SKOWHEGAN — It’s become a libation destination.

A block of Water Street in downtown Skowhegan will be a showcase Saturday for potent potables as 30 purveyors of Maine craft beer, wine, cider and spirits take to the streets for the third annual Skowhegan Craft Brew Festival.

Last year the festival drew more than 1,000 attendees — up from about 800 in 2016, said Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, which is hosting the event.

In 2017, craft beer samplers came from across the country and Canada. This year the festival features more brewers, including 12 who haven’t been part of the festival before, Cannon said.

“We’ve sold out of VIP tickets already, and people from Maine as well as all five of the other New England states, Quebec, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio have purchased tickets,” Cannon said. “It’s really neat that this event is drawing an out-of-state audience to Skowhegan.”

The Water Street block in downtown Skowhegan will be closed to vehicular traffic during the festival.


The event will kick off at 2 p.m. with a VIP hour featuring specialty brews and free food samples not available during the general session.

VIP tickets were limited and have sold out for the third year in a row, but general admission tickets are still available, according to Cannon.

During the general session, from 3 to 7 p.m., an array of Maine-crafted libations will be on tap for attendees to sample, while local vendors will sell food ranging from poutine to organic tacos.

Cannon said that over the last dozen years or so, Skowhegan has built a reputation as a local food and agricultural hub. Now, she said, with two craft breweries in town — Bigelow Brewing Co. and Oak Pond Brewery — along with Maine Grains at the Somerset Grist Mill, which mills locally sourced grains and sells them to brewers statewide, Skowhegan is getting recognized for craft beer as well.

“Our annual brew festival gives us the opportunity to further promote and solidify Skowhegan’s reputation as a destination for all things local, from grains to harvested crops to cheese and, of course, craft beer,” Cannon said. “Many of our brewers and food vendors source Maine ingredients, and that’s something we’re proud to offer to attendees.”

Local musician Connor Reeves will kick off the festival with an acoustic performance, then the Nikki Hunt Band will take the stage from 3 to 7 p.m. A pop-rock group based in central Maine, Nikki Hunt puts on a show with hula hooping and cover songs by artists including Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett, Bruce Springsteen, Sublime, No Doubt, The Doors, U2, and others.


A guided tour of Maine Grains at the Somerset Grist Mill, scheduled for just before the brew fest at 12:30 p.m., will round out the Labor Day weekend event, which Cannon said is “one of the only festivals in the state featuring all-Maine producers of beer, wine, cider, and spirits, making for an unforgettable close to summer.”

General admission tickets are available at until midnight Friday at a rate discounted from at-the-door prices. Tickets are also available at the Skowhegan Fleuriste in downtown Skowhegan until 6 p.m. Friday.

General admission tickets cost $40 in advance and $45 at the door. General admission designated driver tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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