Portland, ME Itinerary

Discussion in 'New England' started by CTHopman, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Heading up to Portland, ME from CT on Friday, April 28. Will arrive around 11. Looking to hit up the Industrial Way trio and a few other breweries. Will likely stay over in the downtown/Old Fort area. We are not particularly interested in growler fills. Would rather spend money on beers rather than glass that may or may not be used again. Most interested in cans/bottles but not necessarily anything rare. Would it be more advantageous to go right to Industrial Way while sober, then drive to the hotel and über to a few of the closer breweries (Rising Tide, Oxbow)? Are there any places to eat around Industrial Way? We would also like to hit up Tributary. For dinner was thinking either Duckfat or Novare Res. Is the best bottle shop CBC? We would leave on Saturday morning and stop at Barreled Souls in Saco and then to Portsmouth for a late lunch at Earth Eagle. Other thoughts about another brewery or 2 in Portsmouth? Optimally we would like to leave Portsmouth by 4pm. Is this a bit too ambitious? Again, we are mostly interested in grabbing some flights, trying as many beers as we can and cans/bottles to go. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. kculrich

    kculrich Zealot (534) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Tributary properly belongs with the Portsmouth leg of your trip since it's just the other side of the river. Unless things have changed since last summer, it's growlers only, though.

    Leaving Portland, Banded Horn is a short detour off 95 into Saco, then Tributary in Kittery, and over the river to Great Rhythm, Stoneface, Deciduous, Portsmouth Brewery and/or Smuttynose.

    Deciduous is probably optional for you since there are no cans and, whatever bottles they may have, you can usually find at a store although, God knows, there's no other reason to waste your time going into a NH bottle shop. I've never been to Portsmouth Brewery myself but I don't think there's much there to take home? I'm not sure about that.

    Depending what route you take back to Connecticut, there are another four or five hundred stops to be made in Massachusetts.
     
  3. JackStrawWichita

    JackStrawWichita Aspirant (237) Jan 4, 2003 Maine
    Subscriber

    "Are there any places to eat around Industrial Way?"

    No, but there may be some food trucks out there for the afternoon especially if the weather is decent
     
  4. RuckIt

    RuckIt Aspirant (251) Apr 29, 2008 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Looks like you've omitted Bissell Brothers - don't miss their taproom! They should be posting their can release schedule for that time period very soon, so check their website. Even if you don't get cans, they usually have 6-10 beers on draft.
     
  5. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (201) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    'Would it be more advantageous to go right to Industrial Way while sober, then drive to the hotel and über to a few of the closer breweries (Rising Tide, Oxbow)?' Sure. Not much of a long term hangout spot at any of the three breweries there so it's really just a pick up and go. Sometimes there are food trucks there, but better hangout spots abound in Portland proper.

    We would also like to hit up Tributary. This is an hour away from Portland and should be added on to your Portsmouth hopping if you really want to go there. Just curious but why?

    'For dinner was thinking either Duckfat or Novare Res. Is the best bottle shop CBC?' I would not eat at Novare. It's the best bar in Portland in my opinion but food is snacks (take a look at their website). What kind of food do you like? Lots of options in Portland. Duckfat is great but always a madhouse. My favorite bottle shop is the Bier Cellar, always hit that on the way from Industrial back into town.

    If it was my first time in Portland, my ideal itinerary would be: Industrial way as quick as possible, then Bier Cellar on the way into town. Then Rising Tide, then Oxbow. Check into your hotel and grab a drink before dinner. Stay in Portland proper rest of the night. The big miss on this itinerary is Bissell Bros and Bunker Brewing. Those can be swapped out for Rising Tide and Oxbow before you check into your hotel.

    'then to Portsmouth for a late lunch at Earth Eagle. Other thoughts about another brewery or 2 in Portsmouth?' Still don't know what kind of beers you're looking for or what types of food you're interested in. People can only tell you what their personal opinions are, which vary.

    You didn't ask, but you should book your lodging sooner rather than later.
     
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  6. kinopio

    kinopio Disciple (318) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm not sure why Duckfat still gets such hype and crowds when there are so many great options within walking distance. I'd much rather spend time at Little Tap House, Central Provisions or Kings Head.
    Oxbow is a short walk from downtown.
     
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  7. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Tributary would be on Saturday with the Portsmouth "leg". Got my Ports mixed up. I should have included Bissell. Is it usually a fairly easy in/out to get cans as long as Swish isn't on, which it won't be as I believe the last canning is next week?
    Where would be an optimal hotel conducive to any late night dalliances? Doesn't need to be the best.
     
