Join more than 3,000 beer-lovers for 21-plus fun on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the annual Maine Lakes Brewfest.
Now in its 13th year, Brewfest offers samples from over 35 brewers while tasters listen to live music along the waters of Sebago Lake at Point Sebago Resort in Casco.
This year, the 2016 Brewfest Committee has made a few changes to help streamline the fun, according to Angie Cook, office manager at the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
The Bridgton-based chamber puts on the event.
Brewfest will not require attendees to “cash in” drink tickets in exchange for beer samples. In previous years, attendees received 10 tickets at the door that could be exchanged for samples.
This year, beer lovers can “sample to your heart’s content,” said Cook.
Each of the brewers has two or three brews specific to their company, so there will be plenty of options for every palate.
The decision to do away with drink tickets was made during the course of preparing and planning for this year’s event.
“We’re making changes and keeping up with the times,” Cook said.
The committee has also modernized their approach to Brewfest by allowing people to purchase and print their ticket online before the event. This will help to minimize time spent waiting in line for tickets, Cook said.
And Brewfest is going social this year with Snapchat, the smartphone application that allows users to upload and share short videos. Brewfest will have its own Live Story on snapchat, which will create a compilation of videos from users at Brewfest that can be viewed by anyone around the world.
Cook said the committee will also ask attendees to hashtag #mainelakesbrewfest when posting on Facebook and Instagram.
The event will also offer live music, with bands Carbon 14 and Random Order, and musician Chad Porter returning to the stage.
When Brewfest was started more than a decade ago, it was a small, local event that drew a modest crowd of 300 people. Last year the event drew more than 10 times the original attendance, and this year the committee is expecting up to 4,000 people, Cook said.
Cook, who has served as a volunteer at the event for three years, said the event is “just a fun day all around. It’s a fun, friendly day at the beach, with lots of people and beer.”
There are 15 food vendors on the festival grounds, and each will serve a different food, Cook said. The food offerings will range from classic barbecue fare to wood-fired pizza and lobster rolls.
Food purchases can be made separately, and are not included in the event’s entrance ticket.
The event will be held rain or shine on the beach at Sebago Lake. There will be tents set up in case of rain. IDs are required for entrance.
Crafters will be displaying and selling their products during the festival.
Tickets can be purchased at the door for $40. Point Sebago is accessible off Route 302, and offers parking for $5 per car.
For more information, visit www.mainelakesbrewfest.com
‘Amazing Chase’ time at hand
The Sebago Lake Region Chamber of Commerce is also hosting their big event of the year on Saturday, Sept. 24.
“The Amazing Chase,” modeled after the television game show “The Amazing Race,” will use smart technology to guide participants on a scavenger hunt throughout the Lakes Region. The chase kicks off at 8 a.m. from the Wyndham Microtel on Route 302 in Windham, and teams of four will have four hours to complete as many challenges and earn as many points as possible. Winners will receive prizes, but there’s also a charitable component to the race. Teams have been asked to raise funds for the chamber’s Feed the Need, an initiative to benefit food pantries in the chamber’s 10 towns.
For more information, see www.amazingchasesebago.com
Beer lovers gather at Point Sebago in Casco to sample their favorite beverage during the 2015 Maine Lakes Brewfest.