Now that fall has officially arrived, you can go for a walk in the crisp air, go apple picking or start putting together an epic Halloween costume, but why not go to a beer festival instead? Maine is a major player in the microbrewing industry and beer shows bring these award-winning breweries together. The result of this concentration of fantastic and unique beers is the opportunity to try dozens of them — safely and responsibly, of course — while listening to live music and munching on fresh, brick-oven pizza.
Acadia Oktoberfest and Food Festival: Oct. 6, Mount Desert Island, Southwest Harbor.
This event is held annually at Smuggler’s Den Campground rain or shine. Head down to Mount Desert Island for an early fall-foliage hike, and then go to the “quiet side” of the island for beer, live music and food.
Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.’s 5th Year of Beer: Oct. 13, Belfast.
Celebrating five years of brewing and the release of its first run of canned beer, Marshall Wharf is offering over 30 of their award winning beers, including one-offs and barrel aged drafts. This includes their Bowmore Single Malt aged beers, which are well worth the trip. Pemaquid mussels and Belgian frites will be served to go along with the brews. The event features live music with the Toughcats. Thirty dollars will secure a tasting glass and 10 eight-ounce pours, or $10 to enter the event. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-338-1707.
Long Pond War Canoe/Kayak & Belt Sander Challenge: Oct. 14 (expected), Bar Harbor.
Held at Atlantic Brewing Company to benefit the Muir fund for local cancer support. A $20 entry fee includes a the rental of a canoe or kayak race at Long Pond, all-you-can-eat barbecue and a souvenir glass. Register at 11:00 a.m. for the race, then return to Atlantic Brewing Company for a barbecue competition and belt sander races. If you are confused about belt sander racing, it is exactly what it sounds like: no entry-fee, double elimination. Bring your own sander. For more information, contact email@example.com or 207-288-2337, ext. 103
Maine Brewer’s Festival: Nov. 2 and 3, Portland
One of the largest events in Maine, the 19th annual Maine Brewer’s Festival begins with an evening VIP session with brewers on Nov. 2. The festival continues Saturday, Nov. 3, in two energetic sessions. Attendees will receive a tasting glass with tickets to enjoy 12 four-ounce samples of Maine craft beer. The festival highlights all of Maine’s great breweries, offers prizes and hosts top-rate local music.
Beer Geek Week: Nov. 4 to 10, Portland
If the Maine Brewer’s Fest did not quench your thirst, Portland’s beer bars, including Great Lost Bear, Novare Res and Bull Feeney’s, will be standing by to offer more micro-brewed beer.