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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - A whirlwind of a weekend

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On most days, my job is pretty cool. If you haven’t read the italicized text at the end of the article in a while, I spend my working hours selling and marketing beer for the brewery I co-founded, Gneiss Brewing Company in Limerick, Maine.

So, back to my job being cool. Usually, I have mundane things to do, clients to visit, invoices to create, marketing materials to prepare, sales reports to analyze, yada yada yada. Sounds like a regular job, right? It pretty much is, but I get to do all of these things while surrounded by really tasty beer and people who LOVE really tasty beer. This is what makes my job pretty cool, and if you disagree, I look forward to reading your column about that.

Last weekend (beer industry weekend, so Thursday through Sunday), however, my job was EXTRA cool.

(If you are sick of the bragfest, I’ll see you back here for the continuation of my “Questions from the first-time home brewer” column. If you are waiting for a dentist appointment and your phone is dead and this is the best you have, STRAP IN!!!)

The weekend started on Thursday (Feb. 1) with a Tap Takeover and Cornhole Tournament at 33 Elmwood in Westbrook. We had five beers on tap, and a solid crew of participants in our Cornhole tournament (my team took fourth place, which is good, because it’s always poor form to win your own prizes). 33 Elmwood is an AWESOME place to kill some time, bowl a few strings, eat some amazing scratch-made food and enjoy one of the many delicious craft beers they have on tap. In a land where people usually tell you, “wait ’til summer to visit them,” I implore you to get to 33 Elmwood ASAP, because it is literally on of the best places to spend a winter day in Maine when you want to forget it is a winter day in Maine.

Elmwood down, on to Boston! Friday (Feb. 2) brought Day One and Session One of BeerAdvocate’s Extreme Beer Fest (EBF) at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. This is a HUGE festival that showcases beers that push the limits of what a beer can be. For this festival, we decided to bring down four beers that we had aged in Oak barrels with different fruits and wild yeasts. As it was our third year at this festival, and the sixth BeerAdvocate fest we have done, it really felt like a weekend full of visiting with good friends, making new ones and trying all kinds of amazing beers. In between was all kinds of work, but the work is all part of the experience.

EBF isn’t a one-and-done type fest, so Saturday we were back at the Seaport for Sessions Two and Three. With two sessions ahead of us to pour, we made sure to take turns manning the booth and going out to explore the festival but also to keep our wits about us throughout the long day. Two 3.5-hour sessions pouring with a (literal?) pit stop to The Smoke Shop BBQ joint up the street from the venue, by the end of the night when we broke down the booth and loaded up the truck, we were toast and ready to set our sights for Maine.

But Maine would have to wait a touch longer.

Normally, when we finish a festival in Boston the goal is to get back home to our beds ASAP. Now that we are an officially distributed brewery in the State of Massachusetts, I felt it would be appropriate to find a spot to set up a little Brewer’s Brunch and have a bite to eat, recharge the batteries and have a little hair of the dog before getting out of the Commonwealth. This brought us to Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem, MA, who were extremely gracious hosts and put together one of the best brunch and beer pairing menus I have ever seen. Seriously, the biscuit sandwich was the best breakfast sandwich sandwich I’ve had it years, and I am usually confident in the fact that i make the best breakfast sandwiches ever. The shot to my ego was MORE than worth it. Gulu-Gulu was kind enough to pour four of our beers at the brunch and by all accounts the beer and food was enjoyed by all.

So, that’s how my crazy “work” weekend went. I am back doing sales reports, cleaning equipment and bugging clients, so all things must come to an end. I wouldn’t recommend “working” this hard every weekend, but every now and then it can be quite rewarding!

(P.S. - Full disclosure, we went to Notch Brewing in Salem after the brunch because we felt like we just needed one more beer. I didn’t need to tell you that, but I feel better now that I have. Thank you.)

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