This Saturday, from 12-4pm at In’finiti Fermenation & Distillation will be the freshest beer festival you’ll see all year: Hoptoberfest. Fourteen breweries – recipients of this year’s record breaking Maine-grown hop harvest – will showcase their beers in a tasting festival that will be unlike any other. If you’re still on the fence about attending, here are some details that might put you over the edge. The ticket cost covers a four ounce pour of everything that will be on – and most of these beers you cannot get anywhere else. (Get tickets to this event here)
Bunker Brewing Company will be pouring Green Mind – a wheat pale ale with 130 pounds of wet Cascade, Centennial, Willamet and Nugget hops from The Hop Yard.
Allagash will be pouring Sixteen Counties – Brettanomyces fermented Maine wet hop beer. Brettanomyces (also known as “Brett”), if you are not familiar, is an interesting and aggressive little yeast that produces a dry/hay kind of flavor. This one should be quite interesting depending on the ratio of the yeast flavor to the hops.
Austin Street Brewery will also be bringing out the Brett in a (name unknown) pale ale. This will have Brett as 100% of the yeast used – which can bring some strong flavors and will be an interesting pairing with the Cascade hops.
Biddeford’s Banded Horn Brewing Company will bring Reticulating Bines, a pale ale featuring Willamette, Centennial, Nugget and Cascade hops from The Hop Yard, but doesn’t stop the local ingredients there. Banded Horn will also be using “New Englander Malt” grown in northern Maine and fresh, clean Saco River water in their brew. (4% ABV)
Boothbay Craft Brewing (which, if you haven’t been up there is beautiful this time of year…) will feature a beer called Wet Hop Dream, which is described by the brewer as a wet hopped IPA brewed using Maine-grown Cascade & Centennial Hops. It’s rumored to be very balanced, with a very “clean” hop bitterness. (6.2% ABV)
In’finiti Fermentation & Distillation, the host will be featuring a Harvest Rye, which is described as a “strong rye beer” brewed with a “heavy hand” of rye malt, and 75 pounds of Nugget and Centennial Hops. (7% ABV)
Shipyard Brewing also chose to go with a rye-based brew, and will be bringing a rye IPA. This one is dry-hopped with Centennial hops, and brewed with Bravo and Cascade. Yum. (6% ABV)
Tributary Brewing Company – one of Maine’s newest – will be bringing a dry-hopped version of their Hop Harvest, an amber colored hoppy brew that just showed up on tap around town a little bit.
What I love about this list (though incomplete) is that it isn’t entirely IPAs, but is, instead, a mix of brewers showcasing some of their favorite flavors and techniques to bring out a local flavor. I can’t wait to taste what they’ve been up to. Cheers!