Author Archives: MaryMallard

What IS a Community Manager, Anyway?

A few weeks ago I was invited to talk on a panel for My Community Manager‘s #CMGRHangout. The topic was how community managers survive their day-to-day. It was a really interesting topic, and I learned some good stuff from my peers.

But, back up a sec – WTF is a community manager (hereon referred to as cmgr)? Well, that’s kind of a loaded question that has a lot of different answers, depending on who you talk to. Generally, when people ask what I do, I just say I work in “social media”, which conjures up its own ideas of what I do all day.

Image Credit: MISSELIAH 2.0

So I decided to put together a list of things that cmgrs are, because I think it’s important that people understand the scope of what social media entails. And also I like lists.

1. We are data nerds

When you’re working in social, you need to have a strategy. To formulate that strategy, you define goals. And how do you know if your strategy is working towards those goals? DATA. And lots of it.

I use a couple tools to track the performance of my social media efforts, and I track them weekly, monthly and quarterly in a spreadsheet. At the end of the month/quarter, I make a super kickass PowerPoint (star wipes FTW) to show my boss where we were, where we are, and where I think we should be going with our social strategy.

You need to be able to look at raw data, analyze it, and draw conclusions based on the trends you’re seeing as to how you should proceed. It’s pretty cool, actually. *pushes glasses up nose*

2. We are copywriters

Social media is about WRITING. Getting people to pay attention, click, engage – the number one way to do that is based on your wording. Just like a content marketer does their best to write eye-catching headlines, we work within character limits to get our story across as succinctly as possible, while still keeping it interesting.

And not all platforms are the same, either. What works on Twitter in 140 characters may not work on Facebook (a.k.a. PLEASE STOP USING HASHTAGS ON FACEBOOK).

Not my best work, but you get it.

Not my best work, but you get it.

Different audiences, different ways of delivering information – if you don’t have good writing skills, you’re dead in the water. Sorry kids.

3. We are content creators and curators

When you work in social, whether for a brand or yourself, there’s a level of etiquette around how much you self-promote. Think of it as a cocktail party: if you’re in a group constantly talking about what YOU did last weekend and how YOUR job is going and OH did I tell you about (insert latest accomplishment here), no one is going to want to stand around listening to that. They’ll probably stop inviting you places – and then you’ll be on your couch on a Friday night drinking red wine from a bottle, telling your dog how great you are. But I digress.

There’s what we call the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you promote other people’s stuff, and 20% of the time you talk about yourself. I’m not going to get into the specific reasoning for that, however, it does equal quite a bit of work for a cmgr.

Generally, you have a content calendar of stuff you want to promote/share/talk about for the month (created content). I tend to work with our content specialist/blog writer and editor extraordinaire/my personal cheerleader, Emma, on this.

In addition, you have the task of finding other stuff from other sources (blog articles, videos, interesting tidbits) to share with your audience (curated content). It SOUNDS easy, but sometimes it can be really, really, REALLY hard. Especially when everyone is writing about the same damn thing over and over. Which happens pretty often.

4. We are designers

Ok, so not designers in the TRADITIONAL sense. And I don’t mean to take anything away from the super talented people I know who are designers. But, sometimes you need a graphic really quick, and you don’t want to bother your super talented but also SUPER BUSY designer. That’s when you take matters into your own hands.

Luckily, there are a lot of web apps that make designing halfway-decent looking stuff insanely easy (my fave is Canva), which lets me whip up Motivation Monday or Fun Fact Friday graphics in less time than it would take for me to run a mile.

….I’m a really slow runner.

5. We are researchers

You know how people are always complaining every time Facebook makes a small change to your newsfeed? WELCOME TO OUR LIVES, EVERY OTHER DAY.

There is so much stuff that happens behind the scenes of your favorite social networks, and a lot of the changes (mainly in Facebook’s case) work against brands and marketers trying to use them as advertising channels. What does this mean for a cmgr?

