If you’re a beer traveler, Portland, OR, ranks high on your must-see list. But have you been to Portland, ME, America’s other beer Mecca? This port city on Casco Bay turns out a dazzling range of craft-brewed beer.
Three Dollar Dewey’s takes its name from the prostitutes who followed gold miners to the Klondike.
Recently, I made Portland my base of operations for a sightseeing tour of Maine’s coast. The timing was perfect: most of the tourists had gone home, but the summer sun had decided to extend its stay in northern New England.
My first stop was the historic Old Port, the home of Three Dollar Dewey’s (241 Commercial St.), where Maine’s beer renaissance began. This was a dream come true for the famed beer researcher, Alan Eames, who’s traveled to the ends of the Earth in search of exotic brews. Eames’s pub, with a menu emphasizing British ales, opened for business in 1981. It’s been credited with educating a generation of drinkers about good beer.
Three Dollar Dewey’s takes its name from the prostitutes who followed gold miners to the Klondike, as legend has it, with a menu of services reading “$1 Lookie, $2 Feelie, $3 Dewey.” But the pub’s atmosphere is more reminiscent of Yorkshire than the Yukon. Armed with the Boston Globe (there’s a rack full of reading material on the wall) and a big bowl of popcorn, I sat at the bar and savored some Maine microbrew. Most of the three dozen draft choices are brewed in the region; there are also blackboard specials, along with the “Irish Blacklist” of combination drinks made with Guinness.