If there’s one thing we know for sure in Maine, it is that no matter the temperature, there is nothing better than cracking open a cold one. Given the impending Christmas season we’ve rounded up some of your favorite breweries in case you are still looking for holiday inspiration. And if you really drop the ball, consider this a preview of Sunday River’s Brew Fest Spring Session where you can redeem yourself by purchasing tickets for whomever you disappointed. Hoppy Holidays!
Allagash Brewing Company
A jewel in Portland’s craft beer crown, Allagash and Allagash White have become mainstays in the New England beer scene ever since the first batch was sold in 1995. We highly recommend picking up a bottle (or more if you can) of Hibernal Fluxus, an annual winter release. This beer has a new recipe every year, and the 2017 version is half saison, half milk stout, a.k.a, a delicious silky dark beer with 7.5% a.b.v. and an exceptional rating on Beer Advocate. Besides these awesome limited releases, they have an impressive gift selection, whether it be an Allagash branded bow tie for those frat boys that need a change up from the Vineyard Vine’s pink whale, signs for the man cave or growing garage museum, Allagash White scented surf wax for your favorite beach bum and a dog walker kit complete with dog collar, leash, pom pom hat and leather koozie.
Rising Tide Brewing Company
A fixture of the Portland beer scene, Rising Tide specializes in hand-crafted, small batch ales. Need a stocking stuffer? Simply mail a pre-filled out envelope to the brewery (103 Fox St. Portland, ME 04101) to get some stickers and can labels. You can also purchase pint glasses, beer mugs and a growler koozie from the brewery’s online store. If you want to ball out, spring for the Fox Street Society Membership. For $135 you become a lifetime member, with a growler card worth $110 for 12 fills. Otherwise, Rising Tide has a slew of t-shirts, flannels, hats and even cycling jerseys.
Maine Beer Company
Freeport based Maine Beer Co. was an idea first conceived on May 2, 2006 while brewer and co-owner David Kleban was in Everglades National Park. After some “really awful beer” and a lot of fun between David and his brother (and co-owner) Daniel, the American pale ale Peeper was born (4.11/5 on Beer Advocate). With the motto “Do what’s right,” you can definitely do right by your loved ones for Christmas with some of their simple and classic beer gear. We’re partial to the Miir Cup, a stainless steel pint glass that features a design of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument (all proceeds benefit Friends of Katahdin Woods and Water) as well as the Tiny Beautiful Something ~organic~ cotton onesie for your pint sized family member. Start em’ young!
Baxter Brewing Company
Born out of a Clark University dorm room, Luke Livingston has not only banned brewing in dorm rooms on campus for those after him, but has created a brewery that is a staple of the Maine beer scene. For Baxter lovers, be sure to snag them a flannel sporting the Hayride autumn ale tractor, or a the “sense of humor not optional” I Heart Cans t-shirt. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a sweet set of cans?
Oxbow specializes in Belgian-style ales with a contemporary American twist. The Newcastle, ME farmhouse brewery clocks in at a 4.15/5 on the Beer Advocate scale, an exceptional rating and boy do we agree. For those beer drinkers who like to change it up, snag a bottle of Native Wild, a Maine beer through and through, brewed with local grains, aged hops, and native microflora and wild yeasts. Otherwise, Oxbow has some sweet stocking stuffers from lighters to dog collars. Personally, we like the buffalo plaid brim hat. Might as well throw in some logger flair when drinking these “loud beers from a quiet place.”
Currently pouring at Camp.
Shipyard Brewing Company
No stranger to Sunday River lovers, Alan Pugsley’s innovative brews are served all over New England and beyond. Given their following as one of the largest craft brewers in the country, they have gifts for every kind of Shipyard fan there is. Die-hard Pumpkinhead drinker? They have a gift box featuring four pint glasses, Casco Bay Soap, Pumkpinhead beanie, and a Pumpkinhead cinnamon and sugar glass rimmer (that’s right, we can all get #basic with our #PSL inspired brews). Beyond gift boxes, Shipyard offers everything from mountain, or beach, ready sweatshirts and t-shirts, to tap handles, sweet stoneware steins and a slew of Sea Dog branded gear.
Sebago Brewing Company
Just three dudes who wanted to love their jobs, that’s how Sebago started. Since 1998 it has remained in the hands of Kai, Brad and Tim with brewpubs spanning the state. These guys pride themselves on having and brewing up a good time, whether it’s crushing miles in their custom bike jerseys or cracking open a Whistle Punk double IPA. The clean design of all their swag makes these beer gifts perfect for the dad who gets rad on the weekend.
Sunday River Brewing Company
We obviously need to give a shout out to our hometown hero, the Sunday River Brewing Company. If you have a die-hard local who’s maybe willing to expand their mug club collection from Barker or the Matterhorn, pick up a new membership at this lovely establishment. For $45 you can get your loved one a year’s worth of happiness with an SRBC stoneware mug, 20 ounce pours for the price of a pint ($3 on Tuesday and Thursday) and a spiffy company t-shirt.
Bissell Brothers is to Maine as Trillium is to Massachusetts. Head to their tap room in Portland to pick up some of their gear or highly sought after limited releases for your beer lover, or have a pint and grab a beanie for yourself. Treat yo’ self.
Currently pouring at the Foggy Goggle.