One of the most anticipated events on the fall calendar for Maine foodies and alcohol aficionados is Harvest on the Harbor, organized by Portland’s Convention + Visitor’s Bureau and billed as Maine’s Premier Food + Wine Festival, and in our opinion, rightfully so. Now in its eighth year, this year’s event will take place October 21-25, 2015 – almost exclusively in Portland’s Old Port. And don’t be fooled by the name, there is also plenty of beer, cider, mead and spirits in the mix too.
Some of Maine’s top chefs, bakers, chocolatiers and more will be preparing their delicious, mouthwatering wares for your eager consumption including:
- Mark Murrell – Get Maine Lobster
- Chef Tom Sigler – Comida
- Matt Towle – The Thirsty Pig
- The Holy Donut
- Chef Shannon Bard – Zapoteca
- Chef Matt Ginn – Evo
- Gorgeous Gelato
- Chef Harding Lee Smith – The Rooms
- Chef Tony Rosenfeld – b.good
- Borealis Breads
- Chef Carla Stadler – Tao Tuan & BaoBao Dumpling House
We could keep going, but we’re already drooling just looking at those names. You can check out the full list here. Our one quibble with HOTH is their booze selection, which is full of national brands and light on local. While you will see Allagash, Downeast Cider House, Funky Bow, Maine Craft Distilling and Shipyard pouring, none of the wineries are from Maine. We hope HOTH steps up their game in 2016 and showcases more products from talented Maine brewers, wine makers and distillers.
With only two events that directly conflict with each other (Vines to Wines or Suds + Cider – how to choose?!), one could eat and drink their way across almost the entire five-day shebang. The events we have our sights set on include:
Suds + Cider from Hops to the Core: Friday, October 23, 2015, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Ocean Gateway. Beer and cider? Yes please! While the full list of purveyors hasn’t been posted yet, Funky Bow Brewery is scheduled to be pouring. While we love traveling to Lyman to visit Paul and Abraham to fill our growlers and eat some of their scrumptious wood-oven pizza, we love it even more when Funky Bow comes to US – right here in the Old Port. In addition to beer and cider, snacks and small bites will also be served. Tickets are $55.
Top of the Crop: Friday, October 23, 2015, 6:00-8:30 p.m. at The Portland Company. After all that drinking, we will be ready for some food, and this event will celebrate the farm-to-table movement. Chefs will be selecting produce from farms throughout Maine and incorporating their fresh, seasonal crops to create delicious dishes for you to enjoy. Tickets are $65.
Maine Marketplace: Taste the 8 Regions of Maine: Saturday, October 24, 2015. 2 sessions: 12:00-2:30 p.m. or 4:00-6:30 p.m. at The Portland Company. If you can only attend one event, we recommend choosing one of these two identical sessions on Saturday. Attendees will be able to sample food from restaurants and culinary businesses from throughout Maine, while also enjoying tastings from breweries, cideries, wineries, coffee makers and tea houses. There will also be seminars focusing on Maine’s sustainable food culture taking place throughout the course of the marketplace featuring the staff of Maine Sunday Telegram’s SOURCE. Tickets are, in our opinion, a steal at only $50 for this epic sampling of food and beverages.
Rock ‘N Roast Barbecue and Brews: Sunday, October 25, 2015, 1:30-4:00 p.m. at The Portland Company. We can’t think of a better way to end this epic week of dining and drinking then with an open fire throw down at The Portland Company involving BBQ, drinking and dancing to the music of Black Cat Road. And don’t worry vegetarians, there will also be some green options for non-meat eaters, so no need to sit this one out. Tickets are $65.
If you’ve never been to a Harvest on the Harbor, we strongly recommend checking out at least one or two sessions if you can. It’s a real treat to actually get to meet some of the talented folks across the state who are growing and cooking our food, or brewing or distilling our favorite alcoholic beverages. Two events have already sold out (Maine Lobster Chef of the Year Competition and Custom Cocktails Mix it up in Style), and only a few tickets remain to Harvest Hop Beer and Whiskey Crawl, so we strongly recommend buying your tickets as soon as possible. If you go and post your HOTH photos on Instagram be sure to tag your photos with #MyOldPort so we can share them with our followers.