  8. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Tributary would be on Saturday with the Portsmouth "leg". Got my Ports mixed up. I should have included Bissell. Is it usually a fairly easy in/out to get cans as long as Swish isn't on, which it won't be as I believe the last canning is next week?
    Where would be an optimal hotel conducive to any late night dalliances? Doesn't need to be the best.
    Any thoughts about Barreled Souls?
     
  9. MarkSansone

    MarkSansone Aspirant (205) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    If you are doing the Oxbow-Rising Tide area don't miss out on Lone Pine. Nice little stop. When downtown I am a big fan of the Thirsty Pig. Great house made sausages and an all Maine Tap list. Nice place.
     
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  10. MarkSansone

    MarkSansone Aspirant (205) Jan 1, 2013 Connecticut

    Barreled souls is a nice stop, but when heading down the coast I like to stop at Banded Horn, cool taproom and plenty of cans/bottles to take with you.
     
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  11. LeRose

    LeRose Savant (923) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    Will say this - we tried to do "all" of the Portland breweries in one day - it can be a challenge. I like your idea of hitting Industrial Way then using Uber or whatever to navigate the breweries around the city. You can space it out enough, I reckon, but all the tasting opportunities can sneak up on a person... The Industrial corner is taste/grab/go, but some of the food trucks Allagash hosts are awesome and their tour is pretty cool if you enjoy that sort of thing. For something different, don't miss Oxbow - funky vibe to the place and you won't drown in IPAs. Have not been to the new Bissell and Bunker locations, but the area is worth a visit.

    I found banded Horn a little tricky to find - drove by it about six times, only to find out it was not open yet, so make sure to check the hours on all of these places. If you are poking down Route 1 from Portland to Portsmouth, Tully's in Wells is a good bottle shop and Hidden Cove brewing is OK.

    I'd do Smutty over Portsmouth Brewery just because the location is fantastic (out of town a ways on nice farmland) and the restaurant is very good. Only drawback is I have not figured out how to do their tasting without taking the tour (which is not very good, IMHO). Plenty of bottles though, and some of the Smuttlabs stuff is damned good. In Kittery, if there's time, When Pigs Fly is good for lunch if it isn't packed and you can stock up on really good bread in the bakery next door. In my opinion, the best lobster rolls around are at the Beach Plum in Portsmouth - no good beers served there, but who cares it's lobster...and you can get them packed to go if you have a cooler. We make the hour and a half drive a couple times a year just for the lobster rolls, and swing into Smuttynose. I'd pass on Tributary by your criteria - growlers only as far as I know. It is a cool little place, but you'd be doing the taste and dash thing.
     
  12. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (201) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Bissell on a friday afternoon is a crap shoot and impossible to predict especially as Portland gets closer to tourist time. Follow their twitter as they usually post when cans run out for the day. I would not expect them to have cans left at the end of the day usually. It might be best to stop there first on the way into town, before Industrial.

    Google hotels for the 28th, I see plenty. In the old port you are looking around $200 per night from what I'm seeing. 5 minutes walking from there I found the Holiday Inn at 88 spring st for $150 per night. Or you can go further away and Uber into/out of town. Up to you and your budget.

    When posting these requests for suggestions it helps to give information about budgets, and again what you like for food and beer.

    I have not been to Barrelled Souls yet so I cannot comment. I enjoy Banded Horn though. Not super conducive to your trip which is already pretty aggressive.
     
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  13. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (201) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Agreed on Duckfat. It's fine but there are better options with better draft lists and shorter wait. Nosh comes to mind for food and draft lists. Also if you're down for pub grab you can't go wrong with Kings Head. Strangely it's always been dead when I've been there.
     
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  14. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (201) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Not for nothing but driving route 1 south even from Kittery down to Hampton takes a LONG TIME. I would not do Portsmouth, then Smutty, then back to the highway. Pick one and enjoy it, both are great for different reasons.

    If you're with others and they like walking around an old historic city and having access to better food, go to Portsmouth and explore. I have friends that really enjoy the scene at Earth Eagle but their beer doesn't do it for me. For me the best beer and scene in town is Portsmouth Brewery but you'll find other opinions of course.

    If you like the pastoral type setting and the weather is good, it's hard to beat a round of disc golf and then eating outside at Smutty. Skip the brewery tour and the four tasters. Try what you want at their restaurant onsite and get pints of what you really want.
     
