Craft beer is a treasure to many who appreciate the unique complexity of its flavor. Like a fine wine, beer lovers all over the world enjoy each sip with reverence for the brewer who masterfully crafts each barrel. Made with traditional ingredients like malted barley and hops, you will most often find these brews containing non-traditional brewing ingredients like fruits, nuts, coffee and even chocolate. New England is a hot-bed for craft breweries. In the state of Maine alone there are 52 craft 1782025_457470651055640_172287987490137684_nbreweries with an additional 40 located in Vermont, 26 in New Hampshire and whopping 61 scattered throughout Massachusetts. For many of the New England states you can easily obtain a road map to guide you to each brewery. One of the unique benefits of visiting one of these breweries is having the opportunity to meet those that are brewing your favorite beer! Craft breweries are known for their unique twists on brewing beer but many are rooted in the “old world” style of brewing. What you are guaranteed when you sit and sip a craft beer is that feel good feeling of supporting local, small businesses. As you will find with most craft breweries, their integrity is built upon their desire to be innovative and independent with their craft. They strive to support local sources for their ingredients and love to give back to their communities. Sip it alone or pair it with your favorite cuisine, craft brews continue to grow in popularity one barrel at a time. Make sure to take some of Maine’s finest craft brews home with you! After attending the show make sure to stop and visit our friends at the Good Beer Store, located right here in Fryeburg! The folks at the Good Beer Store have graciously sponsored our Pavilion this year and for good reason. The Good Beer Store was built upon the desire to provide locals the opportunity to experience a great selection of craft brews and wines. They offer a room full of home brewing supplies. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, so if you’re looking for a great stout or interested in trying your hand at home-brewing, And coming soonThe Good Beer Store will be opening their Saco River Brewery in June and Ruth and Kevin Antonucci, owners will be introducing their Clearwater Pale Ale at this year’s show.

Following close on the heels of the craft beer movement is the production of craft meads. Known to be the one of the oldest 207606_177125492336232_6230745_nfermented beverages, traditional mead is crafted through the fermentation of a mixture of honey and water. This drink of the gods has been noted throughout history as part of rituals and religious ceremonies. Gracing the tables of the Celts, Anglo Saxons and most notably the Vikings, it was belief that mead possessed a magical property that could heal and even increase fertility. Have you ever wondered where the idea of “honeymoon” came to be?  While there are many explanations, mead has its place in defining this piece of history. During the 5th century when cultures represented calendar time with moon cycles, it was believed that if a newlywed couple drank mead during their first moon of marriage, it would increase fertility and result in the birth of a son. But before you start envisioning yourself smack dab in the middle of a Renaissance Faire, you must know that today’s surge in the craft mead industry is fueled by innovation. Just like most craft beers, meads are being crafted with all sorts of ingredients including fruits, herbs and even vegetables.