Joanna Sprague loves flowers and she has a flower show every March. Phin Sprague loves sail boats and he has a boat show every March as well. Their son, Mak, loves beer and was putting the final touches on his first annual Portland Beer Festival this afternoon. It’s to be held at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore Street, tomorrow and on Sunday; beginning at noon both days.
The first vendor to arrive this afternoon at the historic Portland waterfront site was Olde Burnside Brewery Co. of East Hartford, CT. “We’ve been trying to get into Maine for a long time and Mainely Bartenders (event caterer) has made it possible for us, said Matt Foley. Ten Penny Ale, the company’s signature ale, is “scottish” style. “We’ll be selling three different kinds of beer and there is plenty to go around!”
Sean Bailey, The Fat Friar Meade Company founder, (New Castle, ME.) explained that Maine law says that a farm winery (like his) can get only one license to host an event annually. As the caterer of the event that is what Mainely Bartenders, Camden based, has done for the many vendors – gotten them a license to be “presenters” at this event. It’s currently a one-line product, a mead honey wine, but Bailey hopes to add to the line in the coming months. “Mainers are very open to local products,” Bailey said.
Sprague, now living in Boston, said his responsibilities now are dealing with deadlines and problem solving. There is a move afoot for Governor LePage to change Maine laws so they are more business friendly toward events of this sort. “I support some changes of the laws. It is much more difficult to have a beer festival in Maine than in Massachusetts,” he said.
Sailor Kip Martin, passing through the area this afternoon, said: “It’s hard to have a bad time at a beer festival!” From Connecticut, he said that if the sailing doesn’t go well, he’ll be back for the beer!
Admission is $30. per session. 21+ age.
Please visit portlandbrewfestival.eventbrite.com