With over 80 breweries spread out across the state of Maine, the booming craft beer scene is a big reason to visit Vacationland. Tasting rooms and brew pubs welcome visitors of all types from ardent beer geeks to families and couples looking for a spot to hang out for the afternoon. Here are three Kennebunk-area breweries — an old favorite and two relative newcomers — within a short drive of our boutique hotel Captain Fairfield Inn:
Located in Kennebunk's Lower Village, "Feds," as it's known to locals, is the original home of Shipyard beer, one of Maine's first craft breweries. While the larger Shipyard facility has moved to Portland, brewers still produce Export, Fuggles IPA, and Old Thumper ESB on site for the brewpub. The restaurant offers a full menu with something for everyone, while pool tables and games in the back room are great for a rainy afternoon.
In nearby Biddeford, the town's empty textile mills are undergoing a revitalization as artists and makers move into the empty warehouse spaces. One such business, Banded Horn, made the move in 2013 and provided a much-needed space for the community to relax, enjoy a beer, and a game of table tennis. Year round styles include the hoppy Veridian IPA and the flavorful Pepperell Pilsner.
If your trip doesn't include a pilgrimage to Freeport's much sought-after Maine Beer Company, consider a stop at Hidden Cove in Wells, where the former head of MBC now works. Hop-forward IPAs are the focus here, as well as seasonal ales brewed with unusual ingredients like jalapeños and hibiscus then aged in used tequila barrels. Visit the tap room Friday through Sunday.