An extraordinary number of micro-breweries now cover the state, offering lots of tours, tastings and very fine beers. Some — like Geaghan’s Pub in Bangor — sell their brews only at their restaurant. Others distribute their beers in barrels for pubs and bars, and the larger breweries bottle their beer and ship it all over the country.

I’ve always been partial to Shipyard, which actually brews and bottles a wide range of beers including the Sea Dog brand. The Shipyard Brewery in Portland offers a really good tour Monday through Saturday, on the hour, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. These tours include a 5- minute video, tastings of up to a dozen of their beers and a look at the production line. It’s a 30-minute indulgence. And you can bring the little ones, too, because they’ll be served tastings of Captain Eli’s sodas. Root beer is my favorite. On Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., by reservation only, you can enjoy a more extensive tour of the brewery.

The Shipyard store at the brewery is amazing, offering everything you might wear, drink from, play with, sit on and more — all with the Shipyard logo. I also love the signs they sell, favorites being “Beer now cheaper than gas” and “Beauty lies in the eye of the beerholder.” Alas, Linda hasn’t let me put those signs up in the house. At least not yet.

I’m hoping to convince Linda that we should participate in a “Maine Brewing Vacation” this winter. At Federal Jack’s, a brewery and restaurant in Kennebunk and the birthplace of Shipyard, these three day events run from Tuesday to Thursday and Wednesday to Friday, January through May, and include two nights at the King’s Port Inn in Kennebunk, a welcome reception and dinner, two lunches, lots of product sampling and a full day working with the brewers in the brewery. Awesome! — George

If You Go

Shipyard Brewery and Store

86 Newbury St., Portland


Parking available on site.


Federal Jack’s Brewing Vacations

Call 1-800-brew-ale.


Maine Brewers Guild

The site includes a Maine Beer Trail map and information. Hit the trail!

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