Portland’s growing craft beer scene has a new title to add to its portfolio of national recognition.

Portland ranks No. 1 with the most breweries per 50,000 people in the United States, according to C+R Research, an analytical firm based in Chicago. The city claimed the top spot with 18 breweries per 50,000 people and narrowly surpassed second-ranked Asheville, North Carolina – host to 17 breweries per 50,000 people. For craft brew experts, the ranking is exciting, yet unsurprising in the wake of the growing beer presence in Maine.

Accolades for Maine beer are not an unusual. In April, Novare Res Bier Café, a beer bar in the Old Port, was named the best beer bar in New England by USA Today. Portland has been named within the top three cities for beer drinkers by SmartAsset since its first study in 2015. And its robust craft brew options got a shout-out in Bon Appetit’s feature naming Portland the restaurant city of the year last year.

C+R Research’s ranking highlights Maine’s growing craft beer industry. Following Portland breweries’ record number of visitors last summer, the Maine Brewers’ Guild, a nonprofit that promotes craft beer in Maine, expects another record this summer.

Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, says that summer tourists and Portland’s nationally recognized restaurant scene are pillars to the brewers’ success.

Sullivan also believes the community that brewers have formed through social media and networking events is a key element to young breweries’ success.

“The community of brewers is an example of Maine community spirit. The folks who have been doing it the longest are so supportive of the newer generation of brewers,” Sullivan said.

The Maine Brewers’ Guild plans to continue the momentum surrounding Portland’s beer scene this summer by updating the Maine beer trail and organizing events such as the upcoming Maine Brewers’ Guild Summer Beer Festival on July 27.


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