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Tim Bissell Tim Bissell
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Three Pint Stance - Winter brew festivals to kick off the new year

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If it’s cold out there, we party inside!

It may be hard to believe, but here we are at just under two weeks into the new year and it is officially time to begin the 2018 Beer Festival Season!

When most people think of a beer festival, a warm summer day with lots of sunshine is what comes to mind immediately. You can’t really fault anyone for coming to this initial conclusion, as the majority of festivals occur during the warm months and take place outside.

That being said, what better thing to do when we are all stuck inside perpetually during the frigid winter than drink MANY TINY BEERS!?!?

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. Winter can be a sad, isolating time where people retreat to their homes and sip in solitude. Why not get together with a huge group of like-minded beer drinkers and have a big ol’ party?

So, if it is a “Big Ol’ Party” in the specific flavor of a Craft Beer Festival that you are looking for, here are your options for January 13th.

First, closer to home we have the Third Annual Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest! This event is certainly on the smaller side as far as brew festivals go, but for the price and the breweries included it is sure to be both a great time and an excellent value.

The event is taking place at Atlantic Brewing Company’s new Midtown location where they will be brewing pilot batches and is advertised on the Winter Beer Fest ticket page as “a … facility that allows fellow brewers from around the state, country, and world to collaborate on unique recipes and formulations in a shared environment.” That sounds pretty awesome to me! There is also a new burger joint in the space, so there will definitely be a meat option at the Winter Beer Fest!

Tickets for the Third Annual Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest MUST be purchased in advance, and are available on (

Second, if you feel like making the drive down Portland-way, the Maine Brewer’s Guild is hosting the First Annual Winter Session Brew Fest! This festival is being held inside the Brick South complex at Thompson’s Point, right near where the outdoor Summer Session festival is held in July.

Winter Session will feature 50-plus breweries and unlike the Summer Session (and summer in general) this festival won’t be overrun by breweries from away. Every one of the breweries at Winter Session are from the great State of Maine, and that’s the way a brew festival should be!

Tickets for Winter Session are also available on (

Now, I’m not one to tell you which event to go to, but Gneiss Brewing Company will only be pouring at Winter Session, so … do with that information what you will.


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