tips foraged in Maine. Now that's local.
If you like unique beers, you won't want to miss Hidden Cove's Jali. It's brewed with apricots and jalapenos and aged in tequila barrels. The brewery is located in the charming seaside town of Wells, between Boston and Portland.
A trip to Allagash will definitely come in under budget -- a beer tasting (three 4-ounce samples) is free. Rooted in Belgian-inspired brews, don't miss their signature beer, Allagash White.
Come for the beer, stay for the adventures. Or vice versa. Kennebec River Brewery is located at the Northern Outdoors Resort. And a good beer tastes even better after a day of whitewater rafting, snowmobiles, or any number of outdoor adventures.