PORTLAND, Maine — August 2014 – The fourth annual Portland Brew Festival (www.portlandbrewfestival.com) is set for August 29 and 30, and event organizers promise a broad array of brewers, activities and exhibits and tempting food offerings. The 2014 event, which returns to the Portland Company Complex at 58 Fore Street in Portland, will feature about 40 brewers with more than 120 brew products along with home brewing equipment, a Maine Brewers Guild fundraiser, and a special presentation by New England Real Ale eXhibition (NERAX), an event dedicated to cask ales.

Producer Mak Sprague says the increasingly popular event is part of the reason Portland, Maine, like its sister city in Oregon continues to evolve into a well respected beer-centric city.

“Over the last few years, Maine has seen a sharp increase in craft brewers who are making a notable impression on the beer community nationwide,” explains Sprague. “As a result, we are also attracting and creating an array of events. The success of the recent beer camp along with local festivals like the Portland Brew Festival is really exciting for beer lovers.”

As always, the festival will spotlight established and up-and-coming breweries throughout New England. New participants this year include Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown, N.Y., In’Finity Brewing and Distillation from Portland; Banded Horn Brewery from Biddeford, Maine; and Bantam Cider from Somerville, Mass. Favorites returning to the PBF include DL Geary and Gritty McDuff’s from Portland, Maine; Old Burnside from East Hartford, Conn.; and Smuttynose Brewing from Hampton, N.H. A new system eliminates the need for drink tickets so attendees have a lot more flexibility when it comes to sampling old and soon-to-be favorites.”

In addition to commercial brewing operations, home brewing clubs and retailers will be at the event to introduce attendees to the increasingly popular hobby of home brewing. Local food vendors also will be on hand, including (new this year) lobster rolls from Mainely Bartenders, pizza from Pizza-Pie-on-the-Fly, and Mexican fare from Hella Good Tacos, all of which pair well with beer.

Notable Special Events
The Maine Brewers Guild Fundraiser
The Guild will host a food/beer pairing fundraiser on Saturday, August 30, at 11 a.m. Maine-based brewers will pair rare beers with complementary area cheeses. Already on board are critically acclaimed Bissell Brothers Brewing, Shipyard and Gneiss, along with relative newcomer Tributary. “This is a truly unique opportunity to taste some new and hard-to-find creations,” said Sprague. Attendees will then be the first in line for the afternoon session of the Brew Fest. Proceeds from the event will support the Guild’s regulatory and educational activities. Tickets are just $20.

NERAX Presentation
On Saturday afternoon, NERAX will be presenting a lecture and discussion about cask ale with an emphasis on taste testing and recognizing the way cask ale looks as it settles and clears. “This is a great way to understand if you favorite beer establishments are handling and serving cask ales correctly,” said Sprague. “When someone asks for a cask ale, they are looking for a specific experience and they should know if they aren’t getting what they paid for.”

Brew Festival attendees will receive a signature tasting glass with the Portland Brew Festival logo plus the opportunity to purchase additional glasses along with T-shirts, posters and other festival-branded merchandise. Designated Driver/No Alcohol tickets are available for just $5 each.

Scheduled Sessions
Friday, August 29, 5:30-9 p.m.
Saturday, August 30, 12:30-4 p.m.
Saturday, August 30, 5:30-9 p.m.

Tickets for the Portland Brew Festival are on sale now for $40 each at portlandbrewfestival.eventbrite.com

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