Please note, this article is sponsored content from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
It’s festival season in Portland. Each summer the weekends are jam-packed with fests of every sort, celebrating our rich food heritage, tall ships on the waterfront, the local art scene and everything that makes Portland unique. Set against a backdrop of 19th century architecture, landmarks and seaside charm, these festivals add even more flavor to the quintessential Maine experience for visitors and residents alike.
A key part of Portland’s vibrant culinary scene is the growing craft beer business. With over 20 local breweries and brew pubs, we are one of the top beer destinations in the country according to many. Boasting the most per-capita breweries and bars is one thing, but to us it’s always been more than that: it’s about brewing award-winning, world beer styles, from East Coast style IPAs to Belgian-inspired ales and everything in between. Local breweries are part of the fabric of our culture, and with each pint they creatively tell stories about Portland’s rich craft history and bright future.
Proof of our city’s craft beer credibility can be found in the arrival of Beer Camp on Tour. A roving beer festival tour from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Beer Camp is the country’s largest craft beer celebration and will land at the historic Thompson’s Point on June 3. Presented by participating craft brewers, the festival brings our local breweries together for an epic day of music, food, artists and of course beer. This year’s fest promises to be even bigger than its debut in 2014. “I remember getting an interesting call from [Sierra Nevada founder] Ken Grossman back in 2013,” says Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing Company. “He wanted Allagash to collaborate on a variety pack and participate in a cross-country tour the next summer. Of course, I accepted and he set out to build Beer Camp into what it is today: the largest craft beer celebration in America. I’m thrilled Sierra Nevada is bringing back Beer Camp to Portland this year, and we’re looking forward to pouring again at Thompson’s Point.”
What we know about the fest is that many of our local brewers will be there, including: Austin Street Brewery, Allagash Brewing Company, Foulmouthed Brewing, Geary Brewing Co., Maine Mead Works, Rising Tide Brewing, and Urban Farm Fermentory & Gruit Brewing Co. That list is growing by the day, in addition to the dozens of other regional and national craft brewers participating. The up-to-date brewer list can be found at beercamp.sierranevada.com. In addition to a great selection of craft beer, attendees will enjoy music from Chris Ross & The North and Spencer Albee, as well as some of Portland’s best food trucks and local artists.
When asked about Beer Camp coming back to Portland for a second time, Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., nods to Maine’s contribution to craft brewing. “Everyone has fun at Beer Camp – attendees, participating brewers and my family. It showcases the high-quality, craft beer being brewed in Portland and across America and gives attendees access to the brewers themselves.” Created by Sierra Nevada, Beer Camp celebrates the spirit of community and collaboration that drives independent brewers nationwide. Every craft brewery in America is invited to pour for thousands of attendees during the eight-city tour, beginning in Portland and ending in Seattle, WA. All proceeds from Beer Camp ticket sales go to brewing non-profits and local brewers’ guilds.
Alongside Beer Camp on Tour, Beer Camp Across the World is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and 12 breweries from around the globe. Expanding on the concept first introduced in 2014, this year’s one-time collaboration pack represents unique geographies and brewing styles and is only available at select retail outlets. These 12 unique beers, along with hundreds of others, will be available for a special tasting at the festival. For more information or to buy tickets, visit beercamp.sierranevada.com.
Residents and visitors can’t miss with summer in Portland. There’s a festival for everyone’s tastes – whether you crave live entertainment, local food or just celebrating the beautiful canvas that is our amazing city. And with all of the best beer under one tent at Thompson’s Point in June, I’m looking forward to reconnecting with some old friends and making some new ones at Beer Camp. Cheers!