A story posted online Sunday by Fortune magazine begins like this:
“If you’re looking for a good beer, you might want to head to Maine. Breweries from that state had a remarkably strong showing at the Great American Beer Festival Awards, winning medals in 21 percent of the categories local brewers entered — the most of any state.”
It’s not news that Maine’s got a good beer scene — heck, there are multiple tour companies dedicated just to driving connoisseurs around to great breweries, as well as an annual festival dedicated to the craft.
But maybe our spunky, up-and-coming beer scene isn’t just spunky and up-and-coming any more. Maybe it’s arrived.
Fortune described the aforementioned Great American Beer Festival, which attracted 60,000 people to Denver, as the “beer world’s Super Bowl.” And apparently, Maine won it — at least by one measure.
Portland-based Allagash Brewing Co. claimed a gold and a silver in two of the festival’s Belgian-style categories, while Baxter Brewing Co. of Lewiston grabbed a silver medal in the Field Beer category for its Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter.
The Great American Beer Festival isn’t the only spot on the national scene where Maine’s beer landscape has shined.
Draft magazine’s annual list of the country’s best beer bars regularly includes multiple entries from Maine, including Portland’s Novare Res Bier Cafe and The Great Lost Bear, as well as Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell.
(While we’re on Allagash, the company also found itself on both Complex.com’s 25 best beers list and the somewhat higher profile Men’s Journal ranking of America’s best brews, where it was joined by fellow Maine beermaker Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.)
And Maine’s beer industry is still growing. The BDN’s Kathleen Pierce reported earlier this month that the number of breweries in the state has grown from 43 to 64 — an increase of about 50 percent — just in the past two years.
Correction: A previous version of this story requires correction. Baxter Brewing Co. is located in Lewiston, not Auburn, and Ebenezer’s Pub is in Lovell, not Lowell.