Summer beer festival on tap for Bangor Waterfront

Kegs of beer sit in the basement of the Sea Dog Brewing Company in Bangor in June 2012 during the brewery's opening of their barrel room.
Kegs of beer sit in the basement of the Sea Dog Brewing Company in Bangor in June 2012 during the brewery's opening of their barrel room.
Posted Feb. 07, 2013, at 11:38 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Beer aficionados rejoice — Bangor will host a beer festival of its own this summer.

The Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau will host Tap Into Summer, a one-day event featuring food, entertainment and beer, on Saturday, June 22, at the Bangor Waterfront.

“Maine has some great brewers, and the opportunity to pull many of them together, along with an energetic crowd on our historic waterfront, was too good to pass up,” said Kerrie Tripp, executive director of the visitors bureau. “To say that we are excited to get this off the ground would be a drastic understatement.”

“Part of this idea really came from brewers, who said they were always going away from Bangor to show off their brews,” Tripp said.

The festival will feature selections from some of the most notable Maine breweries, including Geaghan Brothers Brewing Co., Sea Dog Brewing Co. and Penobscot Bay Brewery, Tripp said, adding that she hopes to have 15-18 Maine brewers on board for the event.

“We have a lot of interest, we’re just waiting for people to sign on the dotted line,” she said.

A VIP session will be held from noon to 1 p.m., where bloggers Chris Nelson and Merideth Canham-Nelson of thebeergeek.com will deliver a keynote speech. The couple has traveled around the world, visiting more than 750 breweries and blogging about their experiences and the beers they’ve sampled. People with VIP tickets also will be served lunch and special beers not available at the general session. VIP tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance.

Tickets to the general session, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., will be $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the event. Designated drivers will pay $10 for admission, but will have access to special deals and discounts from vendors. Attendees will receive a wristband and a punch card to keep track of how many brews they’ve sampled.

“We’re really trying to do things that are a bit different from other events that go on around us,” Tripp said. “We’re kind of showcasing the local Maine brewer.”

Some Maine beer buffs might be torn, as Portland will host The Festival, a traveling event that attracts national and international brewers, on the same weekend. Last year, The Festival was held in Worcester, Mass., and drew beer makers from New Zealand and Japan.

Tripp said Bangor’s event will focus on Maine breweries and also will follow on the heels of a pair of Waterfront Concerts — Sting on June 20 and Darius Rucker on June 21 — so she said she expects solid attendance.

For information about the Tap Into Summer event, visit www.visitbangormaine.com/TapIntoSummer.

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