This weekend, Luke and I manned the Maine Beer Writers’ Guild table for both sessions of the 2009 Maine Brewer’s Festival. The changes made over the last couple years (moving back the time of the 2nd session, bringing in different brewers, and even subtle layout changes) have made a huge difference, making the fest significantly more enjoyable than the last one I worked.
The Maine Brewers Festival is billed as a celebration of the quality and community of Maine’s craft brewers. Although a couple breweries (Marshall Wharf, Freeport Brewing, and a handful of others) were absent, the dozen brewers that did attend provided a great cross-section of beer available in Maine. Be it British, Belgian or American-style ale, there was something for everyone at this year’s Brewers Festival.
– Our friends over at Maine Beer Company had a great showing, serving up their flagship Spring Peeper Ale. The brewery hustled to get 8 kegs of their usually bottled American Pale Ale ready in time for the festival, and ran through their beer for each session well before last call.
– Sebago Brewing, one of my favorite Maine breweries (and, in my opinion, one of the most underrated), served up a few special brews along with their regular lineup. Two of the best beers of the show were these special one-offs; a batch of their winter seasonal Slick Nick aged on oak chips, and a stupendous bourbon barrel-aged version of their Lake Trout Stout.
– Another brewery with a special one-time-only treat for the festival was Peak Organic, which brought an organic double IPA called “Ruckus.” The beer, which should be showing up on tap around Portland soon, tasted a little young but should mellow out beautifully by the time it’s on tap in town.
Of course, every brewers brought at least a brew or two that was fantastic. If you’d like to see more news, reviews and photos from the Festival, check out the #mebrewfest hashtag, the MEBrewFest flickr page, Sam Cousins’ photo page, and the Maine Brewers Festival Facebook page.
What’d you think of the fest?