Maine beer festival organizers are calling for changes in the laws that restrict their events after a shortage of volunteers as required by
the state marred an international beer event in Portland over the weekend.
Entry to the Saturday evening session of The Festival, a Shelton Brothers event that drew brewers from around the world, was reportedly delayed for at least a half hour because not enough volunteers showed up to pour beer samples. For some
bizarre reason the beer companies are not allowed to serve their own beer.
Festival organizer Dan Shelton criticized 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:
This is not just us complaining. The brewers really wanted to serve their beers to the customers, and it really bothered them. That's how they create a personal connection with people, and that's what they came here for.
He also bristled about the fact that state regulators insisted that his festival censor beer labels from a Danish brewer that included an expletive.
Shelton also argued against a Maine law capping the amount of beer festival-goers can consume over a four-hour stretch at 48 ounces (2.5 UK pints). The minute limit is monitored by banning cash sales and using a ticketing system with
restrictions on ticket issuing.