The Great Falls Brewfest featured hundreds of micro brews, live music and activities at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston on Saturday. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

LEWISTON — More than 2,000 people gathered Saturday afternoon at Simard-Payne Memorial Park for the sixth annual Great Falls Brewfest, hosted by Baxter Brewing.

Adam Platz, director of the brewfest, said this year’s turnout was “on par” with the previous year, despite a brief bout of rain that sent people scurrying for the safety of the beer tents.

“I’d say that, weather-wise, this has bee

Kace Pearson of Auburn samples a Mountain Brewing Co. beer, poured by Kyle Alber at the Great Falls Brewfest in Lewiston on Saturday afternoon. Pearson wore lederhosen that he got on a trip to Munich, Germany. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

n one of the more successful years,” Platz said. “I think that six years into this, people are starting to understand the vibe and the feeling of the brewfest, and that’s what keeps people coming back each year. It’s just a good vibe.”

Eric Peterlein of Lewiston and his friend, Jim Betsch, veterans of the Great Falls Brewfest, each had their own preferences when it came to the beers being offered.

“I’m more of a porter person,” Peterlein said. “I like the darker beers more. Plus, they fill you up faster, which is good at an event like this.”

Betsch, on the other hand, said that he was an “IPA guy” and finds that they pair well with nice weather.

“When it’s nice out, I love a good IPA,” Betsch said. “When I’m outside and the weather is nice, I think IPA’s are perfect.”

The sixth annual brewfest included 50 breweries and offered more than 150 types of beer, Platz said.

Nate St. Pierre and Patrick McCarthy strut their new glittery beards at the Great Falls Brewfest on Saturday afternoon at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

Eight breweries made their inaugural appearance at the Brewfest: Airline Brewing Co. from Ellsworth, Bath Brewing from Bath, Bigelow Brewing from Skowhegan, Black Hog Brewing from Oxford, Connecicut, Connecticut Valley Brewing Co. from South Windsor, Connecticut, Side by Each Brewing from Auburn, Steam Mill Brewing from Bethel and Willie’s Superbrew from Rhode Island.

Side by Each Brewing Co., which opened about four months ago, had a long line for much of the afternoon and received compliments for its beers on tap: Maillard’s Revenge Coffee Porter, Sweet Auburn! Maine Session IPA, and Bock of Seagulls Maibock.

Among those frequenting the Side by Each booth included Jacob Rudolph and Jake Waldvogel.

Rudolph, who tastes and reviews beers on Instagram under the name “brewdolph_207,” said there’s “something about Maine beers” that is unlike other states.

“There’s something about the Maine water being used to make the beer,” Rudolph said. “Each individual beer has its own specific taste. I’ve been cross-country and have even been to Europe, and Maine beer is unique.”

Waldvogel said there’s an “art in the (brewery) industry” right now.

“Right now, people are making unique beers that are different for specific reasons,” Waldvogel said. “It’s pretty great.”

Scott Cameron, right, from Three Rivers Rafting Co., tells Pam and Pat Kelly about the joys of whitewater rafting at the Great Falls Brewfest on Saturday in Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal

As the afternoon came to an end, Platz said it’s the “beer and the breweries” that keeps people coming back year to year.

“We’re always trying to make sure that the beer is fresh,” Platz said. “What I mean by that is that we try and make sure we’re getting some new breweries each year and some new beer selections by the breweries who are making a return visit.”

“That’s what the people appreciate,” he said.

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Scott Cameron, right, from Three Rivers Rafting Company, tells Pam and Pat Kelly about the joys of white water rafting at the Great Falls Brewfest on Saturday afternoon in Simard Payne Park in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/ Sun Journal


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