Congress Street is named one of ten greatest streets in America

June+2012+Portland+Maine+Congress+Street+Night+View+Winslow+Lofts+by+Corey+Templeton_edited-1  The American Planning Association came out with a list today of Americas top ten streets  and Congress Street here in Portland was named number five! Every October APA comes out with 30 of Americas exemplary streets, public spaces, and neighborhoods that add some sort of value to the local community. The biggest reason that Congress Street was picked is for its evolution over the years. Congress Street dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War and there are architectural styles from the 18th thru the 21st century. Monument Square was highlighted as one of the most popular areas on the street.

 

 

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Food, Drinks, And More Food

Here are some upcoming events that are happening right here in Portland that bring you fresh Farm dinners, barbecue, wine, cheese, and beer!

 

OCT. 2 GREATER PORTLAND SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION

Where: DiMillo’s on the Water, 25 Long Wharf, Portland

When: 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $50

Webstie:  marchofdimes.org/maine

At this annual fundraiser for the March of Dimes, Dr Michael Pinette, medical director of MaineHealth’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine will be honored. The guests can sample dishes from local Maine restaurants including DiMillo’s, Ri Ra, Brunswick Hotel & Tavern, Vinland, and The Frog & Turtle.


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OCT. 22 HARVEST DINNER ON THE STAGE

Where: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

When:  7 – 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $150

Website: eventbrite.com

This year the first-ever gala event is an introduction to Harvest on the Harbor, this annual celebration of Maine’s celebrated food and drink scene, which runs through Oct. 25. Seven outstanding local chefs will prepare a course of a locally-sourced meal, complimented with beer, wine and laughs. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the Good Shepherd Food Bank Summer Food Service Program. Also Sommelier Erica Archer from Wine Wise will be the entertainer for the night.

 

 

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OCT. 26 RISING TIDE’S FOURTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY

Where: Rising Tide Brewery, 101 Fox St., Portland

When: Noon – 5 p.m.

Cost: $45

Website: brownpapertickets.com.

The Rising Tide Brewery is celebrating with a “Harvest Fest”. The Brewery will be having fresh meat raised by local farms, on diets that were provided by the brewery’s spent grain. Max Ury Farm will be providing a heritage pig and RC Game Farm will be providing poultry. All of which will be used on a menu crafted up by chefs Brad Messier of Rosemont Market Productions and Matt Brown of the Good Shepherd Food Truck. There will also be pies provided by Brianna Warner, of Maine Pie Line and  small-batch anniversary beer from Rising Tide’s will also be provided. Corvus will be available on draft and in bottles. In addition, the Fest will include a pickle competition, judged by “Celebrity Pickle Panel” Joe Ricchio, Jackie Ward, Kate McCarty, and Adam Callaghan. The ticket price includes food, two drink vouchers and a souvenir glass. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Good Shepherd Food Bank in support of their mission to fight hunger in Maine.

 

NOV 5 #BILLMURRAYBEERWEEKME

Where: Novare Res Bier Cafe and other beer bars around Portland

When: TBD

Website: facebook.com/PortlandBeerWeek

The organizers of Portland Beer Week (Nov. 1 – 7) are hoping they can convince actor Bill Murray to come to Portland by brewing beers in Murray’s honor. Whether or not Murray, who is most famous for his movies “Ghostbusters” and “The Life Aquatic” shows up, guests can enjoy Vigo’s Pink Ooze, Jaguar Shark and Lost in Fermenation along with the beers Maine brewers have already promised to make.

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NOV. 12  ALTON BROWN LIVE! THE EDIBLE INEVITABLE TOUR

Where: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland

 Time: 7:30 p.m.

 Cost: $46-$76

 Website: tickets.portix.com

Yes! You got it, the host of “Cutthroat Kitchen” and “Iron Chef,” along with cookbook author and renowned food world personality is taking his unconventional humor and culinary expertise on the road. His show is a mixture of his stand up comedy, food, talk show antics, multimedia lecture, and, live music. Audience will be required to interact of course!

 

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Bonefire grand opening || First 50 people get free burgers for a year! Sept 26, 2014

Bonfire

 

 

Bonfire Country Pub in the old port is Portland’s newest bar!  This Friday they are doing something kind of unheard of.  The first 50 people in the door will receive free burgers for a YEAR!  Bonfire Country Pub located in the Heart of the Old Port at 37 Wharf Street in Portland. This amazing place features a country vibe with fun lively atmosphere. They Specialize in drinks served in Red Solo Cups and a hint of technology.  They even have a self serve beer wall!

 

 

Check them out this Friday at their grand opening!

