Suds and Spirits
Join us Saturday mornings to taste both from the world of beer and craft-made spirits.
This tour will give you an in-depth look at the brewing and distilling process using both the oldest and newest equipment in the Portland industry. These set of stops will blow you away with their unique facilities and techniques.
Every Saturday 10:30am-1:45pm
Please arrive 15 minutes before your tour start time for check-in and to ensure a timely departure.
Pick-Up & Drop-Off Location
Old Port Spirits and Cigars, 79 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 04101
Snack – Vegetarian hand pie from Union Kitchen, 1 Union Wharf, Portland
New England Distilling // Battery Steele Brewing // Geary Brewing
The Suds and Spirits Tour visits three unique locations, mixing both beer and spirits for a veritable boilermaker of a tour!
For our first stop, we will be visiting New England Distilling. New England Distilling founder and head distiller Ned Wight (the company’s initials are NED — see what he did there?) was brought to Maine by Rob Tod, who hired Wight as his first employee at Allagash Brewing Company years ago. Wight comes from a family of whiskey makers and he brought their Maryland-style rye whiskey north. The company makes Maine’s first post-prohibition whiskey, Gunpowder Rye, as well as gin and barrel-aged rum.
Next up, we’ll stop by Battery Steele Brewing Company. Jake Condon and Shane Noble opened Battery Steele on a 10-barrel system in May 2017. They are located in a former carpet and casket warehouse in the same complex as two other breweries – and across the street from Allagash. Condon, who grew up in Presque Isle, was the general manager at Gritty’s in Portland. Noble, his partner, was previously the head brewer at Gritty’s in Freeport. After a decade of making and drinking English-style ales, Battery Steele now allows them to freedom to create modern takes on beer styles and flavors. In their early days, their popularity meant they would sell out of beer often and have to turn away thirsty fans. But after the expansion of their production capacity and their tasting room, people can enjoy their creations that fit in nicely with the neighborhood and the beer scene in the area.
Last but not least, we’ll visit Geary Brewing Company, New England’s oldest craft brewery which calls Portland home. See inside the space that kicked off Maine’s modern brewing revolution back in 1986. David Geary developed the local taste for British-style beers that helped revive America’s waning beer industry. Geary’s also has a nice tasting room to accommodate visitors to the decades-old facility. After 30 years of a family run operation, Geary’s was bought by another set of local family business owners, Robin and Alan Lapoint. The Lapoints have been manufacturing filtration products for over 25 years in Maine serving many parts of the Beverage Industry. Taking this know-how and combining it with their knowledge of Geary’s, a customer of theirs, the new ownership acts to preserve and steward New England’s First Craft Brewery. This change has brought the addition of producing different styles of beer including lagers and IPAs, some of which you’ll have the opportunity to sample during the visit.
Finally, we’ll drop you back off at Old Port Spirits and Cigars to purchase some more bottles and cans before you continue your exploration of lively downtown Portland.
Please note that tour stops may change without notice due to events and availability of staff at each venue.