Any reason is a good one to get up to my former hometown of Portland, Maine, but here's extra incentive for Labor Day weekend: the first Portland Brew Festival, happening Sept. 3-4 near the city's Old Port district. More than 25 brewers are slated to bring at least 75 ales and lagers to the two-day event at the Portland Company complex on Fore Street. Tickets to the three sessions are on sale here for $30 apiece. The full release put out this morning by festival organizers is below.
September 3-4 Event to Spotlight Regional Beers and Highlight Home Brewing
Designed for ale aficionados and brew neophytes alike, the festival is designed to embrace the brewing community and give beer devotees the opportunity to discover both high-profile and up-and-coming regional craft beers.
"The response to a festival that showcases an array of craft beer producers from all over
More than 25 beer producers including Sam Adams and High and Mighty (Massachusetts); Switchback Brewing and Woodchuck Cider (Vermont); and Prodigal Brewing and Tuckerman's Brewing (New Hampshire) have already committed to the festival along with Shipyard, Baxter Brewing, Seadog, Casco Bay Brewing and Fatty Bampkins cider (Maine). Additions are being made regularly, and Sprague plans to have more than 25 total brewers on site.
In addition to commercial brewing operations, Sprague has invited a number of respected home brewing clubs and retailers to be at the show to introduce attendees to the increasingly popular hobby of home brewing. Sprague will join in the fun by displaying in the homebrew area the impressive tractor-powered cidering equipment he built with his father.
"Home brewing is growing by leaps and bounds, and we will give festival attendees access to the knowledgeable suppliers who can help them get started with confidence," Sprague explained. "As a novice homebrewer myself, I'm looking forward to tapping into the expertise we'll offer at the festival."
The event will feature traditional scheduled sessions, each with a limited admission that will allow guests the time and space to peruse the purveyors, interact with the experts, and hone their tasting techniques. The sessions are scheduled for September 3, 12-3:30 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.; and September 4, 12-3:30 p.m. Local food vendors also will be on hand to add to the event's appeal.
The inaugural festival promises to be a one-of-a-kind beer experience, and tickets, on sale now for $30 each at www.portlandbrewfestival.eventbrite.com, are expected to sell out well before the event. Event sponsors include Maine Today Media, Sail Maine and BeerME.