Did you know that Portland, Maine has the most breweries per capita in the entire country? The craft beer craze has continued north, making the trip to Bethel, Maine, and Sunday River, perfect for the beer lover in your life.
Once you’ve decided whether you’ll hit a few of the many options in Portland on your way here, or on your way home, head North on the Maine Turnpike (95) towards Gray, and take the exit to get on Route 26. There are two stops you’ll want to make before getting to Bethel.
Oxbow Beer Garden
A former cross-country ski center turned beer garden, you’ll find seasonal selections of Oxbow Brewing’s finest on tap at the Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford, Maine. They also serve up delicious wood-fired pizza that features ingredients from the farm located on the premises. If you’re not feeling a sit-down meal, this location is also home to a bottling shop for you to pick up beer on the go.
Norway Brewing Company
Continuing along Route 26, you’ll detour slightly to reach Norway Brewing Company on Main Street in Norway, Maine. Known for their delicious food menu (including weekend brunch!) in addition to their microbrews, you can enjoy Norway Brewing on their beer garden patio in the summer, inside the taproom, or to-go through their bottling shop.
Steam Mill Brewing
After arriving in Bethel, head down Main Street and take a right onto Mechanic street to reach Steam Mill Brewing. With a small tap room, and outdoor seating, Steam Mill is easily enjoyed in the winter and summer months. Plus, Steam Mill drinkers also benefit from a tasty Lao-American fusion food truck, Le Mu Eats, right in the parking lot.
Sunday River Brewing Company
The OG brewery in town, Sunday River Brewing Company (more commonly referred to as “The Brew Pub” here) serves up a wide variety of craft beer, and makes great food from donuts to burgers to pizza. If you’re a dog lover too, be sure to pick up a bag of Brew Bones, made with the spent grain from the brewing process.
Bethel Beverage Company
Okay, this one isn’t a brewery, but warrants inclusion for the amazing selection of Maine beer. Located right on Route 2, Bethel Beverage offers cans and bottles from around the state (and beyond). Plus, this is a great stop if your travel companions are more into wine than beer.
Coming to the area from a different direction?
If you’re not taking the Maine Turnpike to get to Sunday River, here are a few of our other favorite breweries along the way: