When you think of Bangor, Maine, the first things that might come to mind are its rich history, the iconic Paul Bunyan statue, or perhaps its famous resident, author Stephen King. But there’s another aspect of Bangor that’s been quietly bubbling up, creating a buzz among locals and visitors alike: its vibrant bar and brewery scene. From craft beer enthusiasts to casual pub-goers, Bangor offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all tastes. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this city’s bar and brewery scene so unforgettable.

A Brief History of Brewing in Bangor

While the craft beer boom in Bangor is a relatively recent phenomenon, the city’s brewing history dates back to the 19th century. Bangor was once home to several breweries, with the first one established in 1854. However, the onset of Prohibition in the 1920s brought an end to this era. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that brewing made a comeback in Bangor, with the opening of small craft breweries and brewpubs.

The Craft Beer Revolution

The craft beer revolution in Bangor began in earnest in the 1990s, with the opening of breweries like Sea Dog Brewing Company and Geaghan’s Pub & Brewery. These pioneers paved the way for a new generation of brewers, who are pushing the boundaries of beer-making with innovative techniques and unique flavor profiles. Today, Bangor boasts several craft breweries, each with its own distinct style and offerings.

Sea Dog Brewing Company

One of the oldest craft breweries in Bangor, Sea Dog Brewing Company is known for its traditional English-style ales. Their flagship brew, the Sea Dog Blue Paw, is a wheat ale brewed with fresh Maine wild blueberries. The brewery also offers a variety of seasonal and specialty beers, as well as a full food menu at their riverfront brewpub.

Geaghan’s Pub & Brewery

Geaghan’s is a family-owned establishment that has been serving the Bangor community since 1975. They began brewing their own beer in 2011, and have since gained a reputation for their high-quality ales and lagers. Their Smiling Irish Bastard, an American-style IPA, is a local favorite.

The Rise of Taprooms and Beer Bars

Alongside the growth of craft breweries, Bangor has also seen a surge in taprooms and beer bars. These establishments offer a wide selection of local, national, and international beers, providing a platform for Bangor’s breweries to showcase their creations and for beer lovers to discover new favorites.

Nocturnem Draft Haus

Nocturnem Draft Haus is a premier beer bar in downtown Bangor, offering a rotating selection of craft beers on tap and in bottles. They also host regular events, including tap takeovers, beer dinners, and trivia nights.

Mason’s Brewing Company

Mason’s Brewing Company is a craft brewery and taproom located on the Bangor waterfront. They specialize in West Coast-style ales and lagers, and their taproom features a spacious outdoor patio with stunning views of the Penobscot River.

Beer Festivals and Events

Bangor’s beer scene is not just about the breweries and bars. The city also hosts several beer festivals and events throughout the year, providing opportunities for the community to come together and celebrate their love for beer.

Bangor’s Beer Festival: Tap Into Summer

This annual event kicks off the summer season with a selection of beers from over 25 Maine breweries. In addition to beer tasting, the festival also features live music, food vendors, and games.

Bangor On Tap

Bangor On Tap is a winter beer festival that offers attendees the chance to sample over 100 craft beers from across the country. The event also includes live music and a variety of food options.

In conclusion, Bangor’s bar and brewery scene is a testament to the city’s passion for beer. Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or a casual drinker, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and growing community. So the next time you’re in Bangor, make sure to raise a glass to this city’s brewing heritage and exciting future.

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