How much craft beer is too much craft beer for Maine?

(BDN file photo by Carter F. McCall)

(BDN file photo by Carter F. McCall)

The good news for Maine beer aficionados? Most all experts agree the state hasn’t reached the bottom of the, ahem, barrel in terms of how many craft breweries its market can support.

Still, the ongoing explosion of craft brewing in Maine — the state hosted 35 such brewers in 2013 and is due to have as many as 58 by the end of this year — does beg some questions.

(BDN file photo by Kevin Bennett)

(BDN file photo by Kevin Bennett)

When will the market reach over-saturation?

Will any of the big international beer makers swoop in and try to take over any of Maine’s precious local brands, as they’ve done elsewhere?

And if Mainers are supporting more and more craft breweries every year, does that mean they’re drinking less of other beverages?

The Bangor Daily News’ business/economy writer Darren Fishell tapped into the craft beer scene for this centerpiece story, and he joined us for the latest edition of the Ink & Pine podcast, which I host alongside Cat Smith and Trent Gay of Maine Digital Press.

We asked Darren all the questions above and more, and he shared insights he gleaned from numerous interviews with craft brewers and industry leaders — even taking us behind the scenes of his centerpiece story to discuss some beer data and marketing strategies that didn’t make it into his final draft. Or should I say, “draught.”

Click here to reach the latest episode of Ink & Pine, as well as to search around for previous episodes. For other archived episodes, in which we talk to all sorts of interesting Portland area people and tackle a number of local issues, check out our iTunes page.

And of course, if you’re also into Portland’s vibrant music scene, check out Maine Digital Press’ flagship music show, Freezing Process, by clicking here.

Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.