Fresh from the Leeds International Beer Festival, the Maine Beer Box returned to Portland in the US loaded with UK craft beer.
The Beer Box was the centerpiece of the sold-out Maine Brewers’ Guild Winter Session International Beer Festival and gave more than 1,100 US craft beer lovers the opportunity to try brews from across the pond.
Guild director, Sean Sullivan, said: “We welcomed attendees from over 20 different states and four countries to this event, which is a great indication of the how much attention Maine is getting in the global beer scene.
“It was pretty special to be able to share so many beers that had never been poured before in the USA at this event, from traditional British bitter ales to stouts, porters, and even three British-brewed New England IPAs, in addition to the 150-plus beers being poured by Maine brewers, the attendees had a great selection of beers to sample.”
Brewers and trade officials visit
Along with the Maine Beer Box, British brewers and a delegation of trade officials visited Maine for the week, joining local brewers to brew, learn, and take part in networking opportunities aligned with Portland’s Beer Week.
The group, co-ordinated by the UK’s Department for International Trade, also visited the Quality Control Collaboratory at the University of Southern Maine (a beer-focused research and testing lab staffed by chemistry students), as well as road trips along the coast and throughout Portland via the Maine Brew Bus including Lake St George, Marshall Wharf, and local breweries around the Greater Portland area.
Nick Helliwell, logistics director at Saltaire Brewery, in Yorkshire, said: “We visited more than a dozen breweries, from the well-established Allagash to one of the very newest, Definitive, sharing ideas and knowledge and even did a few collaborative brews along the way.
“We are grateful to the venues that featured our beer during Portland Beer Week, including The Thirsty Pig and Maps Bar.
“The highlight of the week was being able to personally pour our product for everyone that attended the Winter Session of the Maine Brewers’ Guild Beer Festival. We left the state impressed by the quality of the craft beer, warmed by the hospitality, and with relationships that will hopefully be productive for all in the future.”