Happy New Year one and all. With each new year, comes January. And with each January comes what has, in recent years, become one of my single most-favorite, most-undiscovered Better Beer events in the state of Maine. I am referring, of course, to The Belgian Beer & Cheese festival at Vignola restaurant in downtown Portland.

The 4th annual Vignola Beer & Cheese Dinner (they call it a dinner, I call it a festival because it starts at Noon), which is an opportunity to sample a “wide array of American, Belgian and German beers and artisinal cheeses”, will take place on Saturday January 23rd at the restaurant on the corner of Dana and Wharf streets in Portland’s Old Port. Tickets are $25 a piece (non-inclusive of tax or gratuity) but that’s truly a steal for the absolutely glutenous amount of beer and cheese you consume at this event, after even just one pass through the line! Reservations are required and are available for either session (12pm-2pm and 3pm-5pm) by calling 207.772.1330 or visiting the restaurant (although last year, we bought tickets at the door without a problem but do so at your own risk).

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to shell out, check out my full recap of 2008’s event (and last year’s was even better, I just forgot my camera). Seriously, can you think of a better way to shake some mid-winter cabin fever than artisan cheese & beer on a Saturday afternoon in January? I thought so.

I will absolutely be in attendance, so be sure and say hi if you see me.


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