PORTLAND — About 500 people filled the Portland Company Complex shortly after noon for the inaugural Portland Brew Festival. 

As of this afternoon, 2,000 tickets had been sold and organizer Mak Sprague anticipates at least 3,000 people will attend throughout the weekend. He said the majority of people will be at tonight’s session from 5 to 8:30, but expects a great turnout from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Brewers and samplers alike seemed to be enjoying the event. There were about 30 companies handing out samples of beer and cider with a few booths dedicated to beer-related merchandise.

While food was provided at a few booths, John Turner of Lowell, Mass., came prepared. He and a group of friends were wearing pretzel necklaces in case they got hungry between sampling beers. 

“We didn’t come up with the idea though,” Turner said, explaining he copied the idea after seeing people string pretzels on ribbon and string to wear around their necks during a brewer’s festival in Boston.

The event is co-sponsored by MaineToday Media, publishers of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. For more information or tickets, visit www.portlandbrewfestival.com.