GARDINER — On Saturday, when Swine & Stein marks its 10th year in Gardiner, it will have a new look and a new setup.

The event, the key fundraiser for Gardiner Main Street, needed to change with the times, executive director Melissa Lindley said recently as she was working through the final details for the Saturday  brewfest.

Every year for the last decade, Water Street — between the intersections where Bridge Street turns into Brunswick Avenue and Maine Avenue turns into Church Street — has been shut down on a Saturday in October for the fall celebration.

But 10 years in, Lindley said, a change was needed.

“We’re making it a brewfest,” she said.

Among the 18 participating beverage makers are Bateau Brewing, Two Gramps Brewing and Sebago Lake Distilling of Gardiner, Chadwick’s Craft Spirits of Pittston, Grateful Grains of Monmouth, The Liberal Cup of Hallowell, Cushnoc Brewing of Augusta, and the Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company of Whitefield.


The 18 makers will serve from two to four beers, spirits or wines, including those commonly available to those that are not sold in stores.

“We’re going from 12 taps to four times that,” Lindley said. “There will be more variety and it will be more personalized. People can learn about the beers from the people who make them.”

This year, a VIP Exclusive Tasting Hour has been added at 11:30 a.m., which will give ticket holders early access to the beers, wines and spirits being offered. The day kicks off at 12:30 p.m., when general admission begins. VIP tickets are $50 through Friday and $55 the day of the event. General admission tickets are $30 through Friday and $35 the day of the event. Tickets for designated drivers and non-drinkers are $5. They are available online through the Gardiner Main Street website and at the gate.

Bryce Royal, of Windham, competes in beard contest during the Swine and Stein festivities on Oct. 10, 2015, on Water Street in downtown Gardiner. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan

In addition to access to beers, wines and spirits, the day will also feature live music by Calypso Soldiers, Emilia Dahlin, and the Pete Kilpatrick Band. Other events include the 6th annual Beard and Mustache Competition, a frozen T-shirt race and a sausage-making demonstration in Johnson Hall by Emery’s Meat & Produce.

The food vendors will bring the swine, with Salty Dog BBQ, Papa’s Roadhouse, Ye Olde English Fish n’ Chips and Pinky D’s Poutine Truck. Knead Bakery will offer Bavarian style soft pretzels, and Scrummy Afters Candy Shop will bring chocolates, candy and novelty items.

Although he won’t have any beers to offer this year, John Callinan will be in the beer tent Saturday as a future member of the greater Gardiner brewing community. Along with Rick McCormick, Callinan is opening Rogues and Jokers Brewing on Water Street in the space where for a couple of years Callinan operated the Craft Beer Cellar.


Right now, the space at 339 Water St. is undergoing renovation. A tasting room will be developed at the street level, and the beer making will take place in the lower floor.

The partners have secured their federal license, and they have started ordering and bringing in equipment while waiting for the work to be completed.

“I can’t give you a precise date of when we’ll be open,” Callinan said Thursday. “We’re hoping for December.”

In the meantime, he said he’ll be in the tent with the other brewers on Saturday with a “coming soon” sign.

In past years, Water Street downtown has been closed off with limited access. This year, Lindley said, visitors will have free access to all the stores and restaurants on the street.

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