PORTLAND, Maine – June 4, 2013 – Plans for the third annual Portland Brew Festival (www.portlandbrewfestival.com) have been announced, and the popular event continues to provide beer enthusiasts a top-notch brew experience. Owner and producer Mak Sprague says that the 2013 event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, August 30 and 31, and will feature more than 35 brewers, 95-plus brew products, and an expanded array of activities and demonstrations. The event returns to Portland Company Complex at 58 Fore Street in Portland.
"We continue to listen to beer enthusiasts and respond to the insights they want to gain at a brew festival," said Sprague. "It's about more than tasting; it's about learning about the craft and enjoyment of beer, and we are excited about the new offerings this year."
As always, the festival will spotlight established and up-and-coming breweries throughout New England along with regional ciders and meads and home brewing demonstrations and equipment. Local favorites Gritty McDuff’s, Allagash, Baxter and Rising Tide have already signed on alongside regional standouts Clown Shoes from Massachusetts, Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery and Tuckerman Brewing from New Hampshire, and Long Trail and White Birch from Vermont. Additions to this year's lineup are being made regularly.
Each year, Sprague has expanded the scope of the festival beyond tastings, and this year is no different. The Maine Brewers Guild will host a food/beer pairing fundraiser on Saturday. At noon, several brewers from prominent Maine brands will be on hand to pair rare beers with complementary foods. Attendees will then be the first in line for the afternoon session of the Brew Fest. A portion of the proceeds from the event will support the Guild's regulatory and educational activities.
In addition, this year's beer-centric activities will include a Saturday afternoon presentation by NERAX on "The Care and Serving Of Cask Ale," that will appeal to professionals and aficionados alike. Presenters Shahin Khojastehzad from Novare Res and Jan Williams and Mark Bowers from NERAX will tap and serve a sampling of beers.
A special Brew Festival batch also is in the works with more details to be announced soon.
Every attendee will receive a signature tasting glass with the Portland Brew Festival logo and have the opportunity to purchase additional glasses along with T-shirts, posters and other festival-branded merchandise. Also new this year, Designated Driver/No Alcohol tickets will be available for just $5 each. These attendees will not get drink tickets or a sampling glass but can take advantage of the demonstrations and presentations.
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 first session is scheduled for Friday, August 30, 5:30-9 p.m., a fantastic way to kick off Labor Day weekend. Additional sessions are scheduled for Saturday, August 31, from 12-4 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. An expanded array of local food vendors also will be on hand to add to the event's appeal.
In addition to commercial brewing operations, Sprague has invited home brewing clubs and retailers to be at the show to introduce attendees to the increasingly popular hobby of home brewing. Sprague will once again display the impressive tractor-powered cidering equipment he built with his father.
This year, festival organizers and attendees will have the chance to help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Maine Island Trail. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) is a membership organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the wild islands of coastal Maine. MITA will be holding paddling and sailboat demonstrations, a beach cleanup, and educational events on Saturday on the seawall next to the Brew Fest buildings. The MITA event will culminate with a light dinner and awards ceremony for members on Saturday evening with plenty of time to attend to the evening session of the Portland Brew Festival. Tickets to the dinner will require reservation. Visit MITA.org for more details.