Maine brew fests beckon for summer fun


I’m writing this on Memorial Day.  Life? Of course I have a life. Just no friends to invite me over for a BBQ. Anyway, the weather started out rainy and grim and at one o’clock I’m thinking my dinner menu of black bean chili should be changed to something I can cook on the grill, as that fickle sun is now shining. Whichever I choose, though, a cold Maine craft beer will pair well it. Chili, burgers, even grilled salmon all call for a holiday brew.

No excuses needed: it's five o'clock somewhere!

No excuses needed: it’s five o’clock somewhere!

Coming up are four notable beer festivals here in Maine that you can take in. Remember, they are 21 + events, so the kiddos will have to stay home. So will Rover. String up some pretzel necklaces to snack on while you sample, find a designated driver (there are usually reduced-price DD tickets) and get ready to taste some great beers from Maine and beyond.


For 40 years, Geaghan's has been a staple for food and beer and fun in Bangor

Geaghan’s will be there!

WHEN: June 25, 2016

WHERE: Simard-Payne Memorial Park, Lewiston

Baxter Brewing Company presents the third annual Great Falls Brewfest. Boasting 30 breweries pouring 100 + beers, this festival will also feature food trucks, disc golf, a cornhole tournament, canoe race, a four-mile road race and live music. To buy tickets and for more information go to



Craft Brew Races Festival

Craft Brew Races Festival

Unfortunately, this year’s craft brew races fest is on the same day as the Great Falls festival. But hey, this gives you choices and that’s a good thing.

WHEN: June 25, 2016

WHERE: Edward Payson Park, 700 Baxter Boulevard, Portland

The 5K race begins at noon and the festival runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Get there early if you’re going to run in order to pick up your bib and stash your belongings in the mobile locker vehicle.

Price of a ticket includes a pint glass, medals for runners (that double as bottle-openers – genius!), 20+ breweries to sample without the hassle of tickets, food trucks and live music. Want to get in free? Just sign up to volunteer. When your shift is up, join the fun.

A portion of proceeds goes to our great Maine Brewers Guild. Go!




Strong's Localmotive, a California common style beer...worth the trip

Can’t go wrong with Strong’s Localmotive, a California common style beer…

WHEN: July 23rd, 2016 VIP session 12-1, General 1-5PM

WHERE: Thompson’s Point, Portland

WHY: Besides the obvious, Maine Brewers Guild’s mission is a noble one that I’ll share:

To promote the Maine craft beer community, celebrate our incredible offering of Maine-brewed beer, and raise funds for the Guild.

The Guild has also negotiated a block of rooms at the walkable Clarion Hotel. Minimum stay is 2 nights, but this is a great opportunity to have fun at the fest, then walk to the hotel. No driving, no taxi’s.

FMI and to buy tickets go to



The gents from Beer Advocate Magazine, Jason and Todd Ahlstrom, are teaming up with Allagash Brewing Company to, in their words:

bring greater awareness to Belgium’s significant contributions to beer and brewing by celebrating both authentic Belgian styles and Belgian-inspired offerings.

WHEN: September 17, 2016

WHERE: 58 Fore Street, Portland

Taste the myriad styles unique to Belgium: Witbier, Gueuze, Lambic, Dubbel, Tripel and Oud Bruin and celebrate Allagash’s contribution to those styles for over 20 years .FMI:

This  is how I remember Rob when I visited in the '90's.

This is how I remember Rob when I visited Allagash in the ’90’s.

He's earned every kudo! Good luck to Rob on the James Beard nomination.

He’s earned every kudo! Rob Todd today, both photos courtesy of Allagash.



Kate Cone

About Kate Cone

Kate Cone has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, is a freelance writer and the author of "What's Brewing in New England: A Guide to Brewpubs and Microbreweries," published by Downeast Publications in 1997 and completely updated in 2016. She has been a foodie since age 8, when her dad taught her how to make coffee and an omelet, lifelong skills for happy eating.