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  15. Janeinma

    Janeinma Devotee (413) May 24, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Portland bottle shops - try RSVP and see what they have then go to Bier cellar and buy what RSVP doesn't.
    RSVP is slightly cheaper bier cellar has a slightly better selection and you can order on line before hand. I would recommend Barreled souls over Banded horn as they serve a wider selection have a really funky little taproom and their bottles are way underrated. I gave a bottle as an extra to a friend and now he is a HUGE fan.
    If you are staying in Portland for more than one day Foundation do a deposit growler system so you could get a growler drink it and return the glass the next day.
    If you drink at Oxbow, Tu Casa across the road does solid inexpensive food and oxbow are happy for you to take it into the tap room but they arent open on Saturdays..
    If you want lobster rolls check out bite into Maine a food truck
    that you find at fort williams Park, amazing, reasonable price and the location is great.
    We have subtly broken the law and poured a beer into a closed soda cup and enjoyed beer, lobster roll and an amazing view. being sensible about not flaunting it is the key.
     
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  16. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    One of my friends finally got back to me. Since you have all been of help, figured I would share a website that one of his friends put together. Apologies if you were already aware but it didnt come up in any of my searches. www.mainebeerscene.com
     
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  17. Bcelos

    Bcelos Initiate (44) Mar 24, 2015 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    If you make it into Portsmouth/Kittery be sure to check out the bottle shop - Spruce Creek Provisions. Small but amazing selection of local and extremely fresh IPAs and a bunch of imported sours as well.
     
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  18. LeRose

    LeRose Savant (923) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Subscriber

    Yeah - I agree about the driving. Somewhat in self-defense, when we go up, we are in total stop and smell the flowers mode so we like poking along Rt. 1. And I hadn't even thought about the restaurant at Smutty as the place to taste what you want - DUH! - as many times as I have been there that thought just didn't register. Completely agree about the setting though - it is a great spot.

    When we are travelling, time constraints just don't apply for us and I should remember that is not the case for everyone. Lots of times we'll stay in Ogunquit (in less crazy seasons) and use that as a base to head in either direction.
     
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  19. kculrich

    kculrich Zealot (534) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    AND you get their super-cool 20oz pub glass which is now officially the glass-I-can't-live-without... holds an entire 16oz can with head and room to spare.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. infectedlobster

    infectedlobster Aspirant (244) Apr 22, 2014 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Don't miss The Holy Donut.
     
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  21. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (528) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Barreled Souls is fantastic. Their double IPA Paper Planes I had a year or two back was great. Then I visited again late February when they had some BA variants of their Deep Space imperial stout. The way these bottles were drinking brought me back to 2012/2013 BCBS when I thought it was at its best.
     
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  22. JoeK89

    JoeK89 Initiate (164) Mar 29, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I have not read through all the replies but I would definitely hit up: The holy donut, Nosh (creative menu and good tap list), CBC portland sometimes gets Hoof Hearted beers so I would check their FB/IG in case they have it in, if not RSVP may be better and cheaper. Barreled Souls is great and usually has some BA stouts on tap. I am missing a bunch, Portland is loaded.
     
  23. HopQuest

    HopQuest Initiate (117) Feb 2, 2015 Connecticut

    Def hit up bier cellar. Not as flashy as the others, but I have enjoyed cans and bottles from SOME (near Kittery), Lone Pine and Liquid Riot. Foulmouthed is supposed to be good and is not far from Bissell/Bunker.

    Garrison City Beerworks in Dover, NH has some nice offerings if you are in the area.

    Have a nice trip.
     
  24. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Zealot (502) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    IMO it's tough to not hit up Black Birch in Kittery for dinner during your trip -- best combo Maine Beer tap list and food period -- nothing really quite like it in Portland and that's really saying something. Tributary down the street -- but I'd skip the brewery and just have a pint of their beer at the BB. I'd certainly slate this above anything in Porstmouth which is literally a mile or two away. If you go to Portsmouth and like seafood - I'd hit Row34 over the brewery and Earth Eagle. Tap list is not as good as Boston R34 but is excellent and shellfish the best in town.
     
  25. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Defender (638) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Not like it's gonna help out the OP much, but Lone Pine has a release Thursday

     
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  26. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Think this may be the general structure. From a buddy of mine who has done this trip many a time. Feel free to comment. I truly appreciate all the input.

