Maine Craft Weekend – Yes, that includes Breweries!

The Maine Brewers’ Guild is proud to be working with the Maine Crafts Association on a unique, weekend long event – Maine Craft Weekend – happening in early October.  Click for the poster: Maine Craft Weekend_2014

The Maine Crafts Association, in partnership with the Maine Brewers’ Guild, announces Maine Craft Weekend October 11 + 12, 2014 Maine Craft Weekend (MCW), a statewide tour of Maine craft studios, breweries, businesses and events, is an opportunity for the public to explore the life and work of craft artists and craft brewers in Maine. MCW is a public, educational, community orientated, family friendly weekend October 11 + 12, 2014. MCW is scheduled in conjunction with American Craft Week, a nationwide event promoting craft events each October. Modeled after Maine Maple Sunday and Buy Local Saturday, this self-guided tour features participants all over the state who are not regularly open to the public, or, who have planned special MCW events and demonstrations at their locations.

Plan a route to include a pottery wheel lesson and a glass blowing demonstration in the morning, swing by a brew pub for lunch, wrap up the day perusing a craft show and start all over again on Sunday!

Maine Craft Weekend is produced by The Maine Crafts Association with Event Partner, the Maine Brewers’ Guild, and Organizational Partner, The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development’s Maine Made Program. These statewide organizations have successfully branded and promoted quality Maine Craft, Maine products, and craft beer, respectively; Maine Craft Weekend invites the public into these dynamic studios and businesses to see the magic behind the products they produce.

Examples of participating sites include individual potters’ home studios, craft galleries, glass blowing studios, outdoor installation sites, non-profit craft organizations, craft-based schools, craft beer breweries and craft beer brewery-restaurants. Events will vary by type of location and will include open studios, demonstrations, tastings, exhibitions, sales, tours, kids’ projects and other creative and interactive activities.

The public interested in visiting sites during Maine Craft Weekend can visit www.MaineCraftWeekend.org to learn about participants and events and use the interactive MCW map to plan their route! Craft artists, retailers, breweries and other related businesses and events interested in being included on the map and in our marketing should contact Marie Sugden @ the Maine Crafts Association: marie@mainecrafts.org or 207-588-0021. Maine Craft Weekend is supported by the Maine Office of Tourism.

New Maine Beer Trail Passports are here!

Get this, with the Maine Beer Trail, we actually reward you for visiting Maine’s breweries. Pick up the brand new 2014 version of the Maine Beer Trail Passport and get your passport stamped/signed when you visit any of the 45+ breweries and brewpubs around Maine, then send it in to us and be rewarded with free Maine Brewers’ Guild trucker hats, t-shirts, and a whole bunch of other Maine brewery gear. It’s a win-win.  VIEW THE MAINE BEER TRAIL PASSPORT

‘Beer Camp Block Party’ at Sebago Brewing Company to Kick Off Festival Weekend in Portland

If you love fresh lobster, great beer, and are craving a block party – you’re in luck. Sebago Brewing Company will be hosting a one-time only ‘Beer Camp Block Party’ on Thursday July 31st, 6PM, at their Old Port pub. The event will kick off what is sure to be a big weekend in Portland, ME, with nearly 5,000 people expected to attend what is being heralded as the ‘biggest celebration of craft beer in American history’, the Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America Festival – set to take place the following night – Friday August 1st, at Thompson’s Point in Portland.

10474645_10152989986452506_6733721629841038267_nNot only will Sebago be welcoming visiting Beer Camp beer aficionados with a variety of ‘Maine Fare’ and a selection of Maine craft beers – but attendees will be able to sample every one of the the 12 hard-to-find and limited release beers that were brewed as a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (which is based in California) and 12 big name breweries from around the country – including Portland’s own Allagash Brewing Co.

All 12 beers will be tapped beginning at 6PM – and attendees will be able to buy $3 tokens for 7 oz. samples of each of these beers. In the spirit of the festival – in which the Maine Brewers’ Guild is serving as the beneficiary – Sebago Brewing Company will be donating $1 from every Beer Camp beer sold at the block party to the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

“What’s a visit to Maine without some fresh seafood, great beer, and a visit to an Old Port pub?” asked Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Sebago on the Beer Camp Block Party kicking off the Beer Camp Festival weekend a day early.”

Entrance to the event is free, and the Maine Brewers’ Guild will also be raffling off tickets to the Beer Camp Across America Festival and other prizes at the block party event.

Visit Maine, Drink Great Beer

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It’s that time of year when our state is flooded with tourists looking for a taste of the good life in Maine. Luckily, Maine is Vacationland, and those who have been, know that the good life is all around you, good people are the standard, and we do a hell of a job turning our crystal clear water into damn fine beer.

Recently, some of our members partnered with the Maine Office of Tourism to tell some of the stories, meet some of the people, and learn about what makes beer from Maine so damn special. We think Tim Adams from Oxbow summed it up pretty well when he says “I wake up every damn morning and want to salute Maine. I love it.”

