Maine microbrews are a fascinating story, and you can celebrate them with me on the weekend of Oct. 3-4. It’s Maine Craft Weekend and the celebration is statewide. This is part of American Craft Week, a nationwide event.

I did a bit of celebrating early, on Sept. 17, by enjoying four superb beers brewed by Farmington’s Tumbledown Brewing Company. Owner Matt Swan started brewing beer for himself and friends eight years ago and this year was able to give up his day job and work full-time, brewing, bottling, and distributing beer. He’s now on the Maine Beer Trail!

Maine Craft Weekend pairs artisan-made crafts with Maine craft beer, a brilliant idea as far as I’m concerned. The weekend event gives you an opportunity to see both in action by taking the self-guided tour that highlights participants all over the state. An interactive map on the Maine Craft Weekend website will get you started in the right direction.

As a press release from the Maine Office of Tourism says that the studios of many of particpating “artisans are usually closed to the public, so this is a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch woodworkers, jewelry makers and papermakers at work. Some artists have planned special MCW events and demonstrations at their locations, from a lesson on a pottery wheel or an opportunity to try glass blowing. The events vary by location but there will be open studios, demonstrations, tastings, exhibitions, sales, tours, kids’ projects and other creative and interactive activities. MCW is also a good opportunity to purchase a wide variety of Maine-made crafts.

“Adding to the merriment is the participation of more than two dozen craft breweries all over the state. From such well-known breweries as Sea Dog and Sebago to newer artisan brewing companies such as Squaretail, Liberty Craft Brewing and Sheepscot Valley, Maine’s craft brewers have established themselves on both the regional and national stage.”

More Beer

In the Travelin’ Maine(rs) weekly column that my wife Linda and I have been writing for five years for publication every Thursday in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, we like to feature local microbrewers. This year we’ve written about microbrewers from Lubec to Monhegan, and regular readers know that one of our very favorite brewers and restaurants is Geaghan’s in Bangor. The Geaghans opened a new brewery in Brewer this year and now distribute their exceptional beers statewide. If you haven’t tried their Smiling Irish Bastard, you don’t know what you’ve missed!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of several Seadog and Shipyard beers. Fred Forsley has led the way for all of our microbrewer, and is still very active in the Maine Brewers Guild. Check out the Guild’s website for information about the microbrewers in your area. And start traveling their Maine Beer Trail!