If you thought that the 2,150 percent figure was high, try this one on for size: in the same time frame, the number of breweries in Maine increased 3,200 percent. That puts the state at the nation's third highest in per capita breweries.
Maine's population is a little over 1.3 million, and there are 99 registered brewery establishments in the state. Some quick calculations reveal that that's one brewery for every 13,428 people. Only Vermont and Montana have more places brewing beer for each resident.
As recently as 2011, the ratio in Maine was one brewery for every 27,107 people, indicating a very quick doubling in the number of breweries per capita. In fact, much of the state's growth in brewery numbers has occurred since 2009, when there were just 42 active brewery permits in the state. That's also the year when overall interest in craft brewing began exploding nationwide.
Most of Maine's craft beer production is concentrated along the coast. Portland, the state’s largest city, has a population of 67,000 people and is home to 17 microbreweries. That comes to 25.5 microbreweries for every 100,000 people (or one brewery for every 3,941 man, woman and child).
On that scale, Portland pulls ahead of every other city in the United States. Boulder, Colorado, has 21.9 microbreweries per 100,000 people. Asheville, North Carolina, has 21.6. Portland, Oregon, famous for its craft beer scene, only appears at the number six position on the list, with just 11.0 microbreweries per 100,000 residents. Portland, Maine, it seems, is a microbrewery powerhouse.
Just a short drive up the coast from Portland is the small harbor city of Rockland, in Maine’s Midcoast region. Rockland is famous for lobster, summer recreation, and a vibrant arts culture, but thanks to Rock Harbor Brewing Company, the city is also making a mark on Maine's microbrewery scene.
The restaurant portion of Rock Harbor opened on Main Street in 2011, right in the midst of Maine's brewery boom. It should come as no surprise, then, that the restaurant's fresh, local food and small-town pride soon inspired the addition of a brewery. Rock Harbor Brewing Company began production in 2013.
Five to ten original beers are on tap at any given time at Rock Harbor, with choices including Twin Screw Pale Ale, Storm Surge IPA, Breakwater Wheat, and Spruce Head Stout. Flights are available if you want to sample a few before setting in to a few full pints. The restaurant serves a locally-sourced, seasonal menu that includes delicious Maine lobster, along with burgers, salads, sandwiches and pub favorites. Make point of stopping at Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery on your next visit to Maine's coast.