The Beast of the yEast
Check out the wide variety of alcoholic beverages that East Bayside has to offer.
Yeast lives everywhere, but it congregates heavily in certain favorable environments: The skin of fruit, the pores of wood, and the industrial zone of Portland’s East Bayside. Thanks to the many yeast-based businesses now housed in the area, the neighborhood is being revitalized, and has earned itself the nickname “yEast Bayside.”
Saturdays 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Please arrive 15 minutes before tour start time for check-in and to ensure a timely departure.
Pick-Up & Drop-Off Location
Old Port Spirits and Cigars, 79 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101
Savory Hand Pie from Ten Ten Pie (171 Cumberland Avenue, Portland)
Rising Tide // Hardshore Distilling // Maine Mead Works
For our first stop, we will be visiting Rising Tide Brewing Co. The name of Rising Tide Brewing Company, inspired by the famous quote, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” encapsulates the collaborative spirit of the craft beer industry. This husband and wife owned brewery was founded near Allagash in 2010, and moved to the now-bustling East Bayside neighborhood in 2012. They have experienced tremendous growth with the popularity of their core beers like Zephyr and Maine Island Trail Ale. After remodeling and expanding their tasting room, they saw on-site revenue increase by 50 percent. They have expanded yet again, now with a dedicated space for experimental beers brewed with wild yeast and souring bacteria, more space in their existing 5,500 square foot production floor, and an area for private events in a community room.
Next up, we’ll visit Hardshore Distilling. Established in 2016, this distillery founded by former New York finance manager Jordan Milne produces high-quality gins, including seasonal and special editions. The distillery is currently focused on producing Hardshore Original Gin, its flagship product. The unique recipe was developed over a period of four years and includes locally grown fresh rosemary and mint, which are unconventional in gin. Recently they were honored as the Best Craft Gin Distillery in 2017 in a nationwide competition sponsored by USA Today.
Last but not least, we stop at Maine Mead Works. Founded in 2007 by Ben Alexander, Maine Mead Works strives to reintroduce the world to the oldest of all fermented beverages: a wine made from honey called mead. In collaboration with South African scholar Dr. Garth Cambray, they developed a state-of-the-art continuous fermentation system, bringing mead making into the 21st century. While traditional mead is often heavy and syrupy, you’ll be pleased to find that the team at Maine Mead Works has developed a light, dry, modern take on the formula. Learn about the secret of their success and taste their extensive list of variations, including some invigorating sparkling Ram Island mead blends.
As our whirlwind tour comes to an end, we’ll drop you back off at Old Port Spirits, where you can purchase some beer for later and is an excellent location to continue your exploration of lively downtown Portland.
Please note that tour venues and details may change without notice due to unforeseen circumstances.