Maine Beer Box Sets Sail for Iceland With 70 Maine Craft Brews on Board

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Maine Brewers' Guild to host largest beer festival ever in Reykjavik and serve Maine beer from 'Beer Box' on June 24.

The Maine Beer Box is loaded on the Skogafoss (photo credit: Chris Cary)

The Maine Brewers’ Guild (MBG) unveiled the Maine Beer Box to an excited crowd at the International Marine Terminal in Portland, Maine, where it set sail for Reykjavik, Iceland aboard the Skogafoss. The first-of-its-kind Beer Box will facilitate a global exchange of beer, brewing knowledge, and camaraderie between Maine brewers and brewers from ports across the North Atlantic that are served by Eimskip’s shipping fleet.

Constructed from a 40-foot refrigerated shipping container and outfitted with 78 taps and a self-contained CO2 system, the Maine Beer Box is designed to transport beer and then serve it directly out of the side via the built-in taps. It is the largest kegerator ever built, and will be able to bring craft beer anywhere in the world, by land or by sea.

“We’ve built a world-first, state of the art piece of equipment using all Maine companies, and we’ll use it to promote Maine products,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

The Maine Beer Box features six, custom-fabricated stainless-steel draft boxes, each containing thirteen taps, which were built by Zajac, LLC in Saco, Maine. Given the enormous stress put on ocean-bound shipping containers, the team at SnapSpace Solutions in Brewer, Maine, whose expertise is container modifications, was chosen to install and complete the box, which is now even stronger than the original shipping container.

“At every step of the way, our decisions were guided by a commitment to quality,” said Sullivan. “Our brewers spend an enormous amount of time crafting their beer, and the Maine Beer Box will carry this commitment forward – ensuring that our products, and those of our partners, are able to be shipped and served to meet the highest quality standards.”

As part of the Maine Beer Box Global Beer Exchange, Maine brewers will load the box with kegs of their beer each year, and exchange it with a different country’s brewers, who will return the favor by filling the container with their beer and shipping it back, with events hosted in each country. The box set sail on Saturday June 3, filled with more than 70 different craft beers from 40 Maine brewers bound for Reykjavik, Iceland for the first part of the global exchange.

The Maine Beer Box will serve as a unique and prominent symbol of the collaborative spirit of Maine’s brewers. Part marketing, part goodwill trade mission, and part economic development initiative, the project has involved breweries of all sizes, from each area of Maine. Many of the brewers will travel with their beer to Reykjavik, where they’ll have the opportunity to meet Icelandic brewers, share their craft, and pour beer side-by-side on June 24 at BjórFestival, Iceland’s largest ever beer festival.

“I’m really excited about the prospect of Maine becoming a hub for beer tourism and reaching outside of the country to showcase that and show the world our beers,” said Kai Adams, owner of Sebago Brewing Company. “Maine and Iceland share a similar end of the road, seafaring culture. We’re all hardy types and rugged by nature. Go-getters and doers.”

After global beer lovers get a taste of Maine beer at BjórFestival, the Maine Beer Box will be loaded with beer from Icelandic brewers. It will then be shipped across the North Atlantic back to Portland, Maine where it will be served at the Guild’s Summer Session Beer Festival on July 29th, completing the exchange.

To purchase tickets to BjórFestival, visit: https://midi.is/atburdir/1/10070/Bjorfestival-Maine_Beer_Box

Recognized partners and sponsors of the Maine Beer Box include: Eimskip, The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Verrill Dana, The Maine International Trade Center, Bank of America, The Maine Technology Institute, SnapSpace Solutions, Zajac, LLC., and Matheson Gases. The Maine Beer Box concept was co-created and generously supported by David Carlson of Marshall Wharf Brewing Company.

Maine Brewers featured in Maine Beer Box:
Allagash Brewing Company
Atlantic Brewing Company
Austin Street Brewery
Barreled Souls Brewing
Baxter Brewing Company
Bear Bones Beer
Bigelow Brewing Company
Bissell Brothers Brewing
Boothbay Craft Brewery
D.L. Geary Brewing Company
Dirigo Brewing Company
Flight Deck Brewing
Fore River Brewing Company
Foulmouthed Brewing
Foundation Brewing Company
Funky Bow Brewery & Beer Company
Geaghan Brothers Brewing Company
Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company
Gruit Brewing Co.
Liberal Cup Brewery
Liquid Riot Bottline Co.
Lone Pine Brewing Company
Maine Beer Company
Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.
Mason’s Brewing Company
Mast Landing Brewing Company
Monhegan Brewing Company
Norway Brewing Company
Oak Pond Brewery
Orono Brewing Company
Penobscot Bay Brewery
Rising Tide Brewing Company
Saco River Brewing
Sea Dog Brewing Co.
Sebago Brewing Co.
Shipyard Brewing Co.
SoMe Brewing Company
Threshers Brewing Co.
Tributary Brewing Co.
Tumbledown Brewing

About Maine Brewers’ Guild
Maine Brewers’ Guild is a nonprofit, 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to promoting and protecting the craft beer industry in Maine. Since 1986, Maine has been at the forefront of the craft beer movement. As of January 1, 2017, Maine is home to over 90 breweries and is consistently recognized as one of the best destinations in the USA for beer tourists. Learn more at http://www.mainebrewersguild.org

About Eimskip
Eimskip is a leading transportation company in the North Atlantic with connections to international markets and is specialized in worldwide freight forwarding services, with the vision of providing excellence in transportation solutions and services.

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Paula Stanton
Broadreach Public Relations
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