HOULTON, Maine — Although attendance was not as high as organizers hoped, officials at the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce are already planning for another Blackfly Brewfest in Houlton.
Jane Torres, executive director of the chamber, said Friday that the overall event, which was held on May 14, was a success, as it brought in a number of new business owners, tourists and contacts for other entrepreneurs in the community.
“All of the brewers who participated said that they loved how this town went above and beyond to welcome them and really roll out the red carpet for them,” said Torres. “We brought them to Houlton and made dinner for them at the Elks Club. Many brewers said they loved the interaction with the consumers at the brewfest. And while the audience numbers didn’t quite meet our expectations, one of our big goals in doing this was to make a connection with the brewers.”
According to Torres, between 500 and 550 people attended the one-day event, which was short of the chamber’s goal of 700.
Torres said that because of the connections made, several local stores already have begun selling beer and wine that was featured at the brewfest.
“That is awesome,” she said. “That is a major goal that we had in mind for this. We wanted people to taste beer and wine that they normally wouldn’t be able to, and maybe get to see it in stores later.”
The chamber is already planning for a second year.
“All of the vendors said they would be back,” she said.