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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 12, 2020 and Island Ad-Vantages, November 12, 2020 and The Weekly Packet, November 12, 2020
Downeast Cider+Cheese Festival planned
Features live music, historical talk

Celebrating a revival of two traditional foods, hard cider and cheese, the Downeast Cider+Cheese Festival honors the rich tradition of Maine’s historic apple industry, according to a news release.

In its third year, the festival has expanded to offer free and virtual events for all to enjoy November 13-15. The event is hosted by Heart of Ellsworth with sponsorship from the Maine Office of Tourism and Bangor Savings Bank.

On Friday, November 13 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., College of the Atlantic Professor and apple historian Todd Little-Siebold will kick off the festival with a virtual talk on the history of cider in Ellsworth and Maine. This educational talk will be offered online via Zoom and free of charge. Space is limited and advance registration is required at

Continuing into Saturday, November 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the festival will have a table outside Flexit Cafe (192 Main Street) for free apple identification and kid’s activity bags created by volunteers to ignite curiosity of the history of apples and its place in Downeast Maine’s heritage. Children will find games, stickers, apple recipes and more. Supplies are limited. Additionally, those interested in having apples identified will need to make contact with Little-Siebold prior to Saturday. Contact information and instructions can be found at

Cider pressing demos will be offered Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the beer garden at Fogtown Brewing Company (25 Pine Street). This educational, family-friendly event will showcase the newest technology in juice pressing with a Speidel Bladder Press from Germany. Cider heads and basement brewers will love seeing how this machine yields more juice extraction than a ratchet-style press and premium juice for fermenting.

Local musicians Gus La Casse and Mathias Kamin will play a free live-streamed concert of Old-Time music on Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

The acoustic concert will be broadcast on Facebook Live and can be watched from the Heart of Ellsworth’s Facebook page at

In addition to support from the Maine Office of Tourism and Bangor Savings Bank, the festival is sponsored by several local businesses, including Fogtown Brewing Company, John Edwards Market, Perennial Cider Bar+Farm Kitchen and Rooster Brother.

To learn more about these free events or to purchase tickets to the festival’s signature live virtual tasting (via Zoom) co-led by Little-Siebold and Khristopher Hogg of Perennial Cider Bar+Farm Kitchen, visit

Maine CDC safety protocols will be implemented and the public is required to wear a mask when in attendance while maintaining social distance.