Things to Do in Downeast Maine: Touring Wineries and Breweries (2024)

Exploring the wineries and breweries of Downeast Maine is an exciting way to experience the local flavor and culture. This picturesque region is not only known for its coastal charm and quaint small towns but also its thriving craft beverage scene. Whether you’re a traveler seeking new adventures or a local exploring your own backyard, Downeast Maine has a diverse selection of craft wineries and breweries to choose from.

The Maine Beer Trail and Maine Wine Trail are two fantastic ways to discover these hidden gems. With a variety of breweries and wineries, these trails guide you to some of the best in the state, each offering a distinct experience and a chance to savor locally crafted beers and wines. From the variations in flavors of craft beers to the subtle, nuanced notes of fruit wines, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Breweries on the Maine Beer Trail

Fogtown Brewing Company

Located at 25 Pine St, Ellsworth, Fogtown Brewing Company has a variety of small-batch craft beers brewed on-site. This dog-friendly brewery features a cozy taproom and often hosts live music and events, making it a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy some local brews. In addition to exceptional beers, Fogtown Brewing Company also serves delicious oven-fired pizza and burgers.

The brewery is open from 4 PM to 9 PM daily and is closed on Mondays. Whether you’re enjoying a pint in the taproom, relaxing on the outdoor patio, or attending one of their lively events, Fogtown Brewing Company is sure to be a fun experience.

Strong Brewing Company

Strong Brewing Company, located at 7 Rope Ferry Rd, Sedgwick, is a family-owned brewery renowned for its small-batch, handcrafted beers. The microbrewery is a labor of love for its owners, who are passionate about creating high-quality beverages brewed with local flavors. Ever since opening in 2013, The Strong family has been focused on using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, ensuring that each beer has a distinct Downeast Maine flavor. We highly recommend stopping by as you explore the Maine Beer Trail.

The brewery has a diverse range of styles to suit all tastes, from hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing ales. Their cozy taproom provides a welcoming atmosphere where visitors can relax and enjoy their drinks, often accompanied by live music or community events that make the experience even more special. Best of all, you can bring your pup!

The Strong Public House and Patio is open from Friday to Monday between noon and 8 PM. The brewery is closed from Monday to Thursday, giving the family time to focus on crafting their exceptional beers.

Airline Brewing Company

Airline Brewing Company offers a delightful selection of traditional British-style ales. Stepping into their pub-like atmosphere feels like being transported to a cozy English pub, complete with rustic wooden decor, friendly staff, and a warm, inviting ambiance. The brewery prides itself on its authentic brewing methods, creating beers that are true to the traditional British style. From rich, malty bitters and refreshing British ales to their Peanut Butter Stout, the Airline Brewing Company gives you a taste of England in the heart of Ellsworth. Don’t forget to grab some wholesome pub food while you’re at it!

The brewery is open from 11 AM to 10 PM daily, located at 22 Mill St, Ellsworth. This flexibility allows you to drop in for a casual afternoon drink or to enjoy a lively evening out. Their commitment to quality and authenticity is evident in every sip, making it a favorite among locals and visitors across the board.

Lubec Brewing Company

Lubec Brewing Company, located at 41 Water St, Lubec, is a small brewery with a big heart. This charming establishment prides itself on its deep connection to the local community and its commitment to brewing high-quality beers. If you stop by to grab a pint here, it’s almost like stepping back in time.

With a range of beers brewed with care and passion, Lubec Brewing Company will please any palate—from hop-forward IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing ales. The brewery’s indoor taproom and outdoor beer garden each provide inviting spaces where visitors can enjoy a pint while taking in the picturesque views of Lubec’s waterfront.

Open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM, Lubec Brewing Company is a perfect destination for a weekend afternoon outing. The brewery’s friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere make it a must-visit while you’re in town.

Atlantic Brewing Company

Found at 15 Knox Rd, Bar Harbor, Atlantic Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for beer lovers exploring Downeast Maine. Known for its wide variety of beers, this brewery has something to suit everyone, from crisp lagers and hoppy IPAs to rich porters and stouts. The brewery’s beautiful outdoor seating area provides a perfect setting for enjoying a cold brew on a sunny day, surrounded by the natural beauty of Bar Harbor.

What locals love most about Atlantic Brewing Company is that it often hosts events that bring the community together, such as Lord of the Rings Trivia, buffets, annual competitions, and much more. They also have an on-site BBQ restaurant serving delicious, smoky fare that pairs perfectly with beer.

Open daily from 11 AM to 7 PM, this gives you plenty of time to stop by for a meal and a drink, whether for a casual lunch or an early evening gathering. With its combination of great beer, tasty food, and a beautiful setting, Atlantic Brewing Company is a top spot for both locals and tourists looking to experience the best of downtown Bar Harbor’s craft beer scene. When you’re heading out, be sure to grab some of your favorite brews from their tasting room to go!

Horn Run Brewing

Horn Run Brewing in Eastport is a hidden gem in Downeast Maine’s craft beer scene. This small brewery focuses on producing high-quality, small-batch beers. Known for its creativity and innovation, the brewing company offers a variety of beers, including hoppy IPAs, stouts, and ales. The brewery’s commitment to using local ingredients whenever possible ensures that each beer has a distinct Downeast Maine character.

