Hit the Trail

With a new digital Maine Beer Map and more breweries than ever, it's never been easier to explore the state pint by pint.

After trailing behind Vermont for years, this year Maine finally passed the Green Mountain State as the state with the most breweries per capita. With more than 150 brewery locations and 112 unique breweries spread out from Kittery to Fort Kent to Maine’s islands, there’s a lot of ground (and some water) to cover to visit them all.

Last year the Maine Brewers’ Guild, a trade association that represents the state’s breweries, transitioned its Maine Beer Trail from a paper map to an online tool that allows you to check off breweries as you visit them and plan your route, including filtering them by categories like family friendly or outdoor seating.

You can access the digital trail and create an account by visiting beertrail.me from your mobile device. Record your visit by looking for a Maine Beer Trail poster at the brewery with the four-digit code or ask a staff member for the brewery’s code.

If you submit your trail passport after visiting at least 25 breweries, you’ll receive a Maine Brewers’ Guild hat. Visiting 50 or more breweries will get you a T-shirt, and if you visit them all, you’ll receive a surprise prize package from the Guild. You can only submit your Maine Beer Trail once, so don’t submit too early if you’re aiming to visit them all.

We spoke with Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, about the trail and what’s new this year.

Why did you make the Maine Beer Trail digital last year?

Beer fans appreciate that they can check into breweries and don’t have to remember their paper Beer Trails. From our perspective, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to find Maine breweries, learn about them, and get rewarded for visiting. From an environmental perspective, it’s also reduced the impact of printing, shipping, and distributing so many paper brochures around the state. Also, the Portland-based web firm we had build the Maine Beer Trail web app is now adapting it to work with the Maine Aquaculture Association to create the Maine Oyster Trail, which launches in July.

What are the newest breweries on the trail?

Believe it or not, about 15 breweries have opened in the past year. Some of the most recent additions include Bath Ale Works in Wiscasset, Gordon’s Grog in Saint Albans, and Horn Run Brewing in Eastport.

How many people have visited all the breweries on the trail?

We get about 20 people per year who submit fully completed beer trails. So far, we have had three people already visit every brewery in Maine on the new digital trail app, and we’ve received one older paper trail that was completed this year. We also ship out hundreds of hats and T-shirts each year to beer fans who qualify for those rewards.

Do you have any favorite sections of the trail to visit?

There are breweries and locales all around the state I enjoy visiting— from quiet towns in downeast to the big rural expanses of the County and over into western Maine. For me, the beauty is in the fact that wherever I go in Maine, there’s a welcoming brewery full of locals and visitors ready to pour me a fresh beer.

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