Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By TOM ATWELL
The Maine Brewers Guild event called Craft Beer Comes to Boothbay is going to be lot larger than it was in its inaugural event last year.
Maine Brewers Guild
"It's going to be bigger and better," said Dan Kleban of Maine Beer Co. in Portland, president of the Brewers Guild. "A lot of new brewers have popped up over the past year, and every Maine brewer will be pouring their beer."
In addition, two out-of-state breweries will be present. Win Mitchell, owner of Boothbay Craft Brewery and host of the event, said Dogfish Head will be pouring as a legacy because its owner and brewer Sam Calagione spends summers in the Boothbay Region and helped organize the event last year.
Smuttynose will be this year's guest brewer, and again there are Maine connections -- and not just because Smuttynose and its Portsmouth Brewery are just over the Maine border. Smuttynose owner and brewer Peter Egleston lives in Eliot.
The event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. July 14 at Boothbay Resort, 301 Adams Pond Road. Tickets are $50 ($25 for a designated driver), and include a full barbecue dinner as well as the beer.
"We are also doing a VIP hour this year," Kleban said. "For an extra $25, people get in an hour earlier, which guarantees access to all the specialty beers and more one-on-one time with the brewers and brewery owners."
And although the Brewers Guild is selling a few more tickets than it did last year, it isn't going to sell many more.
"We want to keep a low-key atmosphere," Mitchell said. "It's not like a lot of festivals where you have 30 people ahead of you in line. You get a chance to talk to the owner or brewer, and it makes it a lot more fun."
Kleban added, "This is a beer tasting rather than a beer fest."
The barbecue will be prepared by Boothbay Resort, and music -- which Kleban promises will be at a low enough volume as to not interfere with conversations -- will be provided by the Boston blues group HDRnB.
Although Mitchell hosted the event last year, his Boothbay Craft Brewery was not operating for that event. It is now operating, and made its first official sale the day I interviewed him last week.
On that day, Mitchell and Tom Abercrombie of Sebago Brewing were creating a collaboration beer that will be available at the July 14 event.
Mitchell thinks some of the collaboration beers will end up at Sebago's restaurants after the festival is over.
In addition, Rob Draper will be filming the event with New York actress Samantha Bearden doing some of the interviews.
Draper, who has had a long career in film and television, once created an online television show on single-malt scotches. In collaboration with Marshall Wharf Brewing in Belfast, he has now created a Craft Beer Maine video mag at craftbeermaine.com.
Kleban said profits from Craft Beer Comes to Boothbay benefit the Maine Brewers Guild.
"The Maine Brewers Guild helps support our trade, builds awareness about our brands and helps promote Maine beer," Kleban said. "We think it helps bring some tourists to the state and supports the economy, which is something we all want to do."
Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at :