Check out the Maine Quarterly feature on Maine’s beer, history, brewers, and all else via the VisitMaine website: http://mainequarterly.com/beer/ 

We’re willing to be you’ve never see another site that does such a damn fine job of capturing our state, our culture, and for this quarter, our beer.

Beer Camp Across America Festival Update

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More than three-dozen Maine breweries have signed on to join fellow brewers and beer lovers at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America, an unprecedented traveling beer festival that will take place later this summer. Nearly 700 craft brewers from around the country have already signed on for the multi-weekend event; anticipating more than 1,300 total craft beers on tap, collectively representing almost every state in the union, Beer Camp Across America promises to be the largest craft beer celebration in history.
More than 130 breweries have signed on to participate in the New England stop – more than any other stop on the Beer Camp tour. Maine’s growing notoriety as a craft beer hub and location will certainly make this memorable.
Maine’s brewers will have a strong presence at the festival – 38 of them will be pouring their wares, including: Allagash, Baxter, Geaghan Brothers, Atlantic, Marshall Wharf, Banded Horn, Boothbay Craft, Lively, Maine Beer Co, Sebago, The Liberal Cup, Gneiss, Andrew’s, Funky Bow, Monhegan, Oxbow, Black Bear, Bissell Bros, Bunker, Federal Jack’s, Foundation, Geary, Gritty McDuff’s, In’finiti, Peak Organic, Rising Tide, Sea Dog, Shipyard, Maine Mead Works, Rock Harbor, Barreled Souls, The Run of the Mill, Strong, Bigelow, Northern Outdoors, Hidden Cove, Sheepscot Valley, Penobscot Bay & Some Brewing.
They’re all making the trek to the New England edition, taking place August 1 at Thompson Point in Portland. More information and a link for TICKETS is available here: http://beercamp.sierranevada.com/festival/new_england_edition

Maine Brewers’ Guild Releases 2013 Economic Impact Study

Maine’s Craft Beer Industry Poised for 200% Growth in Next 4 Years

(5/15/14) Portland, Maine - Although Maine is commonly associated with lobster and blueberries, there’s a new industry in the state that is quickly becoming a big contributor to Maine’s economy, and it is poised to grow by 200% in the next 4 years: craft beer.

The Maine Brewers’ Guild has recently released an economic impact study undertaken by economists at the University of Maine, and the numbers are impressive. According to the study, Maine’s breweries sold $92.6M worth of beer in 2013, while employing nearly 1,500 workers.

An additional $35.5 million worth of revenue was generated from the sales of Maine-made craft beer in brewpubs, restaurants, and retail shops. Directly and indirectly, the sales of Maine craft beer resulted in an annual statewide economic impact of an estimated $189M.

For comparison, Maine’s lobster catch in 2012 was worth about $340M and Maine’s wild blueberry harvest was worth about $69M. However, neither the lobster industry nor the blueberry industry is poised for growth like the Maine craft beer industry.

According to the study, Maine’s brewers plan to increase production by 36% between 2013 and 2014 and by 200% by 2018 – and that only accounts for the 35 breweries that were in operation in 2013. As of today there are 53 breweries in the state, with at least 5 more planned to open this year.

“The future is bright for Maine craft beer,” says Dan Kleban, owner of Maine Beer Co. and president of the Maine Brewers’ Guild. “We are creating sustainable manufacturing jobs, driving tourism, and supporting allied industries like Maine farms.”

In fact, more than half of Maine’s brewers indicated that they are making active efforts to source local ingredients for their beers. This demand for local hops, grains and value-added products like malt is far outstripping the supply,meaning new opportunities for Maine’s farmers.

As of 2013, Maine is home to the fifth highest number of breweries per capita in the US, with 4.7 breweries per 100,000 21+ adults, according to the national trade group that represents craft beer, the Brewers Association. Nationally, more and more consumers are purchasing craft beer; in 2013, craft beer saw 18% volume growth while overall beer production (which includes big breweries such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors) was down 2%. Although craft beer is consistently making gains in the marketplace, craft beer still only represents 7.8% of total beer consumed in the country, up from 6.5% in 2012.

“I’m often asked if I am worried that we are getting close to market saturation here in Maine,” said Sean Sullivan, Executive Director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, “but I don’t think we’re anywhere close. There’s still a huge amount of market share that craft beer stands to gain nationally and here in our state. There’s also a strong sense of community in our industry – not all breweries brew the same styles of beer and collaboration is prized, so it’s not a winner-takes-all type of market.”

It’s clear that the craft beer industry is quickly becoming a big contributor to our Maine’s economy, and will continue to do so in the coming years. Luckily enough, there are plenty of Maine-brewed beers that pair well with lobster and blueberries.

Maine’s Senators Weigh In On Spent Grain Issues

Letter to FDA on spent grains — signed copy 03.31.2014

Thank you to Maine’s Senators – Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins, along with a large group of influential Senators who weighed in on the FDA’s proposal for new rules on spent grain processing. Although this is an issue that likely flies under the radar for the average beer drinker, this is a hugely important issue for our brewers and the farmers who depend on the use of spent grain for animal feed. We are grateful for our support of our Senators.