    Saturday
    1) Bissell at least an hour before they open
    2) Pai Men Miyake (think they open at 11:30). Definitely worth skipping food trucks for this
    3) Beer shops for bottles (i.e. Bier cellar)
    4) Check into hotel and drop off Bissell cans and bottles
    4) Industrial way (Allagash, Austin St, Foundation). Again recommend doing the tour...one of the best tours I've been on...be sure to make the reservation online...it's free and inclues a free sample usually in addition to the flight they give you in the tasting room)
    5) Oxbow
    6) Novare Res
    7) Post drinking foods at Duckfat, Great Lost Bear, Slab

    Sunday
    1) Check out of hotel
    2) Do any other breweries you want in Maine (Maine Beer, Barreled Souls, etc)
    3) Food at STREET (they open at 10 am on Sundays)
    4) Any other breweries in Portsmouth (Portsmouth Brewing) or head to WHYM. WHYM is to Portsmouth as to what Novare Res is to Portland.
    5) Deciduous
    6) Home
     
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  27. kculrich

    kculrich Zealot (534) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Looks good, especially the stop at Bissell first thing, which is what I've done (so it must be a good idea). Just be aware that, depending on what cans Foundation has that day, they don't sell out as fast as Bissell but they do sell out. I think I got there around 2:00 on a Saturday last August and everything was gone.

    Have fun!
     
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  28. meefmoff

    meefmoff Aspirant (263) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I've never heard of this brewery before but I'm loving that can design. And given the popularity of Julius I'm surprised no one else has already snagged that Oh-J name.

    What's the verdict on how it tastes?
     
  29. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    We are going on Friday, 4/28 so hopefully this won't be a problem (relative lack of "good" weather,summer vacations, tourists, Friday v. Saturday). Thanks for the preliminary "thumbs up".
     
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  30. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Zealot (502) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Typical recent BB taplist...and their specialty is food. Nothing in Portsmouth can hold their jock strap.
    [​IMG]
     
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  31. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Aspirant (201) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Agreed but they aren't open when OP is in town, which will be Sunday late morning and into the afternoon. Street is excellent - good call. If you need spicy comfort food to deal with your hangover, get the Pozole. You can't really go wrong there.

    Otherwise the itinerary looks good. Pai Men Miyake is amazing and they have a great draft list normally. I would have a similar itinerary but I'd add in Bunker and drop out Industrial, but only because I've done them before.
     
  32. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Zealot (502) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    OP wants to leave Portsmouth at 4 on Sat - BB opens at 3:30. It's the best beer/foodie combine on the Maine seacoast -- would seem a shame miss. Just sayin'
     
  33. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (139) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    I just got back from a similar trip and was really impressed with Great Rhythm in NH. Lovely space with tasty IPAs. Their Althea cans are a nice alternative to Bissell and you don't have to rush or wait in crazy lines. Other favorites were Bunker in Portland and the new Stoneface expansion (which also looks to have amazing food as well as cans to go). Honestly I didn't care for the Bissell space as much- I found their beers to be better on draft around town instead (at Thirsty Pig and the Arcadia National Bar). Duckfat's pretty good if you like sandwiches and fries but I really loved the Honey Paw noodle bar. Apparently it shares a kitchen with Hugo's, the parent restaurant to Duckfat.
     
  34. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (114) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Lemon glazed to die for......I ate 3 and pedaled back the 17 miles to OOB. Grinning the whole time.
     
  35. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    Never been to Industrial plus we are doing the Allagash free tour. Staying at the Marriott Waterfront so Bunker, Oxbow, Lone Pine and Liquid Riot are all w/n 1/2 mile. Plus the Shipyard and Sebago taprooms are a stones throw away.
     
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  36. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    We were thinking Great Rhythm or Garrison but think we will hit Deciduous, Earth Eagle and maybe, Portsmouth.
     
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  37. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (139) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    Portsmouth is pretty terrible, dude. Definitely the worst beer I've had in the area. The food is outdated American pub and the beer is seriously flawed and served in dirty glasses. But hey, you can find out for yourself ;)
     
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  38. CTHopman

    CTHopman Initiate (136) Jul 22, 2016 Connecticut

    I will play it by ear but definitely consider your assessment. I appreciate it. Certainly wasn't on my initial list but a buddy of mine suggested it. It would be the last place anyways, time, money, beer gut and trunk space permitting.
     
  39. kculrich

    kculrich Zealot (534) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Portsmouth Brewery or the whole city?!?!
     
  40. gclaw4444

    gclaw4444 Initiate (134) Jul 30, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    My trip a month or so ago involved stopping at banded horn and barreled souls on the way up, which i both highly recommend. In fact i think they're better than anything i got in portland itself, though thats just my taste. If you do go to oxbow, i also recommend the meadery right next door if you're into that kind of thing.
     
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