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Seasonal Brews: What to Drink in Portland Throughout the Year

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Portland, Maine, with its dynamic craft beer scene, offers a delightful array of seasonal brews that capture the essence of each season. From refreshing summer ales to hearty winter stouts, Portland’s breweries craft beers that reflect the changing moods and flavors of the year.

In this article, we’ll guide you through what to drink in Portland throughout the year, highlighting seasonal favorites that are perfect for every occasion.

Spring: Fresh and Floral

Springtime in Portland, Maine, is a season of renewal and vibrancy, and Portland’s breweries capture this spirit with their seasonal offerings. As the landscape awakens from its winter slumber, so too does the local beer scene with a fresh array of brews that embody the essence of spring.

These beers, characterized by light, floral, and citrusy notes, perfectly complement the blossoming flowers and warmer temperatures. Let’s explore some standout spring ales that epitomize the freshness and rejuvenation of the season.

Spring Ale – Rising Tide Brewing Company

As the snow melts and flowers begin to bloom, Rising Tide Brewing Company’s Spring Ale is a perfect choice. This light and refreshing beer features floral and citrus notes, with a slight malt sweetness that complements the season’s fresh beginnings. Its crisp finish makes it an ideal brew to enjoy as you welcome the warmer weather.

Sprung – Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company

Sprung, a seasonal offering from Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company, is a pale ale brewed with a blend of malts and hops that create a balanced and slightly sweet flavor profile. The addition of honey gives it a unique touch, making it a delightful choice for springtime sipping.

Summer brewery: Bright and Refreshing

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, Portland’s breweries shift their focus to creating beers that are bright, refreshing, and perfect for summer enjoyment. These brews are designed to quench your thirst and enhance your summer experiences, whether you’re relaxing on a beach, having a backyard barbecue, or simply enjoying the sun.

With lighter bodies and crisp finishes, these summer beers are crafted to keep you cool and satisfied. Here are some of the best summer brews to savor during the warmest months in Portland.

Summer Ale – Shipyard Brewing Company

Shipyard Brewing Company’s Summer Ale, unlike  Trappist Ales, is a classic choice for the hot summer months. This American Wheat Ale is light and crisp, with hints of citrus and a smooth finish. It’s perfect for enjoying at a beach picnic or a backyard barbecue.

Trail Ale – The Rising Tide Brewing Company

Maine Island Trail Ale, a summer seasonal from Rising Tide Brewing Company, is a session IPA that combines low alcohol content with high flavor. With notes of tropical fruits and a balanced bitterness, it’s a refreshing and easy-drinking beer for those long summer days.

Fall: Warm and Spiced

As the leaves turn vibrant shades of red and orange and the air becomes crisp, Portland’s breweries embrace the flavors and aromas that evoke the essence of autumn. Fall beers are often richer and more robust, featuring warm spices and hearty malt profiles that provide comfort during cooler days. Here are some top choices to enjoy during the fall season in Portland.

Pumpkinhead – Shipyard Brewing Company

As the leaves turn and the air gets cooler, Shipyard Brewing Company’s Pumpkinhead becomes a seasonal favorite. This pumpkin ale is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, creating a warm and inviting flavor that captures the essence of autumn.

Autumn Ale – Sebago Brewing Company

Sebago Brewing Company’s Autumn Ale is a rich and malty brew with a deep amber color. Its toasty malt character is balanced by a subtle hop bitterness, making it a perfect choice for enjoying the crisp fall evenings.

Winter: Dark and Robust

When the chill of winter settles over Portland, Maine, the city’s breweries craft dark, robust beers that provide warmth and comfort during the cold months. These winter brews, often rich and full-bodied, are perfect for savoring by a roaring fire or enjoying at holiday gatherings.

With flavors ranging from chocolate and coffee to spices and dark fruits, these beers embody the essence of winter indulgence. Here are some top picks to warm you up this season in Portland.

Allagash Black – Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Black, a Belgian-style stout from Allagash Brewing Company, is a winter staple in Portland. This dark and complex beer features notes of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit, with a smooth, velvety mouthfeel. It’s an excellent choice for cozying up by the fire on a cold winter night.

Fluffy – Orono Brewing Company

Fluffy, a winter seasonal from Orono Brewing Company, is an Imperial Stout with a rich and creamy texture. Brewed with vanilla and cocoa, it offers a decadent and warming experience, perfect for those chilly evenings.

Special Releases: Celebrating the Seasons

Many Portland breweries also produce special releases and limited-edition beers that are eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors alike. These brews often coincide with holidays, local festivals, or significant events, adding an extra layer of excitement to the city’s beer culture.

Prelude Special Ale – Shipyard Brewing Company

Prelude Special Ale is Shipyard Brewing Company’s holiday seasonal, released in late fall and perfect for the winter season. This English-style ale is rich and full-bodied, with a robust malt character and a hint of sweetness, making it a festive addition to holiday celebrations.

Mott the Lesser – Tributary Brewing Company

Mott the Lesser, a limited-release beer from Tributary Brewing Company, is a highly sought-after brew that varies with each release. Often featuring bold flavors and high ABV, it’s a special treat for beer enthusiasts who can get their hands on it.


Portland, Maine’s breweries offer a spectacular array of seasonal beers that perfectly capture the essence of each time of year. From the light and floral spring ales to the dark and robust winter stouts, there’s always something new and exciting to enjoy.

These seasonal brews not only reflect the creativity and skill of Portland’s brewers but also enhance the experience of living in or visiting this vibrant city. So, no matter the season, there’s a perfect Portland beer waiting for you to savor and celebrate the unique flavors of each time of year. Cheers to the seasonal delights of Portland’s craft beer scene!

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.