 

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Local Music Video Program

 

 

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 Looking for something to do after work? Well check this out, a program of music videos that all have some sort of connection to the community. YES, the local PORTLAND community! Okay so here’s the deal a local Filmmaker, by the name of David Meiklejohn has put together these local videos to show Portland not only his talent but to get growing support of the local community. This is all happening September 24 at 7pm right in Congress Square Park.

 

 

 

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Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours || Weekend brewery recommendations!

Fall is upon us and I’m sure just like every Saturday and Sunday morning in Portland Maine many will be heading out locally to sample some of the best craft brew this state has to offer.  Our friend Mark Stevens at Maine Beer Tours was nice enough to give us some recommendations before heading out on your own on his own Maine Beer Tour Bus.  Check out Maine Beer Tours online to check out what a true craft beer experience is all about!

I asked Mark to give us his top two if he has to give ONLY two breweries to make sure to hit up this weekend.  Here’s what he said.

 

“I’d love to talk about the guys at Austin Street Brewery and/or Luke Livingston up at Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.  Austin Street is a tiny brewery that is putting out just fantastic beers.”

Austin Street is located in Portland, ME at 1 Industrial Way, Suite 8

Courtesy of Austin Street Brewery's Facebook.

Courtesy of Austin Street Brewery’s Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baxter is a favorite of mine, and I have a bit of a man crush on Luke.  He’s a great guy, doing some really great things up in Lewiston, which is needed”

Baxter is located in Lewiston, Me at 130 Mill St.

Courtesy of Baxter's Facebook

Courtesy of Baxter’s Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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Maine Seaweed Festival this weekend! || August 30, 2014

Courtesy of Seaweedfest.com

Courtesy of Seaweedfest.com

 

The 2014 Maine Seaweed Festival is happening this weekend at the SMCC campus in South Portland, Me!  The event is free and open to the public.  Following the event there will be a ticketed “Sustainable Seafood Celebration.”  This festival is a fantastic way to introduce and educate the community to an emerging popular food that many have never tried before!

 

The main goal of the festival is to raise awareness and educate the public on the positive impact that Maine macroalgae is playing in the food culture and especially the local Maine food culture.  This food is improving agriculture and aquaculture industries! The festival will feature many different ways to experience the food through food, art, children’s activities, speakers, music and more!   IMG_20140827_144955

 

 

The event runs from 11:am- 5:pm on Saturday August 30, 2014.  Followed directly by a ticketed dinner.  

Location- Southern Maine Community College-2 Fort Road , South Portland, Maine

Visit: Seaweedfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets for this cant miss event!

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Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours || Taking the craft beer ride.

Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours LLC

Mark Stevens of Maine Beer Tours LLC

 

A few summers ago I was outside on the deck in the middle of a Portland Maine summer at Novare Res Bier Cafe.  I was there with a mutual friend Luke Livingston who at the time had just launched Baxter Brewing Company only a few years earlier.  I was getting ready to call it a night when a friendly couple approached me and asked if I ran a company in town.  I said yes and we began to talk, and they informed me they had just started their own business too.  The couple was Mark and Nichole Stevens.  The company was Maine Beer Tours.  This was right at the time that the craft beer industry in Maine was really taking off.  Me, being very new to any of it and being very ignorant to this happening listened somewhat in awe that people would pay money to be driven to different breweries and learn about them and sample beers all day.  Why wouldn’t they just go to a bar?  What’s so cool about seeing a brewery?  Was there really a market for this, I asked?

Well, two years later I think my questions have been answered.  Portland has almost become a proving ground for the craft beer industry and every few months a new brewery that seems to always make great beer will pop up.  Personal friends of mine are responsible for some of the biggest craft beer buzz in the Northeast.  The culture has exploded and people now want to know exactly how it’s made, meet the brewers, sample beers they may never be released, and most of all: have fun!

As the years went on Mark an I remained friends and shared many mutual friends.  I couldn’t help but want to actually know as much as I possibly could because every single time I see his bus drive by in town.  I think about how him and his wife were so friendly and excited the night I met them about this venture.  I sat down with Mark recently to talk to him about it all, and what they have planned for the future!

 

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So how did this all start?    

Mark-  The whole concept started for me back about 9 years ago.  Some friends and I rented a van, found a friend willing to drive us, and did our own tour of breweries in Maine, New Hampshire and Mass.  As you can imagine, we had a ton of fun, and talked about it for years.  Fast forward to about 2010, as my wife, Nichole, and I discussed the idea of going into business more, we knew we wanted to be a part of the beer scene here in Maine.  We knew we weren’t good enough at brewing to open our own brewery, but kept going back to the tour I did all those years ago.  We wanted others to discover this great beer scene we have here.  We spend a good portion of our free time hanging out at tasting rooms, chatting with people, so the idea that we could introduce both locals and tourists to the exceptional beer culture we have here in Maine was a no brainer.  The next thing you know, we own a bus!  

