Planners give heads-up for County beer festival

9 years ago

Planners give heads-up for County beer festival

Brewfest coming in Oct.

    MARS HILL — Four Aroostook County entities will unite to host a one-of-a-kind beer and wine tasting festival Saturday, Oct. 17, at Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill.

Contributed photo

    The Aroostook County Brew Fest Committee sponsored balloonist Walter Crites and his hot air balloon from Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company for the recent Crown of Maine Balloon Fest. Crites carried banners on his balloon basket  to kick off promotion of the October 17 event at Bigrock Mountain in Mars Hill. Taking part in the sendoff were, from left, Joshua Buck, The Maine Malt House; Lyn Frederick, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce; Dawn Poitras, TAMC; Karen St. Peter, Key Realty; Jacob Buck, The Maine Malt House; Crites, CFO Gritty McDuff’s; Zion Gurney, Gritty McDuff’s balloon team member; Jeff Clockedile, Bigrock; Krista Delahunty, Aroostook Hops; and Jonathan Isacco, US Cellular. In front are Marie Johnston and Kathleen Johnston of Aroostook Hops.


    Bigrock, along with the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, Aroostook Hops of Westfield and Maine Malt House LLC of Mapleton, have been working collectively on the project since January. The Aroostook County Brew Festival will be first event of its kind in the area.
    Theresa Fowler, Executive Director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, said, “We are pleased to work with Bigrock Mountain, Aroostook Hops and Maine Malt House to host the first brew festival in Aroostook County.” Fowler said there are currently commitments from 14 Maine breweries, with 45 taps to choose from.
    “The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce reached out to gauge our interest in hosting a first-of-its-kind event at Bigrock and we felt this was a great opportunity to help stimulate the local economy, with the microbrewery industry in Maine growing rapidly,” said Bill Getman, general manager of Bigrock Mountain.
    He noted the event came at a “perfect time” because it falls on the same date as the Rocktoberfest fundraiser for Bigrock, which is one of the ski area’s largest off-season events.
    Aroostook Hops is owned and operated by Jason Johnston and Krista Delahunty in Westfield, ME. Over recent years they have increased production of hops to provide the booming brewing industry in Maine with locally grown products.
    “We are one of Maine’s longest established hops growers, producing sustainable organic hops,” said Johnston. Many of the brewers slated to be at Aroostook County Brew Festival are using the hops produced at Aroostook Hops.
    “The Brew Festival will be a great opportunity for the people of our region to learn about our new venture, as well as Aroostook Hops, and how we are both playing a role in the industry,” said Jake Buck from Maine Malt House LLC.  “We look forward to showcasing several beers at the Brew Festival that are brewed with our malt.”
    The Mapleton-based business has been increasing production over the past year and has gained professional relationships with breweries from Maine at similar events.
    The Aroostook County Brew Festival will begin at 12 noon Oct. 17 with a VIP session, which will be capped at 250 people. This will allow people the opportunity to access brews available only during the one-hour session. The general admission session will begin at 1 p.m.
    Admission is $50 for the VIP session and $35 for the general portion if purchased prior to the event. Tickets will be available the day of the event at $60 for VIP and $45 for general admission.
    The festival will also feature live music, with a slate of local musicians.  For a complete schedule of events, a list of breweries attending, sponsors and musical acts, and to purchase tickets, visit the event’s website at or see Aroostook County Brew Festival on Facebook.
    Sponsors can be visited on the Web at,, and