Festival Organizer Interview (Updated)

Dan Shelton, organizer of The Festival, shared his frustrations with Maine alcohol laws with the Bangor Daily News.

The hitch caused The Festival organizer Dan Shelton to criticize the state law restricting brewers from pouring their own samples during festivals, a regulation he blamed for unnecessarily driving up his need for volunteer pourers. He said he needed to have 80-plus volunteers, one at each booth, and wasn’t sure how many he was short by when organizers realized they needed to scramble to add more.

“Maine is a great beer state and Portland’s a great beer town,” Shelton said. “We were all enthusiastic about Portland, but then we started to learn about these laws, and that’s when it started going sour for us.

If My Coaster Could Talk has published commentary from the volunteer’s perspective, and The Beer Babe has posted a piece from the perspective of an attendee.

2 comments on “Festival Organizer Interview (Updated)

  1. Had the Shelton Bros. done their due diligence, they would have been aware of Maine’s arcane laws and prepared properly. I attended Friday’s session, and the admission process was painfully slow. I doubt this was the fault of the State of Maine but probably poor and sloppy organization. It was embarrassing.

  2. Yeah, not to mention $65.00 a ticket for 3 sessions, servings restricted to 48 oz per patron, tons of publicity that benefits brewers and distributors and a full staff of volunteers? If he still lost money there, that is just poor planning. He was asking for volunteers for everything, including entertainment. We have plenty of great beer bars, beer sellers, and beer festivals – its always nice to see business come to the city, but if this lawyer wants to say that he lost money because of the state of maine, shame on him. You should know the laws buddy, you’re a lawyer! It is silly that the brewers couldnt pour though. I bet a lot of customers and buyers tried some new beers that they’ll either sell or purchase, so I doubt this was an overall loss for all of the brewers who participated. Look at the craze of Cantillon last week, thanks to businesses like RSVP, Novare Res, and the Bier Cellar who expose us to so many great brews we might have never had the chance to try – there is a strong market up here for high quality craft beers that makes Portland a beer destination!

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