 

The Maine Beer Tours Bus!

The Maine Beer Tours Bus!

Tell me a little about how you and your wife got into beer, and where you guys grew up.

 Mark-  We both grew up north of Bangor (Nichole is from Old Town, I’m from way up in The County in Fort Fairfield).  Our craft beer options were limited, to say the least.  There were two places in Presque Isle that had a selection that included more than Bud and Michelob.  One was this crazy store that also sold porn and odd kids toys, the other was a pawn shop.  Neither were places you would think of, but they had some interesting beer choices that afforded me the opportunity to try out different things and expand my palate.  Then, at 19 I brewed my first beer at home.  It was awful, but it gave me the itch to learn more about beer.  Since then, I’d say it’s been a bit of a love affair, in a good way.  Since Nichole and I have been together, we have planned every trip around checking out new and different breweries.  For example, while she was on maternity leave, we brought baby Brooklyn to 18 different breweries.  It’s something we love to do.  It’s a very calming place for us, sampling a few different beers and checking out every breweries interpretation of what beer is to them.    

You and your wife run the company, correct?  Have you always loved beer?

Mark-  Nichole and I run the company.  For the first 6 months, it was just the two of us, with friends jumping on the bus to help from time to time.  During this time, we were rapidly approaching the arrival of the newest addition to our family (Brooklyn) knowing that Nichole would need a little time off,  we hired our first employee.  As of today, the Maine Beer Tours team consists of 10 folks that are all just as passionate about Maine’s craft beverage scene as we are.  We are big fans of beer.  We plan vacations around brewery visits, we host a couple of beer tastings at our house every year, and we spend a fair amount of time going to beer events and releases whenever possible.  We are intrigued by the vast differences from one style to the next, or from one hop or malt to another.  It’s been an interest of mine since college, when I brewed my first beer. 

What was the moment you decided to do this, did you feel there was a need?

Mark-  It was back in 2010 when we first discussed doing this.  At that time, there was nothing like it.  Maine Foodie Tours existed, and I was doing the books for them, so I was aware of the tour industry and had an idea of how the numbers might look.  I spent 2011 and the beginning of 2012 working feverishly behind the scenes to figure out licensing, partnerships, routes, calendars, logos, web site design and building relationships with the breweries.  It was the beginning of the brewery boom here in Portland, and the timing was right to really help breweries fill up their tasting rooms.  My concept was less about us, and more about promoting the breweries.  We understand that it isn’t about us, and that we don’t exist without great relationships with the breweries.  We pride ourselves on promoting others as much as possible. The “buy local” premise is big in Maine, and we wanted to further that concept with our tag line “drink local”.  I think we have been helpful to the breweries we visit, and hopefully even some we have yet to visit.  

Courtesy of Mainebeertours.com

Mark and Nichole Stevens.

So take me through what happens when people step onto the bus! 

Mark-  In short, snacks, beer and fun!  To break that all down, we try to really show folks not only just a fun time sampling beers from around the state of Maine, but to teach them all about the great things going on here as well.  We have a 14 passenger bus with lots of storage.  For each and every tour, we pick people up on Commercial Street in Portland, and visit 3-4 different places.  Our tours include all sampling and tours at each location.  Our longer tours include a snack stop (including stops at Salvage BBQ, The Great Lost Bear, Ebenezer’s Brew Pub and Gritty McDuff’s), and our shorter tours include snacks from a variety of local businesses (pretzels from 158 Pickett Street in South Portland, potato chips from Fox Family Farms in Mapleton and popcorn from Little Lad’s in Holden).  A nice little perk about our bus is that it is registered as a limousine, so folks are allowed to sample beers on board.  We typically bring a beer from somewhere we are not visiting, which is a great way to feature another Maine brewery, giving us a wider range of locations to showcase.  We also have bottles of water, because staying hydrated is the key!  A tour with us will feature a minimum of 7 different Maine companies, which is extremely important to us.  Between each stop, we will answer any questions you may have, entertain you with our wit and charm, and provide all the Maine beverage industry information you care to hear.  The idea, for me, is to engage people, but don’t talk over them.  We pride ourselves on fostering a fun atmosphere, and making everyone feel like part of our family, even if it is just for a few hours.

