By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,208 )
With Casco Bay sparkling her prettiest in the background, a thousand or more beer aficionados gathered on the waterfront this afternoon between 12:30 and 4:00 pm. They came from all over the northeast for the opportunity to sample beers in an unique and low key environment. The second annual Brew Festival was held at the historic Portland Co. at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. It began Friday night and will end this evening at 10 pm.
Mak Sprague, organizer of the event, has traveled to many beer festivals along the east coast in the past few years. From these experiences, he incorporated the best of them into a Labor Day event that is certain to become an end of the summer tradition at the historic site. This year Sprague introduced a customized 2 oz. sampling glass which will serve as a reminder of the happy event all year long; an improvement over last year’s temporary sampling glass.
Many of the guests at the historic # 5 building at Portland Co. were from outside Maine. Three happy dudes were: Kevin Glover, N.H.: “It’s a very wonderful day. It involves my favorite things – beer and Maine.” His favorite beer is Harpon IPA. Coming with Glover were Michael Lynch, N.H. “I love it – anytime I can get beer and dudes together – it’s to die for. I will be back. I don’t feel crowded here.” Danian Cushman, VT said: “It’s a great variety of beers here. Of course I’ll be back next year!”
Kayla McKinnon and Matt Small, who recently moved here, found out about the event on-line. “We both are beer lovers.” Kayla attends UNE. Another attractive couple was Linda Kennedy and Drew Irvine, N.H. Said Kennedy: I’m not a big beer lover, but I like mead. I’ve had all five meads here!” Irvine said he discovered Pig’s Ear Ale at the Festival and that is now his favorite. He described it as “hoppy and sweet.” The happy couple are staying over night in Portland returning home on Sunday.
MHN.com found herself partial to a blueberry/pear cider made by Crispin Cider Company, of Colfax, Ca. Kayla Afonso, area sales manager, said it is new in the area and can be purchased at Whole Foods and Geary’s Package Store. KaylaAfonso@CrispinCider.com
Leaving the Festival an hour later, MHN.com met Diane and Jimmy Stilian and Paul MacDonald, N.H., who attend four or five such festivals a year. Part of the reason is to do researach for a beer blog that Jimmy is starting soon. “This is larger than last year. We enjoyed it,” said Jimmy.
Please see pervious Post for more background information on the Brew Festival.