In Portland, Maine Definitive Brewing is a must visit destination in a magical place called Industry Way.
Hey everyone, been a while hasn’t it? It’s been a busy two months for me, and if you want to check out what I’ve been up to you can find all that information on my website! I recently took a road trip all the way to Canada and back, and I have quite a few stories to share. Definitive Brewing in Portland, Maine was probably one of the coolest places I visited, and definitely (or should I say definitively?) an experience worth sharing. While I was there, I got to speak with founder Dylan Webber about the brewery and gained some interesting insights about the craft beer scene on Industry Way.
Definitive makes some delicious crushable, low ABV beers!
Dylan had been interested in craft beer since he discovered Stone Brewing’s Ruination in college, and his love for the craft only grew deeper as he discovered local breweries. In our correspondence he cited Main Beer Company in particular as inspiration, where he eventually worked to gain industry experience. While opening a brewery of his own hasn’t been easy, Dylan mentioned how fortunate he was to have found a location among such great breweries, and says the experience has been relatively painless. Believe it or not, Definitive has yet to celebrate their first anniversary in Industry Way! As of writing this article they have been open for about half a year, and have a lot of great things planned for the future.
Definitive is one of several breweries (five, if memory serves me correctly) within a two block radius on Industry Way. This includes the renowned Allagash, who makes some delicious sour beers, so if you’re a visiting craft beer fan be sure to do a little brewery-crawl and hit up all these places! Don’t think this means there’s a lot of competition though – I’d hazard a guess if you’re going to one brewery, you’re going to them all like I did. The craft brewery scene has always been more about collaboration than competition either way. “I’m friends with people at every brewery on that street,” Dylan told me. “Everyone is always willing to help each other out, and when you can walk a couple hundred feet to help someone else out or ask for some help, that is pretty special.”
Dylan pours a taste of a new coconut milk stout!
Since I was visiting all of the breweries on Industry Way, I unfortunately had to limit myself to some of the lightest beers at each place. That isn’t to say, however, that I was disappointed with the beers at Definitive. I thoroughly enjoyed the crisp herbal and light tea flavors of Vlontee, a Kolsch that was brewed in collaboration with Threes Brewing from Brooklyn. I also got to sample a delicious stout called Baby Steps, which released just a few days later. This toasted coconut milk stout was super rich, with a ton of decadent coconut and cocoa flavors. Definitive recently purchased an additional 15 barrel fermentation vessel which is dedicated exclusively to more beers like Baby Steps, so if you’re a fan of darker beers I’d definitely keep an eye on Definitive! According to Dylan, maple syrup, cinnamon and coffee are among the adjuncts you can expect in the future.
Dylan enjoys a drink after a hard day’s work!
As founder and Director of Brewing Operations, Dylan is involved with basically everything that goes on in the brewery. When I visited it happened to be Labor Day, and Dylan was adding hops to an IPA that was in the works to cover for people taking the holiday. Shortly after my visit, he left as part of a Maine Brewers’ Guild event that brought local breweries to Leeds International Beer Festival. The life of a brewer is never quiet it seems!
While my visit was a lot more brief than I would’ve liked, I had a great time at Definitive. The space was open and inviting, the beers were thirst-quenching and delicious, and I hope to make a return visit some day. I came home from my trip with a couple beers and had those on a recent Hop Talk episode – it was good to be able to try some IPAs since I didn’t have them at the brewery. Stay tuned to hear about another place I visited on my road trip!