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Dave Patterson

Dave Patterson is a writer and musician who is thirsty for craft beer. He's been immersed in the New England beer scene for years as a patron and since 2013 as a beer writer. In his attempt to drink all the great beer America has to offer, Dave has become convinced that the Maine beer scene is among the best in the country. He can be spotted throughout the state at breweries, bars, and backyards imbibing brilliant Maine beers. It is his belief that craft beer plays an integral role in bolstering a vibrant local economy, so he urges you do your part by drinking local beer to support your community. Twitter: @PattersonWriter​

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Posted: June 12, 2017

Take a beercation to Bangor for Tap Into Summer

Written by: Dave Patterson
An extra $5 gets you access to the bacon bar at Tap Into Summer. Photo courtesy of the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau

An extra $5 gets you access to the bacon bar at Tap Into Summer. Photo courtesy of the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau

Here’s another column where I gush over Bangor’s beer scene. I’m starting to feel like the beer writer who cried, “Bangor!” But unlike Aesop’s churlish shepherd boy, if you answer my call to visit this thriving beer destination, I promise you will find brilliant craft beer to slake your thirst. (If I’m wrong, may wolves eat me.)

With eight breweries in the immediate Bangor/Brewer/Orono corridor, a number of beer-forward bars and restaurants, Bangor’s revitalized downtown area and the Growler Bus as your chariot, Bangor is a bonafide beercation destination.

On Saturday, the Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau hosts the fifth annual Tap Into Summer. This brew fest takes place on the Bangor waterfront and features live music, food vendors, a bacon bar (yeah, a bacon bar) and 25 Maine breweries.

Most importantly, this locally run brewfest is a showcase for Bangor-area breweries.

Beer from Mason's Brewing will be on tap Saturday. Photo by Dave Patterson

Beer from Mason’s Brewing will be on tap Saturday.
Photo by Dave Patterson

Local breweries pouring on Saturday include, among others, Orono Brewing, Geaghan Brothers, Marsh Island, Mason’s Brewing and Blank Canvas Brewery.

To get a sense of why the banks of the Penobscot River have become fertile ground for a vibrant brewing community, I reached out to some of the area’s local breweries.

“With the support from our strong community, we as brewers are encouraged and supported to build solid brands and stretch our creativity simultaneously,” explained Andrew Geaghan, owner and head brewer of Geaghan Brothers Brewing. Geaghan’s brewhouse in Brewer is set to open a new tasting room this July.

Chris Morley, owner and brewer at Mason’s Brewing, feels that Bangor, like many American cities, is seeing a foodie renaissance.

“This region’s local food scene is experiencing a growth, just like Portland has over the last several years, that in my opinion attracts and feeds craft beer,” Morley said.

A glass of Orono Brewing's beer. Photo by Dave Patterson

A glass of Orono Brewing’s beer. Photo by Dave Patterson

Orono Brewing Co. opened a new tasting room and small-batch brewery in downtown Bangor last fall and recently announced plans to purchase a 10,000-square-foot building in Orono to further expand production.

“We’re doing our own thing, and so is everyone else. We support each other, appreciate each other, but operate with our own unique styles and goals,” said Orono co-owner Abe Furth.

Saturday’s brew fest offers the perfect opportunity to sink your palate into Bangor’s burgeoning beer scene.

“Tap Into Summer is special because most, if not all, of the local brewers are actually present in person to meet and chat with,” said Clay Randall, head brewer at Marsh Island Brewing.

In addition to Bangor-area breweries, a number of other Maine breweries will be pouring beer on Saturday, including Banded Horn, Dirigo Brewing, Friars’ Brewhouse, Gneiss Brewing, Mast Landing and Tributary Brewing.

To really experience this great northern beer scene, I suggest making a weekend out of the Tap Into Summer brew fest. Grab pints at the acclaimed Nocturnem Draft Haus in Bangor on Friday night, get breakfast and beers at The Family Dog in Orono on Saturday morning, hit up Geaghan’s Pub in Bangor for post-festival grub and craft beer, and spend Sunday visiting tasting rooms. And be sure to raise a tasting glass to all the great beer flowing in Maine’s northern metropolis.


Greater Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau Presents: Tap Into Summer 2017

WHO: Over 25 Maine breweries including Orono Brewing, Geaghan Brothers Brewing, Marsh Island Brewing, Mason’s Brewing, Banded Horn Brewing, and Dirigo Brewing
WHERE: Bangor waterfront, Front Street
WHEN: 1-5 p.m., VIP session from noon to 1 p.m.
COST: $35 for general session ($5 for bacon bar add-on), $65 for VIP ticket (includes bacon bar, T-shirt, lunch and time with the brewers)

Foulmouthed Brewing first-year anniversary party
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, 15 Ocean St., South Portland.

Foulmouthed Brewing has a lot to celebrate this Saturday when it throws a party for its first anniversary. Not only does the South Portland brewery boast a hip tasting room in the up-and-coming Knightville neighborhood, it was named one of the 34 best new breweries in America by Beer Advocate. With a vast lineup of house-brewed beers, from the uber-hopped Malcontent Double IPA to Rosewater Golden Ambrosia Lager brewed with rosewater, Foulmouthed has a beer to please any palate. Saturday’s celebration includes specialty beers, craft cocktails and food specials.

Sebago Brewing selling turnkey brewery
48 Sanford Drive, Gorham

Sebago Brewing Co. announced a truly unique opportunity for aspiring brewers or small Maine breweries looking to expand. Sebago is selling its current Gorham location, along with all the brewing equipment, offering a turnkey brewhouse to potential buyers. This spring, Sebago broke ground on its new Gorham brewery and tasting room facility. The new location will be 30,000 square feet and include a 9,000-square-foot tasting room. Interested parties should contact Sebago Brewing Co.

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