Ten places to enjoy craft beer and a meal.

Sometimes we’re in a basement with a few mismatched chairs and tables grouped together to create a makeshift sitting area as we read a hand scrawled list on a chalkboard hung near the taps showing that breweries latest craft beer creations but other times things are not so rustic. Sometimes there is food, wine and mixed drinks along with that stops unique craft brews listed on a more formal menu, and providing a more expansive experience.

While I’m up for either option, sometimes it’s nice to be able to enjoy a meal with your beer. You can also often enjoy some great pairings. This past week we went to Atlantic Brewing in Bar Harbor and their ginger beer was a perfect match for the barbecue sampler from Mainely Meat BBQ located on the grounds.

Below are ten other craft breweries that offer food along with their latest beers.

Bigelow Brewing Co.  473 Bigelow Hill Road, Skowhegan, Maine.  Bigelow Brewing Co. is located in a converted horse barn. It is a light, open space with plenty of seating to enjoy wood fired pizza and a tasting flight. The beer is light on hops which I prefer. I enjoyed their Lying Bastard while my husband was a fan of their Rowe Road Maple Porter. The exterior spaces were as inviting as the interior with a fire pit and cozy seating areas. While we didn’t order food during our visit, it’s definitely something I plan to do on a future trip up to the brewery.

Boothbay Craft Brewery. 301 Adams Pond Road, Boothbay, Maine. We stopped into this brewery before going on our Cabbage Island Clambake last summer. The Watershed Tavern at the brewery has a small interior area with seating, but as we were there on a sunny summer day we opted to sit outside. We did a beer tasting flight along with a light caprese salad. We topped it off with a dessert flight of mini-treats including a Kahlua toffee trifle, key lime pie, salted caramel cheese cake, and rum cake. Both the beer and the desserts were quite yummy.

Foulmouthed Brewing. 15 Ocean Street, South Portland, Maine. This brewery also serves mixed drinks and wine along with a small but inventive menu. We’ve visited this brewery before which I blogged about in my post Unexpected Delights at Foulmouthed Brewpub in South Portland. We weren’t working on the Maine Beer Trail on that first visit so we headed back again for another stop. Not that we needed an excuse, this is a fun place to hang out.

For our second outing, we tried three of their beers: Coconut Cream Stout, Mango Floss and Blue Balls. The Mango Floss had a great flavor with the hoppy taste offset against the sweetness of the mango. And, if you’re looking for something fun to do while enjoying your craft beer, they also host trivia on Tuesday nights.

Gritty’s Brew Pub. 396 Fore Street, Portland, Maine. We stopped by Gritty’s for the release of the Maine Brew Guide. My husband even won a gift card when he was able to identify all the beers in a tasting flight. We visited again recently to get our Maine Beer Trail stamp. While they brew their own beers, the pub also has a full menu of food.

Kennebec River Brewing. 1771 US Route 201, The Forks, Maine. Located at the lodge at Northern Outdoors, this brewery is also a full service restaurant. We enjoyed a couple of tasting flights over dinner. The portions were generous and everything was tasty.  I enjoyed my Pineland Farm burger with a side of seasoned friends. We also ordered nachos which were piled with lots of delicious stuff. My favorite beers were the Whitewater Wheat with orange and the Big Mama Blueberry Ale. I do like my fruit beers. I also blogged about this trip in my post Four hikes during our weekend at Northern Outdoors in The Forks, Maine.

The Liberal Cup. 115 Water St, Hallowell, Maine. We stopped into the Liberal Cup after our weekend up in The Forks. We had spent the weekend doing back to back hikes so we were exhausted. We arrived at the Liberal Cup around 5:30 on a Sunday, and it was busy. This brewery is also a full service restaurant with other beverage choices so I opted for a glass of Pinot Grigio while my husband tried their Pitch Black IPA which he enjoyed.

We split a clam chowder and a papardello, fiddleheads, lobster and shrimp in Alfredo which was one of their specials the day we visited.  It was delicious. The space had a nice pub vibe with a bar area and two rooms with plenty of seating. There were exposed brick walls and wooden ceilings with framed pictures of politicians throughout the space. It had a lot of charm.

Mason’s Brewing Company. 15 Hardy St. Brewer, Maine. Craft beer is well represented in the greater Bangor area and we were overdue for a visit up that way but fortunately I was headed to Brewer for a business trip so my husband joined me so we could stop into Mason’s Brewing Company for lunch. In addition to their craft beer, they have a restaurant with a delicious menu. I tried their Mason’s Pink Slip a perfectly crafted sour. My husband can’t pass up a good rausch beer so he went with the Mason’s Altbier Von Rausch. In a happy coincidence, we were there during National Pizza Day and celebrated with a delicious “Farewell, Mona Lisa” pizza.

Norway Brewing Company.  237 Main St, Norway, Maine. This is a super cute brew pub with a great menu of locally sourced food. It’s fairly small but light filled and welcoming with a snowshoe themed decor. I tried their Apple Bear Berliner Weisse which was a light craft beer to which they add apple syrup before serving. It tastes more like a cider than a beer which worked for me. The food menu was excellent. We opted for the amazing Full Monte, “a fried egg, sharp cheddar, spicy mayo & maple candied bacon on herb french toast” with maple syrup on the side. We also enjoyed a side of Belgian Fries. Both were so good!

Sea Dog Brewing Company. 1 Bowdoin Mill Island #100, Topsham, Maine and Other Locations. We’ve enjoyed visits to Sea Dog Brewing Company before but this was our first stop into their Topsham location. Along with their beer, they have a full menu. We stopped in after one of our hikes, and enjoyed an appetizer with our drinks. We recently hit their Bangor area location which has a great back deck overlooking the Penobscot River. They have four locations in Maine as well as a few others out-of-state.

The Run of the Mill. 100 Main St, Saco, Maine. This is a nice brew pub with delicious food and a full bar.  I grew up in Saco, and get back to the area fairly frequently so we’ve had many a great meal at Run of the Mill. They also have a spacious outside sitting area during the warmer months.

There are other places that serve food, but these are just a few highlights of some of the stops we’ve enjoyed during our ongoing trek through the Maine Beer Trail.

Do you have a favorite craft brewery that serves food too?

Banded HornBigelow Brewing CompanyBoothbay Craft BreweryFoulmouthed BrewingGneiss BrewingGritty's Brew PubKennebec River BrewingTheLiberalCupTheLiberalCupMaine Beer CompanyNorway Brewing CompanyOxbow NewcastleSea Dog BrewingRun of the MillOxbow BrewingLively BrewingHidden Cove BrewingDirigo Brewing

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