In a world that's always evolving, some things manage to get even better with age. Case in point: the craft beer scene in Maine, which is raising a glass to celebrate a whopping four decades of delicious brews and good times. And to celebrate, DownEast Magazine is on a mission to uncover the top dog of Maine's craft beer scene, and guess what? Us Mainers are the ones who get to decide.

Large group of friends having fun and drinking beer at a restaurant
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It was in October of 1983 when the very first beacon of craft beer light, D.L. Geary Brewing Company in Portland, set up shop in our Pine Tree State. Can you believe it, though? There were merely only a handful of these microbreweries scattered across the nation back then. Now, Maine has become a vibrant hub for both craft beer breweries and enthusiasts. And the beer scene in the state is continually thriving, displaying no indications of a slowdown in the near future.

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Alright, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. DownEast Magazine has paved the way with a selection of 16 beer categories to be voted upon. These 16 categories are: 

  • New England IPAs
  • Other IPAs
  • Pale Ales, Stouts
  • Belgian-style Ales
  • Pilsners
  • Other Lagers and European Styles
  • Sours and Wild Ales
  • Any Style: Best Seasonal Beer
  • Any Style: Best Boat Beer
  • Any Style: Best Fireplace Beer
  • Any Style: Best NA Beer
  • Can/label Art
  • Taproom Vibe
  • Taproom Food
  • Beer Garden
Glass of beer
Peter Kim

So, whether you're an IPA devotee or a stout enthusiast, there's something for everyone. The choices are as diverse as the array of flavors in your favorite six-pack. 

Personally, I've got a soft spot for Sours. There's something about that tangy, unexpected burst of flavor that simply tickles my taste buds. However, nostalgia tugs at my heartstrings and compels me to let loose my inner broke college kid, muttering those timeless words: "The best beer is a free beer." Let's face it, some things never change.

There you have it, an invitation to raise your glasses, cast your votes, and be a part of history in the making. Cheers to 40 years, and here's to countless more!

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