If you like good beer, good music and good times, this could be a good weekend. Dedicated beer geeks could go to Belfast Friday night and Naples from 11:30 a.m. Saturday until 1 a.m. Sunday and make a weekend of it. (If you do that, I’d recommend sleeping in on Sunday.)

MARSHALL WHARF Brewing Co. and its affiliated restaurant, 3-Tides, are sponsoring a launch party for Belfast Harbor Fest beginning at 6 p.m. Friday. The Wicked Good Band plays at 7 p.m., followed by The Toughcats, a midcoast band whose members are Marshall Wharf fans and whose CD “Run to the Mill” was reviewed favorably in last week’s GO.

In celebration of the event, Marshall Wharf has brewed Toughcats IPA, a 7.8 percent alcohol single-hop beer using Palisade hops throughout the boil and for dry-hopping. Palisade is a fairly new hop from a farm in the Yakima Valley in Washington state, and is used mostly for aroma rather than bittering.

Nancy and I both liked the beer quite a bit when we had it with dinner Sunday night. It has a good amount of maltiness and not as much bitterness, as is common in a lot of IPAs now. I emailed Marshall Wharf brewer David Carlson telling him that.

“The Palisade hop,” he responded, “tends to be a very delicate hop featuring notes of apricot and peach, not the big citrus, piney bomb that dominates the IPA scene right now.”

Marshall Wharf will have seven other beers available during the launch party, which will take place under a tent on Steamboat Landing at the foot of Commercial Street in Belfast, and food from 3-Tides will be available for sale. There is a $10 cover charge.

BRAY’S BREW PUB in Naples will be having its One Night Stand beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and running until closing early Sunday. This is the one day that Bray’s serves every beer that the company has brewed over the year.

The event usually is the second weekend in August, but was delayed this year to coincide with the 16th anniversary of the opening of Bray’s.

“We are going to have three bands, and hope to have 25 beers on tap,” head brewer Rob Prindall said. “We may expand the tap line and even lay down some guest taps.”

Notable beers in the lineup include a bourbon-barrel-aged scotch ale, a bourbon-barrel-aged peat-smoked porter, a vanilla porter, and Yamityville Horror, an ale made with sweet potatoes.

“We will also have our coffee stout, which we make only for this event in a 5-gallon batch,” Prindall said.

The three bands that will be playing are Black Hand, The Blue Hounds and The Running Gags.

ACCORDING TO the brewers, summer is over. At least, the fall beers have started hitting the shelves and taps.

I saw my first Shipyard Pumpkinhead both on supermarket shelves and on tap about 10 days ago. It’s a beer people either love or hate, but it is a major beer for Shipyard.

Samuel Adams has a mixed 12-pack with its Octoberfest, Pumpkin Ale and a new 5.7 percent alcohol Bonfire Rauchbier, which has a wonderfully strong smokiness from malt dried over beechwoodfire, a good maltiness and not much hops.

Magic Hat released its Night of the Living Dead mixed pack with No. 9, Hex and hIPA, all of which are repeats from last year, and Humble Patience, an Irish Red that was the first beer Magic Hat ever brewed. This was a good, relaxing, easy-drinking beer at 4.6 percent alcohol that was fairly light on the hops and a little malty.

Narraganset has released its Fest, and Redhook has released its Late Harvest Ale, I have been informed by email. I am sure other regional breweries have released theirs as well.

I want to keep summer going just a bit longer, though.

Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:

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