Reading. Lots and LOTS of reading. I scroll through social media blogs every day to make sure I keep up to date on any changes happening anywhere, learn new methods of circumventing those changes (or just ideas on how to do my job better), and just to stay current on other stuff happening in the social media world.

And finally…

We’re a pretty cool bunch. I mean, @JakeStateFarm is handled by at least one (probably more) of us. We’re creative, funny, and pretty fun to go get a beer with. So go ahead, applaud your local cmgr!

There’s probably a lot that I’m missing (it is a Sunday afternoon), but that’s what the comment section is for! What does the cmgr title mean to you?

Image credit: MISSEILAH 2.0

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What to Do When Someone Says a Competitor Is Better Than You on Social Media

Welcome to my first social media-related post! Since I work in social, I decided I should probably start writing some educational stuff. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

A couple weeks ago I had a pretty interesting experience on Twitter with a brand I was considering doing business with, and it got me thinking – there’s a lot of tricky situations that happen in social every day, and there’s a lot of different ways to deal with them. I want to share MY methods of working through this particular situation, in hopes that it can be a help to others.

All Companies are Not Right for All People

When someone is comparing your product or service with someone else’s saying they’re better, your first reaction is probably to get defensive. After all, this is YOUR company they’re talking about. You’re the best for everyone, right?

WRONG.

Generally, all companies are not right for all people. Unless you’re a bacon factory. In which case, carry on. You’re fine. But in most cases, what is right for one customer may not serve another. That’s why we have competitors – they (usually) offer something you don’t, or claim to do whatever you do, better.

So what should you do when someone says, “I think that X company is the same if not better than Y,”? First, take a look at the actual conversation. If it’s on Twitter, look at the previous tweets. Is this in response to what someone else said? Usually tweets or comments like this are part of a larger conversation. The original tweet tends to be someone asking an opinion of their followers, or advice from other people who use yours or a similar product or service. Stepping back and taking a minute to survey the landscape can can help save you from a faux pas in your response.

What Might Happen if You Call Out a Competitor

When you see someone comparing you to another guy, your first thought may be, “They’re so wrong! They don’t understand my company! I need to change this!” That’s basically what happened in my exchange. They called out their competitor by name, and asked their community to try and change my opinion.

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

How did it turn out? It started a FIRESTORM. Customers of this brand were tweeting at me left and right, and some of them weren’t so nice. Not helpful, not constructive. Is that really how you want your business represented to potential customers? Didn’t think so.

The one positive point of the situation is that this company clearly has a really passionate community. Harnessing that passion can be a great tool, if you use it correctly. In this case, it wasn’t done so well.

So, How Could This Have Been Handled Differently?

In this particular scenario, I have a two-pronged approach.

1. Leave your competitor out of it. – I am VERY against calling out a competitor like that. It isn’t helpful, and it’s bad form. Like I said before, what you provide isn’t right for everyone. So don’t make yourself look bad by trying to put down other companies who are also in your industry.

2. Let your community help. – Any time someone is looking to do business with you, the best thing you can do is BE HELPFUL. Instead of trying to change someone’s opinion, direct them to your community in a way that encourages constructive conversation.  After all, they’re the ones who are using your product or service!

For example, you can retweet someone and say “Can anyone help Joe?”, or “Anyone have experience with this?”. It will be far more well received by the potential customer, and your audience, and is more likely to lead to a sale.

The one thing I want to drive home here is that your first interaction with a potential customer is the most important one. How you treat their questions and comments really reflects back on you as a company, and can really influence their decision one way or another. Taking a few minutes to step back, take and breath, and create a thoughtful response can really make a huge difference.

What’s your strategy for dealing with this type of situation?

 

Comment sections are the WORST.

Last week, a funny thing happened that made me feel like I’ve kind of *made it* in the blogging world: someone called me a bitch in a comment on one of my posts.

