Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Portland Beer Week!

After two months of gluten-free eating, I can scarcely express how excited I was just to toss myself into a chair at our local watering hole on a Friday night and enjoy a beer.  Nirvana.

While my local watering hole these days is far from Portland, Maine, I’m no less enthusiastic for you lucky ducks who have a chance to experience Portland Beer Week – a mere six (yes, 6) days away!  2015 marks the 4th annual event, which runs from Sunday, November 1st – Saturday, November 7th.

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Portland Beer Week is more than just a celebration of the high quality beer being brewed in Maine, it is a celebration of all things related to beer – from the beverage itself, to the glass, to the bar.  With this in mind, I particularly appreciate the “Superlatives” contest being introduced this year, where beer and bar lovers can cast their votes on everything from the ‘Surliest Delivery Driver’ to the ‘Best Beer Blogger.’ (Carla gets my vote! Check her out @beerbabe on twitter)

The participant and event lists are looooong, which is great news for people like me, who like variety.  There are so, so many interesting events, and you can check them all out here, but those that I’d love most to attend are listed here (I’ll only hate you a little if you go… and please send pics and reviews):

  • Local 188 & Bunker Brewing Tap Takeover:  all week while supplies last
  • Rising Tide Tap Takeover at The Great Lost Bear: Sunday, 11/1 at 5pm – a must do!
  • Cider Night at The Thirsty Pig: Tuesday, 11/3 at 4pm – I enjoy a good cider nearly as much as a good brew!
  • Free Introduction to Home Brewing Class at Maine Brewing Supply: Wednesday, 11/4
  • Shipyard Beer Dinner at new restaurant 953 Congress Street: Monday, 11/2 at 6:30pm (ticketed event – limited space)
  • Allagash Mega Bash at The Great Lost Bear: Friday, 11/6 at 5pm – two Maine powerhouses come together!
Enjoying a Maine craft brew - Allagash White - while supporting my Pats... and prepping for a cookout!

Old shot: Enjoying a Maine craft brew – Allagash White – while supporting my Pats… and prepping for a cookout!

Those are just my top picks – there are many incredible options… and you can tell things get especially “thirsty” on Thursday.  Attend one or many, but get out and about and enjoy this booming part of the local economy!

Bottoms up! #207beerweek

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Beer ME – at Portland Beer Week

Portland Beer Week, a week-long series of events celebrating (and organized by) Maine’s craft beer industry and providing both education and appreciation opportunities, kicked off yesterday and runs through this Friday, November 7th.  My misfortune is that my next visit to Maine is next week – but for the rest of you, there’s no excuse for missing out on this opportunity to enjoy a good brew and support those local businesses that are the backbone of the great state of Maine.  On a playful note, this year, the local breweries are crafting specialty beers in honor of Bill Murray – see more at this link for Bill Murray Beer Week.

Nationally, craft brewing has exploded over the last several years.  Virtually all states and citizens have capitalized on and benefited from this trend and the increase in quality beer options, although some certainly more than others.  The entrepreneurial, artistic climate in Maine naturally lends itself to take advantage of this momentum, and there is no question that this boom has been a boon to Maine breweries.

Cheers! From In'finiti Fermentation

Cheers! From In’finiti Fermentation

Although the big craft beer movement is recent, when I think of craft beer in Maine, I’m taken more than 20 years back in time, to visits to Gritty McDuff’s as a little girl (where, not to worry, my dad might have enjoyed a brew or two, but I did not).  Gritty’s was founded in 1988 and their long tenure in Portland and expansion to Freeport and Auburn locations is representative of the history of Maine craft beer.  Other breweries come to mind, too, like Sebago Brewing (founded 1998) and the well-known Allagash (founded 1995).  I’m sure a Maine beer expert could name a number of other older breweries, as well.  Whether they are old (mature?) and storied or new and unique, Maine’s craft breweries offer something for everyone and are sure to satisfy.  Get out there and enjoy!

(please drink responsibly)