Fall in Maine is my absolute favorite time of year. The days are warm, the nights are crisp, and the foliage is breathtaking. I also love fall because it is the perfect time to visit one of the state’s over 80 breweries. I love pairing a fall festival with a stop at a brewery or two. This type of excursion makes the perfect day trip or weekend getaway. Here are a few of my favorite fall trips.
Portland, the state’s largest city, is without a doubt the hub of Maine’s brewing scene. The city boasts over a dozen breweries, serving every kind of beer imaginable. Stop by Gritty’s, located on historic Fore Street. Pull up a stool at their copper-topped bar or enjoy the view of bustling Wharf Street from their patio, and enjoy a pint of their robust, amber-hued Halloween Ale.
Head across the city to Rising Tide, one of the area’s newer breweries. Their tasting room is housed in a refurbished warehouse with bay doors that open to a large patio, where, along with plenty of seating, there is often a one of the city’s food trucks serving up delicious snacks.
Another great fall trip is driving scenic Route 1 to Mt. Desert Island. Fall is a great time for this trip — the summer crowds have subsided, foliage is at its peak, and the temperature is perfect for exploring Acadia National Park. When I am in the area I like to stop by Atlantic Brewing Company, for their Leaf-Peeping Ale. This seasonal ale is only available in the fall, so don’t miss out.
Plan your trip between Sept. 21-24 to take part in the Acadia Night Sky Festival. The area’s low light pollution makes it a perfect location for stargazing. The festival includes guided nighttime boat rides, photography workshops, and the featured event, the Cadillac Mountain Star Party.
If you are in the mood for something more pastoral, I recommend heading to Lovell, tucked away on Maine’s western border. There you will find Ebenezer’s Pub. This unassuming watering hole is a beer lover’s mecca with 35 taps, over 1,000 bottles, and is the world’s best beer bar, as rated by Beer Advocate.
After a beer at Ebenezer’s, head over to the Fryeburg Fair, which runs from Oct. 1-8. The fair has tons of amazing food, live performances, and events, with everything from a tractor pull to sheepdog trials.
In Midcoast, my favorite stop is Boothbay Craft Brewery. Constructed in 2009, the space is intimate and beautifully built in a post-and-beam style. Grab a beer, and head outside for a game of Bocce, or simply relax and mingle with the locals.
After visiting Boothbay Craft Brewery, head north and stop off in Damariscotta for the Pumpkinfest & Regatta Oct. 6-9. The main events include a pumpkin catapult, pumpkin derby, and of course, the pumpkin regatta, where participants board their giant pumpkins and race down the Damariscotta River.
No matter which area of the state you travel to, or which brewery you decide to visit, an afternoon spent enjoying a craft beer and visiting one of the state’s amazing and diverse fairs is the perfect fall experience.