The Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau has released the schedule for the Greater Bangor Beer Week on their website, go take a peek for a full list of events. They are boasting 15 breweries, 11 businesses and 28 official events over the course of seven days, from October 18th to October 24th.
I spent some time with the schedule and reached out to a few folks who are hosting events and picked the 5 that I think are the most imaginative and interesting considering these breweries and businesses only had a week to sign up and less than two months to plan and execute.
This event is being held at Square Tail Brewing in Amherst. They are currently looking for teams to play against brewers and industry folks, $20 to register a team (2 person team, $10 each), the Stray Dog food truck will be on hand and all proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This might be the event I’m most interested in but I can’t make it so enter a team and play in my place.
Best I can tell this is the only event with even a hint of an educational aspect which is pretty sad, we can celebrate and learn about beer at the same time. This event is held on Wednesday, October 21 from 5-8pm at Bangor Wine and Cheese Company on Hammond Street. Banded Horn, Gneiss and Friars Brewhouse beers will be boldly paired with offering from Fuzzy Udder Creamery, Imagine Dairy, Savour Chocolatier, and Smith’s Smokehouse. A chance to find out how local beer can pair with local cheese and chocolates.
Ozone^2 DIPA release party at Orono Brewing Company
Wednesday, October 21 from 3pm-12am we have another stand alone event during a beer week, this is the only special beer release listed on the schedule, a sign of lack of planning overall but it makes this event a must attend! If you’ve ever had OBC’s Ozone IPA you’ll know it’s worth a ride to check out a pumped up version, see you there!
Bissell Brothers Tap Takeover at Blaze
Not imaginative, I know, just look at the schedule and you’ll see there are 8 tap takeovers or tap events in 7 days, which is just not that special, that said when the crew from Bissell Brothers Brewing comes to town and they bring along Baby Genius, Bucolia, iLucky, Substance, Lux, and Swish, you have to take note. Blaze in Bangor, Thursday, October 23 from 12-6pm, be there.
I dismissed this event at first but was struggling for a fifth “must attend” so I reached out to Wes Ellington at Square Tail to get the skinny on the event, which was planned well before Beer Week was announced and just happened to work in their favor. This event is basically a fall festival in Amherst with live music, Stray Dog food truck, Square Tail beers, biggest pumpkin competition and it seems undecided as of yet but there may be a horseshoe or cribbage tournament or maybe both, who knows. I should also note that Wes promised me there would be no Pumpkin Beers on tap which makes this event even better. At the Brewery in Amherst, Friday, October 23 from 12-6pm.
Also worth noting during GBBW – The Family Dog in Orono will have all six taplines pouring Maine beers, so you can grab dinner and a Maine beer then walk around Orono, there are 3 breweries in town. To get to and from Orono, consider the Growler Bus shuttle which will be running from Nocturnem to Orono and back, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of beer week for $5 each way, why even both with your car?
I have to rip on GBBW a little bit because it’s rushed, I wish they would have stepped back and spent more than a couple weeks planning, maybe moved it to the summer and run it up against their Tap Into Summer Brewfest instead of just dropping it on everyone on short notice. Because it’s short notice I understand the lack of imagination in events, some of these are regular Monday or Tuesday events with local beer on tap which isn’t even that unusual. I think this is great overall and I expect more next year but I wish they’d have named it Central or Northern Maine beer week to incorporate some of the breweries outside the region and make the events out of the Greater Bangor Area make a little more sense.