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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: June 20, 2013

Maine chefs, wings, whoopie pies & beer: 7 things to do this weekend

Written by: Susan Axelrod

A few years ago, Bon Appetit magazine famously dubbed Portland “The Foodiest Small Town in America.” Here’s what the oft-quoted report didn’t say: Maine’s food fame extends well beyond its largest city – and we’re not just talking lobster and blueberries. We’ve got James Beard Award-winning chefs in the (even smaller) towns of Ogunquit and Rockland, a river that produces some of the nation’s most-coveted oysters (the Damariscotta) and a fast-growing beer industry drawing beer geeks from around the world (yes, world) for a festival this Friday and Saturday. It’s just one of the events happening on a weekend that’s shaping up to be the food and drink-obsessive’s Bonnaroo. Here’s the whole, tasty, line-up.

The Festival 2012 in Worcester, Mass./

The Festival – 2013 Portland, Maine Edition

Friday: 6:30-10:30 pm; Saturday: 1-5 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm

Shelton Brothers breweries hosts this massive international (and pretty serious) festival. More than 200 beers, ciders and meads from all over the world are featured, as well as local favorites Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Maine Mead Works, Marshall Wharf, Oxbow, Bull Jagger and Rising Tide. Two dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland.

WHERE: Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore Street, Portland.
HOW MUCH: One session pass $65; 3 session pass $150; designated driver $8.
TICKETS AND INFO: The Festival 2013/eventbrite.
READ ABOUT IT: Portland beer festival to showcase stars of the suds (Portland Press Herald)


Friday: 5:30 p.m.

Would the Morse and Libby families be smiling or frowning to see revelers drinking beer and dancing to the Pete Kilpatrick Band on the lawn of their former home? We hope they’d be happy to know that Allagash Brewing’s Victoria Ale is brewed annually to benefit the Victoria Mansion and its programs.

WHERE: Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $30 in advance($25 for Victoria Mansion members); $35 at the door. Every attendee receives a commemorative Allagash glass.

Bangor-based Sea Dog Brewing will be at the festival.

Bangor’s Beer Festival – Tap into Summer

Saturday: Noon-1 pm VIP; 1-5 pm general admission

Here’s a chance to hang out at the Bangor Waterfront and drink beer from 16 Maine breweries, (in other words, not as serious as the Portland festival). Chris and Meredith of The Beer Geek blog will give a keynote speech.

WHERE: Bangor Waterfront
HOW MUCH: VIP $50 (advance purchase only, includes BBQ lunch); general admission $25(advance), $35 day of event, $10 designated driver.

Whoopie Pie Festival

Saturday: 10 am-3 pm

A celebration of all things whoopie, from whoopie pie-eating contests to the Amazing Whoopie Pie Race, plus music, a road race and plenty of activities for kids. Don’t forget the Pepto Bismol.

WHERE: Downtown Dover-Foxcroft
HOW MUCH: $5 admission; kids 12 and under free.

Hot Wing Cook-Off Challenge

Saturday: 4-8 pm

More than 30 restaurants will present their best chicken wings – because what goes better with beer (see The Festival, above)? There will be beer here, too, from sponsors Shipyard and Sea Dog and a hot wing-eating contest – eat two pounds of (mildly sauced) chicken wings faster than any other contestant and win $100.

WHERE: Under a tent at Ocean Gateway, Commercial St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $20 per person; $4 drafts and full bar (21-plus event).
READ ABOUT IT: Wing-a-ding-ding (Portland Press Herald)

Chef David Turin (far right) and staff at TOTN 2012/Ted Axelrod Photography

Share Our Strength Maine’s Taste of the Nation

Sunday: 4:30-8 pm

It’s the party of the summer: food from 28 top Maine chefs, specialty cocktails, beer and wine, plus an auction of really cool stuff. And the best part? The proceeds make a significant difference in the lives of Maine children who don’t have enough to eat; that’s 1 out of every 4 Maine kids.

WHERE: Wolfe’s Neck Farm, 184 Burnett Road, Freeport
HOW MUCH: General admission $125
READ ABOUT IT: Eat, so the truly hungry can too (Portland Press Herald)

NOSHBOW Block Party

Sunday: 11 am-8 pm

Oxbow Brewing and Nosh Kitchen Bar are teaming up for a “laid back, utopian finale to The Festival and this epic beer weekend.” Included are eats from Nosh (bacon-dusted fries, banh mi sandwiches, falafel) food trucks, live art, skateboarding and funk and soul DJs. And of course, more beer.

WHERE: Oak Street, Portland
HOW MUCH: Pay-as-you-go for food and drinks.

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