I spent this Saturday (4-7-2013) afternoon at the BDN Maine Garden Show & Spring Fling. I’ve been to the Garden Show in the past but it’s been a few years, things have definitely changed. This year the Garden Show is presented by the Bangor Daily News, the show is spread out more this year which was nice, even though there were a lot of people it never felt crowded. I showed up early enough to check out the displays and let my son hit a few golf balls around the putting green before the Beer Garden opened.
The Beer Garden was located in one corner of the Civic Center, right next to the Mainely Meats BBQ booth which smelled amazing, there were quite a few people bringing their BBQ into the Beer Garden to enjoy with their beer samples. The Beer Garden opened at 2pm sharp, there was hardly any wait to get in and start sampling. Allagash Brewing, Atlantic Brewing, Maine Mead Works, Penobscot Bay brewing, Winterport Winery, and Sam Adams all had booths and were pouring beer/wine/mead/cider. Both Seadog and Baxter Brewing were absent which was disappointing but being the first time the Garden Show has held a Beer Garden it wasn’t unexpected.
The entry fee for the Beer Garden was $10 which got you a punch card for 8 samples and they were allowing people to split a punch card with a friend if they didn’t want all 8 samples. The crowd in the Beer Garden was really laid back, everyone was enjoying samples and mingling, there was rarely a wait for a sample. I think the designated Beer Garden area was just the right size, I never felt crowded, it was a comfortable space.
I had a good time; I think the addition of the Beer Garden was an excellent idea, having been to past Garden Shows I don’t think I would have been drawn to this one without it. While I was in the Beer Garden my wife and son visited the children’s area, where they planted seeds, shared a bowl of Maine made ice cream and listened to live music so there was something for everyone. The Garden Show will be running for one more day opening at 10am with the Beer Garden opening at Noon.