There are eight beer festivals scheduled to take place in Maine this year, including two in Bangor and four in Portland. For beer fans and tourism officials that’s worth a cheer. A few years ago there were only three. Starting this weekend through early November, these festivals, in which ale is sampled and the characteristics of hops and barley contemplated, pump up the state’s burgeoning brewing industry, which now has 35 craft breweries, and attracts hundreds of beer tourists with money to spare. As craft beer explodes across the country and Maine’s brewers continue to make a name for themselves among beer enthusiasts, cities such as Bangor are starting to capitalize on the wave. Zeth Lundy, co-owner of Central Street Farmhouse in Bangor and an organizer of the Bangor Brew Fest in early August, is leading the charge in Queen City. Lundy and his wife opened Central Street Farmhouse, which sells home-brewing equipment, in 2010. Around the same time Geaghan Brothers Brewing and Nocturnem Draft Haus opened. “Before those things happened, you had to go to Portland for a good beer bar or homebrew store,” Lundy said. (read more at Lewiston Sun Journal)
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