The brewery and pub kitchen at Horn Run Brewing is open daily with varying hours, primarily open for 8 hours mid-day. Their menu features delicious snacks like soft pretzels, Beer Cheese Nachos, and their Beef and Beer Cheese Sandwich. Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or a casual drinker, Horn Run Brewing has some of the best beer and snack pairings in Eastport. Don’t miss this spot during your Maine Beer Trail adventures!

Naiad Country Brewery

Naiad Country Brewery, nestled in a rural area of East Machias, is a small brewery open from Friday to Sunday between 2 PM to 8 PM. This brewery is dedicated to brewing exceptional beers with a focus on sustainability and locally sourced ingredients. Naiad Country Brewery produces a range of brews, from Zeppa’s Pilz and Naiad Pale Ale to their seasonal specialties that you won’t want to miss.

The brewery’s inviting taproom, open from Wednesday to Sunday, offers a warm and relaxed setting for visitors to sample their diverse selection of beers. The scenic surroundings and friendly atmosphere of the picnic area also make Naiad Country Brewery an ideal spot to grab an afternoon pint. Whether you’re exploring the Downeast Maine Beer Trail or simply passing through East Machias, a visit to Naiad Country Brewery is a refreshing pit stop in Mother Nature.

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Wineries on the Maine Wine Trail

Shalom Organic Orchard Farm & Winery

Located in Franklin, Shalom Organic Orchard Farm & Winery is renowned for its commitment to organic winemaking. As part of a larger farm that produces a variety of organic products, the winery emphasizes sustainable and eco-friendly practices. Visitors can enjoy more of a rustic, farm-like environment while tasting wines made from organic fruits grown right on the farm. This focus on organic farming not only enhances the quality of the wines but also supports the health of the local ecosystem.

The winery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 5 PM. The winery’s intimate approach allows guests to receive detailed attention and learn about the winemaking process from the knowledgeable staff. The tranquil setting, combined with the unique flavors of organic wines, makes Shalom Organic Orchard Farm & Winery a must-visit destination for those seeking a genuine and eco-conscious wine-tasting experience.

Bartlett Maine Estate Winery

Bartlett Maine Estate Winery in Gouldsboro is a must on the Maine Wine Trail, as it’s Maine’s oldest winery with a long history of specializing in fruit wines. The winery is set on a picturesque estate—perfect for wine tasting and strolls through the grounds. Your visit to Bartlett Maine Estate Winery is a chance to explore the flavors and traditions that have shaped Maine’s wine culture for so many years.

Open from Wednesday to Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM, Bartlett Maine Estate Winery is a must-visit destination for those interested in experiencing the unique history and delightful tastes of Maine’s wine heritage from Bob and Kathe Bartlett. The knowledgeable team and inviting atmosphere make it an enjoyable spot for both seasoned wine enthusiasts and curious newcomers. Thanks to the region’s ideal climate, their wine is made from blueberries with rich tannins, ensuring you’ll sample only some of the best fruit wine in the state at this historic winery.

And if wine isn’t your thing, Bartlett Maine Estate Winery also offers tastings of their small-batch distilled rum. Distilled using organic molasses, their rum blends vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, and oddly enough, the faint aroma of cigar smoke. Their renowned rum has even won the gold medal in the World Spirits Competition. Don’t believe us? You’ll have to try it for yourself!

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Tips for Enjoying the Downeast Maine Brewery and Maine Wine Trail

Exploring the Maine Beer Trail or Maine Wine Trail can be an unforgettable experience, especially with a bit of preparation. Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of your visit:

  1. Plan Ahead: Check the opening hours and schedules of the breweries and wineries you want to visit. Many have specific days and times they are open, and some require appointments. Make a list of your must-visit spots and map out your route to maximize your time.
  2. Stay Hydrated and Snack Smart: With so many delicious beverages to sample, staying hydrated is a must. Bring water and consider having a snack between tastings to cleanse your palate and keep your energy up. Many locations also offer food, so plan to enjoy some local bites along the way.
  3. Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Many breweries and wineries have outdoor seating areas, and the weather in Downeast Maine can be unpredictable. Being comfortable will enhance your overall experience.
  4. Bring a Cooler: If you plan to purchase bottles or cans to take home, bring a cooler to keep your beverages at the right temperature, especially during warmer months.
  5. Take Notes: With so many unique flavors to try, it’s easy to forget which ones you loved the most. Bring a notebook or use a notes app on your phone to take photos or jot down your favorites and any interesting details about the beers and wines you sample.
  6. Engage with the Staff: The staff at these local establishments are often passionate about their craft and knowledgeable about their products. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and learn more about the brewing and winemaking process. It can add a richer context to your tastings.
  7. Respect the Space: Many of these breweries and wineries are family-owned and operated, with a deep connection to their community. Respect the space and the people, and always follow any house rules or guidelines provided.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy a memorable day (or weekend) exploring the delightful breweries and wineries of Downeast Maine.

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Which Are You Adding to Your List of Things to Do Downeast Maine?

As you wrap up your tour of Downeast Maine’s many wineries and breweries, you’re sure to have experienced a delightful blend of flavors and local charm. Thanks to the Maine Beer Trail and Wine Trail, there’s no shortage of things to do in Downeast Maine. Whether you’ve sampled your favorite pints of Fogtown Brewing Company or savored the artisanal wines at Shalom Organic Orchard Farm & Winery, each sip tells a story of craftsmanship and community.

So, until your next adventure in Downeast Maine, keep exploring, savoring, and discovering the hidden gems that await around every corner. Cheers to good times and great memories!

 

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