The last weekend in September heralds in the final hurrah of Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, and the 16-day celebration of culture and beer ramps up to a fever pitch.
Local brewers must be picking up on the good vibrations from the Old World, because this weekend in Maine there are six enticing beer events.
To help beer lovers navigate this menagerie of brewing festivities in the Pine Tree State, I’ve paired each event with the type of craft beer lover who would most revel in the celebration’s riches. Choose wisely.
The Type: Beer lover who’s always upset she missed another Oktoberfest
The Event: Brew Fest Weekend, Friday through Sunday
The Deets: pointsebago.com/content/brewfest-weekend
Couldn’t pull the trigger on tickets to Munich again this year? The Brew Fest Weekend is your chance at an Oktoberfest staycation. This weekend-long beer bash takes place at Point Sebago in Casco and includes stein hoisting, keg tossing, brews cruises on Sebago Lake, camping and endless lawn game tournaments and culminates with the 14th annual Maine Lakes Brewfest. Throw down properly at Brew Fest Weekend, and you’ll get your Oktoberfest fix to hold you over until next year when, maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally muster the hutzpah to travel to the real thing.
The Type: Tippler with a secret lederhosen or dirndl Fetish
The Event: Billtober Fest at Foulmouthed Brewing, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday
The Deets: facebook.com
I know you’re out there. It’s OK if you sometimes dress up in lederhosen or dirndls when you’re drinking at home alone. If you’re dying to sport some traditional Oktoberfest garb, Foulmouthed Brewing urges you to don your digs and party hard for its take on the fall beer celebration. Named after the house brewer, Bill Boguski, Billtober features easy-to-crush German, English and American ales for the all-day festivities. Expect elevated pub fare from Foulmouthed chefs and plenty of bench dancing.
The Type: Cynophilist craft beer lover
The Event: Ales For Tails at Thompson’s Point, 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
The Deets: eventbrite.com
If the car you drive to visit breweries has a ‘Dog Is My Co-Pilot’ bumper sticker next to one that reads, ‘My Dog Is Smarter Than Your Honor Student,’ hit up Ales for Tails. Eighteen Maine breweries will be pouring beer at this brewfest to benefit the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, including Austin Street Brewery, Barreled Souls Brewing, Fore River Brewing and Mast Landing, among others. Patrons are encouraged to bring their (leashed) dogs to the scenic Thompson’s Point. There are even rumors of puppachinos being brewed for the dogs.
The Type: Beer lover seeking an acid washed, world culture-infused Oktoberfest
The Event: Bunktoberfest at Bunker Brewing, 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday
The Deets: Facebook.com
Portland’s Bunker Brewing has made a name for itself by mashing Old World brewing traditions with a 21st-century indie hip hop vibe. Saturday’s Bunktober Fest remains true to its modus operandi. This beer celebration is built around the release of Bunktoberfest Lager, a traditional Marzen lager. This beer is wonderfully crushable with a nice bready malt body. Raging Brass Band injects a kaleidoscopic multi-cultural backdrop with horn-heavy music from West Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, Cuba and New Orleans. Bunktoberfest pushes the traditions of Oktoberfest to the far reaches of the stratosphere.
The Type: Beer geek unafraid of sea sickness, scurvy and shanties
The Event: Pints on the Pier, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday
The Deets: eventbrite.com
Here’s one for the salty beer lover. Held at the Maine Maritime Museum, this brewfest features beer samples from Boothbay Craft Brewery, Dirigo Brewing, Flight Deck Brewing and Rising Tide Brewing, among others. Keeping with the maritime theme, Glidden Point Oyster Farm will be shucking oysters. There will also be landlocked fare from Taco the Town and Ottodog. Maine’s favorite nautical knaves, The Squid Jiggers, will be strumming through their repertoire of sea shanties to entertain the beer-loving coxswains who attend Pints on the Pier.
The Type: The locavore craft beer lover
The Event: Rising Tide Brewing 7th Anniversary Party, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
The Deets: Facebook.com
Rising Tide celebrates turning 7 the only way it knows how: by serving up artfully crafted beer and plenty of fare from local farms and businesses. Locavores will feast on meats prepared by Locally Sauced food truck that were raised on Rising Tide’s spent grain at North Star Sheep Farm — that’s a triumvirate of local. Portland’s Tandem Coffee serves up coffee and pies for dessert, while three local bands keep the music thumping all afternoon. The centerpiece of this event is the release of Pleiades, a sour fruited ale aged in oak. If you’re looking to celebrate the riches of your local economy while quaffing great beer, this is for you.