Do you think this would have worked ten years ago, do you think it’s something that is a fad or do you think the craft beer industry is something that will always grow?

Mark-  This may have worked 10 years ago, but it wouldn’t be nearly as strong, obviously.  Breweries have been opening like mad in the past half dozen years, with about 10 just in the past year alone.  I think the timing was right, and this niche is here to stay.  Craft beer is big business, on par with the ski industry here in Maine, which is incredible.  I’m sure that proverbial bubble is hanging out there somewhere waiting to burst but as long as people continue to make solid beer, I think the Maine craft beer industry will continue to grow.   

Do you have any favorite new breweries or ones that you personally love the most?

Mark-  Picking a favorite beer or brewery is like picking your favorite kid.  In all honesty, it changes for me all the time.  I’m really into IPAs and stouts, that much I’ll say.  My taste buds definitely change with the season.  I like flavorful, hoppy beers when the sun is actually keeping us warm, and want dark, roasty stouts when the temperatures drop.  I love the gang up at Baxter Brewing in Lewiston.  I’ve become friends with many of them, and really enjoy spending time up there.  I think Sebago Brewing is absolutely killing it right now.  Their Bonfire Rye, Simmer Down Summer Session Ale and Hop Swap are excellent, and they give an amazing tour out at their production facility in Gorham.  The new guys, Austin Street, Bissell Brothers, Foundation, Gneiss, Banded Horn, Barreled Souls and Funky Bow are putting out high quality products right out of the gate as well.  Seriously, it’s hard to narrow it down for me.

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Personally, I have always respected people with a dream, a vision, a passion for anything.  The first moment I met Mark and Nichole I knew they had the passion to make something special.  They’re friendly, hard working people with an intense love for beer and it shows.  To learn more about Maine Beer Tours and to get some tickets and experience this first hand click below!  Comment or like this story on our Facebook to win a free pair of tour tickets to ANY tour.

 

http://www.mainebeertours.com

https://www.facebook.com/mainebeertours/

 

Take care guys!

 

-Kyle Poissonnier

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Summer ‘Stache Pag to be held at Hadlock Field- July 31, 2014!

courtesy of formstack.com

courtesy of formstack.com

 

After the huge success of the facial hair contests as of late in town it only made sense for the Traveler Beer Company, the Sea Dogs, and the Portland Facial Hair Fest to join forces right?  Right!  This year on opening day at Hadlock the fans will be treated to something quite special before the game!

The July 31st home series against Trenton will feature a full pageant of local folks that all think they have the best mustache.  The winners will be completely voted on by the crowd and there will four categories of beard and mustache greatness!

 

 

Competition categories include”

-Full Beard (6 inches or less)

-Full Beard (6 inches or more)

-Natural Mustache

-Styled Mustache

* A very special Traveler Beer trophy presented during the game to the winners.

The $5 ticket gets you entry into the ‘Stache Pag pre-game event, as well as the Sea Dogs/Trenton Thunder Game starting at 7:00pm.

 

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TRAVELER BEER.

 

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Registered yet for the Tough Mudder? Popular event predicted to sell out in 3-4 days

Tough Mudder, courtesy of northeastexplorer.com

Tough Mudder, courtesy of northeastexplorer.com

 

The Great Northeast run of the popular Tough Mudder series is now 95% sold out.  It’s predicted to sell out in 3-4 days.

 

 

You can register online HERE

 

 

Event location:

Sunset Ridge, 771 Cumberland St, Westbrook, ME 04092

Date:

August 23-24-, 2014.

 

Standard Entry available still!

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State of the State 2 concert giveaway next week!

Friday July 11 7pm!

Friday July 11 7pm!

 

The annual mega show at the State Theatre is giving fans opportunities to come meet the acts somewhere next week in the Old Port and get free tickets to the show!

Thursday July 10, the bands will hiding somewhere and followers will have to find clues to locate them, and claim their free tickets!  The clues will be posted here starting at 5pm on July 10!

State of the State 2 is put on by lifestyle company Katalyst and it features the state’s biggest bands like:  The Mallett Brothers Band, Spose, The Wrecking, Model Airplane, The Other Bones, and The Kenya Hall Band.  The show will also feature comedian Nick Lavallee and each band will backed for two songs of their set by the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra.

Get ready for the biggest show of the year Friday July 11 at the State Theatre in Portland.  

Tickets available now at http://www.statetheatreportland.com

VIP tickets available for a pre show BBQ hosted by Binga’s stadium INSIDE the venue between 3-5 pm to eat with the bands and listen to sound check!

More information on the show

 

 

 

 

 

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