Review

The Bearded Brewfest!

Monday, March 21, 2016


Britt was looking through Twitter one day and saw that the Maine Brew Bus was promoting an event that sounded awesome: The Bearded Brewfest. The more we looked into the event, the more we wanted to go so we bought the VIP tickets. When we got there Saturday, we went right to the poutine food truck, PinkyO's. Britt got Korean BBQ fries and loved them. Lots of food for the cost and it was really tasty. Perfect way to kick off the Brewfest.



We waited in line for a little while to get in right when VIP access started. Zeke was coming around and scanning our tickets and recognized our names. He gave the Backpacking Britts a very warm welcome! Noontime came around, the doors opened up, and we headed in to try some great beer. 



The first stop was Sebago Brewing Company. We tried their IPA and their Simmer Down Summer Session Ale. They were both great but the Summer Session Ale stood out. It was one of the better summer beers that I have had. It had more of a mango taste than a citrus taste and was super drinkable. It's a session beer so the 4.9% ABV makes it easy to take down a few during a BBQ or working outside in the summer. 



The next was Traveler Beer Company. We are well versed in Traveler Beers and usually drink them in the summer and fall. This was however, the first time we had tried their IPA Shandy. It was full of that nice hoppy flavor but was also very easy to drink because it's a shandy. Britt really liked this one and I could see us enjoying these throughout the summer. 



Right beside Traveler was the Coney Island Brewing company. I've had the root beer so I tried the ginger ale, and Britt tried the cream soda. I was blown away by the ginger ale. If you put it side by side with a bottle of ginger ale, you could not tell the difference. There is another brand of ginger ale from another hard soda company that does not taste anywhere near this good. Britt liked the cream soda as well but we don't tend to drink many hard sodas while we are out. It is still great to know that there is a really good ginger ale out there if we want one! 



We had a couple of beers at Tributary Brewing Company. Britt had the Witt 2 and I the Pale Ale. This was one of the better Pale Ales that I have ever had. It was crisp and easy to drink but had tons of flavor and was nice and hoppy but still balanced. I was really impressed with this brewery out of Kittery, Maine!



We walked around a bit after to let some of the beer settle and to see all of the other booths at the Brewfest. We spotted one of our classmates at the Smuttynose booth, Shane. It was great to see him and he brought with him some of our favorite beer at the event. We tried the Finest Kind IPA, Big A Double IPA, and East Coast Common. East Coast Common was one of my top beers that I tasted at the event and the best California Common I've drank, period. It was a bit hoppier than most California Commons and had a pleasant woody aftertaste. The right amount of flavor and on the light side of a medium body. It was great to see Shane and we will definitely be going to Smuttynose for a brewery tour!



One of the products that we walked by really caught my eye. It was the Pakpod tripod booth. I have been looking for a lightweight tripod for our backpacking adventures and this one was incredibly light, well built, really easy to use, and looks like it is adaptable to many settings. Steve was running the booth and was really great to talk to. He had a lot to say about their product. I hope to have a full write up done for the Pakpod to share with you all after we go out and use it.



Now, more about that beer. We grabbed a Stowaway IPA first and then their Limited Edition Red Wheat IPA from Baxter Brewing Company. The LE was our favorite beer at the event but the sad part is that they brewed only ten gallons of this magical beer and had this keg and one at the brewery. Get it before it's gone which it might already be!



After the Baxter, we headed over to the Maine Brew Bus guys. We have been really excited to hear that there is a Brew Bus is coming down to Boston! We love that the Brew Bus shows off the local breweries in the area and helps expose Mainers and Bostonians alike with good, local, craft beer! We got to meet Zach, Aaron, and Craig (Who is also from Kilted Beer Men!) throughout the day. We have been talking back and forth with the group on Twitter and really want to try out the Maine Brew Bus before the Boston Brew Bus gets going and would love to give that a try soon as well! 



We then went over to try some cider at the Urban Farm Fermentory where we tried a mix of the Ginger Root Kombucha and their Dry Cidah. It was really tasty drink and a refreshing take on drinks that tend to be too sweet for me. I would definitely try some of their other offerings!


Continuing along the something different tastings, we went over to the Coastal Root Bitters booth. There were lots of different bitters that were available. We tried some of the flower and aromatic bitters. Both were really tasty in just the seltzer water that they were mixed in. I have a few different bitters at home so I held off on buying one but we would love to try them out again and pick some up later down the line. 



We grabbed a few more beers at Orono, both the Pale Ale and IPA, stopped back by the Maine/Boston Brew bus, and then back over to Foundation for their Saison and IPA. Britt was hungry so we headed over to the Mainley Meatballs for a bratwurst and a chocolate cupcake. Both were really good and really hit the spot after all of that delicious beer we had. 



The Beard Contest started up so we headed over towards the stage area and we ran into Benjamin Moore who was photographing the event. It was great to connect with someone from Twitter and he was a really great guy! We watched as all sorts of awesome beards came up to show off their gnarly facial hair. We cheered to vote and watched most of the contestants and admired their different beard styles and shapes. It was great to see everyone come out and try to play off the crowd. It became a great way to break up the middle of the event. After the awards were handed out, they called off the numbers for the raffle. Britt and I won and got to pick a prize! We ended up with a whitewater rafting trip up in Maine thanks to Til Duty is Done and Three Rivers Rafting. Joe was really great explaining about the whitewater rafting trips and we are so excited to book it and go for our first time rafting trip.




The Bearded Brewfest was benefiting the organization Til Duty is Done. Their mission (From their website): is to provide a safe and secure community for veterans through supportive housing, employment training, and employment opportunities. It is a non-profit organization aimed at reducing veteran homelessness, unemployment, and reintegration. I cannot stress enough how important the organization is and the work that they do. We got to have a great conversation with one of the organizations board members, Corey Nash, but I would recommend you going online and looking at their literature to get a better idea of the great support they provide to veterans. 


We walked around a bit more and I bought some beard wash and a shave kit while we enjoyed some Two Roads Brewing IPA. We headed over to Atlantic Beer Company after that for their Bar Harbor Real Ale, the first beer they ever offered. As we were sipping on that one we walked back on over to the Rising Tide Brewing booth and got to meet Tony, Chris, Chris' Beard, and another one of the Maine Brew Bus guys. We got to talking more about all of the great breweries in the Boston area and how excited we were to have the new Brew Bus coming. We're hoping to meet Chris for some Boston Brewery trips!




As the day was winding down, we tried out some of the remaining breweries. We had some Fore River, Andrews Brewing Company, and Barreled Souls which became one of our favorite beers in the whole Brewfest. 



We got to meet all sorts of great people, including the people putting on the event. Everyone who we talked to was friendly and fun to talk and learn from. We could not recommend this event more for next year. It was the perfect size and had an incredible selection of beers to try. We could not have had more fun, it was truly one of the best events we have ever been to. We can't wait to go again next year!



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