Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Portland Brewfest

Labor Day weekend, Will and I went up to Portland, Maine for the weekend. Will found a beer festival in a beer magazine. We decided to make a weekend out of exploring Maine, trying new brews, and relaxing for the holiday weekend. 

We invited some friends to join us, either for the weekend or just the beer festival. As it happened, our friends, Beth & Nate, had planned to spend their Labor Day weekend in Maine at their parents' summer cottage. They invited us to stay with them. And so, the holiday weekend was born!

We joined Beth and Nate Friday night in a little summer vacation town, Ocean Park. The next day, we lazily woke up and had breakfast before heading over to Portland for the festival. 

Will and me in the mega warehouse which hosted the festival

Beth & Nate didn't join us for the festival, but a few other friends traveled up for the shindig. Ashton, Jill and Kevin carpooled together and met us just outside the warehouse.

First tasting. I'm distraught because my mini-glass was already empty. And Ashton is making a supreme  beer-tasting-extravaganza face. #win

There were 20+ vendors at the warehouse. There were breweries, meaderies and cider houses represented. It was a wonderful atmosphere-- comfortably warm outside, airy and bright inside. We were given 2oz glasses and a "beer passport" that explained all the alcohol offerings and gave space for the guests to "grade" each selection. 

The whole beer crew: Kevin, Jill, Ashton, Me & William

Neither Will nor I had ever been to a beer festival before, so we weren't exactly sure what to expect. I really appreciated the experience-- being able to taste beers that I wouldn't otherwise order at a restaurant (please read: spend $7/glass on a choice that wasn't sure to please me). I got to try beers that I knew I would like, find different breweries to keep my eye out for, and learn a little more about what Will's tastes are. 

We all enjoyed the experience and definitely walked away with some new favorites! 

For those of us desperate enough to use it

After the festival, the crew walked into downtown Portland for dinner. Beth & Nate met us there and we enjoyed a hefty meal at a place call David's near Commonwealth Square.

We very nearly ate here, out of respect for this sign

We meandered around Portland a little while longer, grabbed some coffee at a raved-over coffee house (Bard Coffee), and then headed back to Ocean Park to relax and play board games. The next morning, we ate delicious homemade pancakes and schemed about the rest of our time in Maine. We ended up heading over to Freeport, the L.L. Bean mecca, and got some winter gear and amazing grub (Linda Bean's restaurant, for those who care-- maybe the best clam chowder we've tasted so far??). 

Then, home to Beverly.

It was a perfect weekend-- good food, good friends, good weather, and plenty of relaxation!

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