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Fire Island Beer Co. pours me a Red Wagon IPA.

Brace yourself, it’s festival season

There are a lot of fantastic things about being involved in the rise of craft beer. The incredible growth in this state is creating jobs, bringing people to the state to try Maine beer, and beer events are quickly becoming a part of our life in this state and in Portland. As the interest in craft beer grows, there is one thing that is occurring that can sometimes be challenging. Starting in the beginning of June, beer-related festivals and events begin to fill the calendar.

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Nothing Missing in Omission Pale Ale

I consider myself to be very lucky not to be affected by any kind of gluten sensitivity. Many of the people that I know, however, do have either a gluten allergy, Celiac disease, or some other medical reason that gluten negatively affects them. Unfortunately for the beer lover, this significantly narrows the choices for beers that you can drink. Since May is Celiac Awareness month, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about my favorite options for gluten-free beer.

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Happy Sol brings much-needed sunshine to Maine

I recently went on a trip to Cedar City Utah, where I spent four days in sunny, summer-like weather. I even got a bit of a sunburn when I forgot to re-apply my sunscreen on the second day. So my dismay upon returning to the Manchester, NH airport in a downpour only grew when I realized that the chilly rains were going to stick around for days instead of hours.

I returned home and opened my fridge to see if there was anything there that could lift my spirits a bit for the upcoming week of pervasive gloom. I spied a bottle that I had picked up the week before – Somerville Brewing Company’s Happy Sol – and thought it would be a good start.

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Food Trucks & Beer

Until recently, Maine has not been able to enjoy the creative and funky foods from mobile vehicles. But recent rule changes have allowed a small fleet of trucks to start spreading out throughout the city, albeit to limited locations and times. As exciting as that is, it takes a few more partnerships before the “food truck culture” will sweep Portland. And this weekend, I think I witnessed a perfect union between two community-focused businesses – breweries and food trucks – as executed by Rising Tide Brewing in East Bayside.

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The best kinds of bitterness in Bunker Brewing’s 122 Coffee IPA

Now, before you spit out your coffee (or beer) when you hear the terms “coffee” and “IPA” in the same beer name, this perhaps isn’t such an insane idea. After all, coffee stouts blend their own roasted bitterness with the sharp coffee notes to great success – why shouldn’t this other bitterness found in strong hops work just as well?

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Tapping Portsmouth

Four Portsmouth breweries – The Portsmouth Brewery, Redhook Brewery, Smuttynose Brewing Co., and Earth Eagle Brewings — are working together with Strawbery Banke Museum to present this year’s special exhibit, “Tapping Portsmouth: How the Brewing Industry Shaped the City,” opening May 1, with additional sponsorship from Kennebunk Savings Bank.