A guide to all 14 breweries in the Bangor area, and what to have when you get there

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Beer from Maine craft breweries.
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For those who aren’t already connoisseurs of the Bangor area’s craft brewing scene, it might seem a little overwhelming at first.
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For those who aren’t already connoisseurs of the Bangor area’s craft brewing scene, it might seem a little overwhelming at first. Where do you start with the 14 different breweries within a 25-mile radius of Bangor — especially when they’re all so different, both in terms of beers brewed and vibes offered?

To make it easy for you, we’ve listed them all here, with our suggestions for the first beer you should try at each place. All 14 are within a 40-minute drive of Bangor, and many of them also offer food menus, about which we’ve also offered suggestions. Winter or summer, daytime or evening, there’s never a bad time to sample the fruits of Maine’s craft brewing scene.

And fret not — when the next new brewery opens, we’ll update this story to include that as well.

2 Feet Brewing

80 Columbia St., Bangor

Opens at 3 p.m., Monday-Saturday, noon on Sundays

The vibe: A mom and pop-style, family-run joint

The beer: Barn Burner, a saison brewed with jalapeno and ghost peppers that sounds like it would be spicy, but is really just warming and flavorful.

Bonus eats: Get there early enough in the day to grab a slice of 2 Feet’s ever-changing, decadent cakes and other desserts.

Airline Brewing Company

22 Mill Lane, Amherst, and 173 Main St., Ellsworth

Opens 4 p.m. Thursday-Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday in both locations

The vibe: English pub, Maine hospitality

The beer: The Brown Ale, a classic English-style brown ale. It’s on the lower side, alcohol percentage-wise, so it’s easy to drink — smooth, uncomplicated and medium-bodied.

Bangor Beer Company

330 Bangor Mall Blvd., Bangor

Opens at 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday

The vibe: Nerd-chic, Chinese-American fusion

The beer: BBC does a quality German lager called Brite, which is crisp, clean and lightly sweet.

Bonus eats: The Bang Bang Cauliflower or Chicken is delicious, though it’s really just a vehicle for that creamy, tangy bang bang sauce.

Ali Tobey | BDN
Ali Tobey | BDN
Black Bear Brewing on Exchange Street in Bangor.

Black Bear Brewing

19 Mill St., Orono and 191 Exchange St., Bangor

Opens at 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2 p.m. Saturdays, in both locations

The vibe: Cozy, cheerful and no-nonsense

The beer: Tough End IPA is a classic American IPA — hoppy and citrus-y, without being overwhelming — and is named for the Orono neighborhood just a stone’s throw from the original brewery. Black Bear also roasts its own coffee, and sells beans on site.

Blank Canvas Brewing

46 Betton St., Brewer

4-9 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays

The vibe: For adventurous beer drinkers only

The beer: This experimental brewery keeps cranking out unorthodox, oddball brews, but its Dill Cucumber Pale is a reliable and drinkable beer with notes of, yes, cucumber and dill.

Fogtown Brewing Company

25 Pine St., Ellsworth

Opens 3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

The vibe: The hippest garage you’ve ever been to

The beer: Yellow Submarine, a kettle sour brewed with Maine grains, tastes good whatever the season — on a hot day or a cold night.

Friar’s Brewhouse Tap Room

84 Main St., Bucksport

11:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday

The vibe: Homey, hearty, riverfront drinking and dining

The beer: While the Whoopie Pie Porter is the original Friar’s brew, the Monastery Ale — fruity, herbal, amber-colored — is the true star of the show.

Bonus eats: Lots to choose from here, but anything French Canadian on the menu — pork pie, pate, cretons, charcuterie plates — is highly recommended.

Gabor Degre | bdn
Gabor Degre | bdn
The Geaghan Brothers Brewing tap room in Brewer.

Geaghan Brothers Brewing Company

34 Abbott St., Brewer

Opens 4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday

The vibe: An Irish pub, but with a contemporary craft brew aesthetic

The beer: One of Geaghan’s first and most popular brews is Captain Kool, an easy-drinking, juicy, coppery-colored IPA.

Marsh Island Brewing

2 Main St., Orono

Opens 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

The vibe: No frills, small but mighty New England-style brewery

The beer: Marsh Island makes loads of different beers, but its various fruit-flavored brews are especially delightful. See if Puckercrush, Island Escape or Tropical Breeze are on the list.

Mason’s Brewing Company

15 Hardy St., Brewer

Open for lunch and dinner daily

The vibe: Cavernous, crowd-pleasing throwback brewpub

The beer: There’s a reason Hipster Apocalypse is Mason’s flagship brew: it’s a straightforward, tasty, sessionable IPA.

Bonus eats: Mason’s burgers — which are huge and covered in unique toppings — are the highlight of a straightforward, but creative, menu.

Rights Reserved 292228
Rights Reserved 292228

Orono Brewing Company

61 Margin St., Orono and 26 State St., Bangor

Open in Orono at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon Saturday-Sunday; open in Bangor at 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon on Sundays.

The vibe: Simultaneously super-hip and indelibly Maine

The beer: OBC is one of the most acclaimed breweries in Maine, and there are two beers that are must-tries: the smooth, creamy 44 North Coffee Stout, and the bright, fruity Tubular IPA.

Bonus eats: Only the Orono location has food, and its chicken sandwiches, be they fried chicken, grilled curry chicken, whatever, are irresistable.

Penobscot Bay Brewery and Winterport Winery

279 South Main. St., Winterport

Closed until mid-March; hours vary upon reopening

The vibe: Spacious, elegant and friendly

The beer: This is the only place on this list to offer both house-made beer and wine. On the beer side of things, Humble B Lager is a delightful brew made with local honey and fresh ginger.

Sea Dog Brewing Company

26 Front St., Bangor

Opens at 11 a.m. daily

The vibe: Time-honored riverfront bar and restaurant

The beer: A throwback to a simpler time, before craft beer became the international juggernaut that it is today, Sea Dog’s Wild Blueberry is still a classic.

Bonus eats: Sea Dog has a massive menu, but its Maine-harvested mussels are a reliable choice, cooked one of four ways.

Tattooed Dad Brewing Co.

894 Moosehead Trail Highway, Jackson

Open 3-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday

The vibe: Rustic, backwoods charm

The beer: This tiny, still-new brewery, which opened just last year off Route 7 in the Waldo County town of Jackson, has a small but creative list of beers, including the tangy, easy-drinking Sour Orange Wheat.

 


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