It’s that time of year where we look forward to the beer festivals during the few warm months that Maine has to offer.

For breweries/cideries/meaderies, it’s a time to showcase your precious liquid. You’ve been cooped up all winter long building relationships with your local bars and beer slinging stores. Now you can get out and talk about your beer with your ravaging fans. AND it’s beautiful out in Maine during the summer, which is a great change of pace from sales repping or managing beer production.

This is the best time of year for consumers of Maine’s fine beers. Throughout the summer we get to try a bunch of beers from around here or away that we’ve never tried before. It’s a great chance to extend your palate of beer and get to know the local brands a bit more.

We’ve had a few festivals this spring & summer so far that are a sample of what’s to come. A few months ago the annual Bearded Brewfest happening again at the USM Sullivan Gymnasium. It’s a beer fest that focuses on the beardedly gifted among us with beard contests inside and food trucks out front. The unique thing about this beer fest is that there were as many venders of cool stuff as there were breweries pouring beer. From candles made from beer bottles to beard sweaters (you read that right), you can enjoy local makers as well as local beer producers.

Here are some photos from the 2015 Bearded Brewfest:

This past weekend was the 4th annual Bangor Tap Into Summer beer festival. There were 20 Maine breweries in attendance. The festival was in a tent overlooking the Bangor Waterfront with gorgeous sunny weather. In the not-so-distant distance you can see the Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion state where Dolly Parton was about to perform in later that night. The festival gathered 1003 people to drink Maine beer.

Here are pictures from the 4th annual Bangor Tap Into Summer beer festival:

If you’re traveling to visit the areas in which these festivals are being held, then you should take full advantage of the area and their amenities. I planned a weekend in Bangor after the fest over the weekend because I haven’t spent any time in Bangor area for the last 4 years. I made it a point to check out Geaghan Bros. Brewing Co., Mason’s Brewing Company, and Orono Brewing Company while I had enough time. I got to try a ton of Mason’s beers at the fest and then a few more when I had dinner at their brewpub in Brewer, Maine that night. The next day I started with lunch at Geaghan’s, trying as many different beers as I could. Next was Orono with their quaint but awesome spot.

Beers to look out for at Masons:

  • Farmhouse Saison
  • Mocha Stout
  • American IPA

Beers to look out for at Geaghan’s:

  • 2x IPA
  • Cap. Kool IPA
  • Bangor Brown

Beers to look out for at Orono:

  • AOK Kolsch
  • Big Aristotle DIPA
  • Pocatello Oatmeal Pale Ale*

Now onto the future!

This weekend coming up is one of my favorite beer festivals during the summer, the 3rd annual Great Falls Brewfest. This beer festival is set to have 40 breweries, 22 of which are Maine-based, along with disc golf, cornhole, a puppy pen (you read that right), GOOD FOOD, and live music from Girls, Guns & Glory as well as Sammy D and the Late Risers. This festival is being held at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston, Maine. Tickets are still available for this festival.

Here are pictures from last year’s Great Falls Brewfest:

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The next Brewfest on my radar is the Maine Brewers Guild Summer Session Beer Festival. This has to be my favorite festival all summer long. There’s more Maine-based breweries at this festival than any other fest. The complete list of breweries is yet to be announced for this year, but rest assured it’s going to be epic. Each Maine Brewery is allowed to invite another out-of-state brewery to the festival of their choosing. Last year the fest drew more than 1600 attendees with over 55 breweries, food, games, live music, and much more. Did I forget to mention it’s at Thompson’s Point?

There are plenty of other beer festivals to swoon about on this blog post, but I’ll leave it as it is for now. Luckily Chad from If My Coaster Could Talk has come up with a robust list of beer festival in the New England Area.