Now, mind you, I hardly EVER get comments (you’re an awfully quiet bunch!), so it was quite surprising, dare I say even amusing, that I got a random negative comment. I marked it as spam, because this is my blog and I can do what I want, but I did take a screenshot of it (pay no attention to the Family Guy game push notification):

Anonymous, really?

Anonymous, really?

Well, “Anonymous”, thanks for the observation. The comment was made on the post Take That Thing Off Your Head, which is about my dislike of fedoras. This leads me to believe it may be Jason Mraz.

Anyway, off topic. Clearly this was a person who disagreed with my post, and wanted to express his opinion. Two things stand out to me here, though.

  1. He (I’m assuming it’s a guy, since the post was directed at guys) didn’t use his real name.
  2. His word choice.

Clearly he was somehow upset by my post, but is calling me a bitch the real way to solve anything? This brings me to my point. It seems that, more and more, the relative anonymity of the internet is making people increasingly hostile towards one another. If I had been talking about this, say, in a bar and he didn’t agree, would he have called me a bitch to my face? Maybe, if he really is that big of a douche, but my instinct is to say no. Why is it, then, when we see something we disagree with, or in general ANYTHING that we may not like for one reason or another, we turn into such animals?

Take the comments on the following reddit thread, for example. My dear friend Emma, who has two favorite sayings of “NOTHING GOOD EVER CAME FROM A PLAN!” and “ALWAYS SAY YES!” (caps for emphasis, because she really IS that enthusiastic about life, and I love it), had made a video FOR FUN one night called “What I Do When My Boyfriend is Out of Town”. It was clips of her doing things like wearing his pajama pants, not cleaning the kitchen, and wearing her retainers when she goes to bed. It was pretty hilarious, as Emma tends to be, and was literally made on a Saturday night when she was just hanging out. She’s spontaneous like that.

Well, she posted it to YouTube for her boyfriend and friends to see, and somehow it got posted to reddit, and trolling ensued:

1560447_10201297370496633_1673731061_n

 

Understand, here, I’m not trying to feed the trolls. I just want to know: what’s the purpose of this? Why do you need to lay into someone YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW? She made a video for fun, because she was bored – who are you to leave hateful comments on it? Had you seen her in public, and heard her speak, would you have gone up to her and said “Hey, your voice is really awful and you look super Jewish,”? Again, I’d hope probably not.

So why does it make it okay for us to hide behind our screens and say things like this online? What do you get out of it? Does it make you feel that much better about yourself that you’re a part of a community that is all about making awful comments about other people, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT? And I’m not trying to focus on just reddit, but it seems like that’s where a lot of the trolling lives. This happens everywhere.

I’m not going to say you don’t think it. That’s fine – we all have our opinions. There are times when I read BuzzFeed articles, or news stories, or any other piece of writing or journalism, and I think, “Wow, this person is an idiot,” or, “Why is this news? This is stupid. This person isn’t even NEWSWORTHY,” or something similar. But I don’t think it accomplishes anything to write those comments down, for everyone to see. It usually incites hate-filled rants from other people, or an argument in the comments section. Which doesn’t accomplish anything either.

I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that I’m frankly saddened that people feel it’s okay to spew hate at each other when we can’t see each other face to face. I’m not trying to make any outlandish statements about society here, but it really makes me question the world we live in, when you can’t even post a lighthearted video for your friends without worrying about whether or not the trolls will show up.

I welcome comments on this post – as long as they’re intelligent conversation, and you use your real name. Please.

Yoga Is My New Passion

This morning was my 6th yoga class, so you may be thinking it’s a little early to call it my new passion. Well, frankly, “passion” sounds better than “obsession”, so I’m going with that.

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, yoga is the first form of exercise that I actually LOOK FORWARD to doing. For reals. I don’t have to force myself to go, I don’t have to try and make an “if this, then that” type of reward (i.e. if I go to the gym, I can buy myself new headphones). I genuinely enjoy the classes, even though they’re SO HARD, and I feel really great after them. Well, I went to a 9:30am class this morning, so I needed a nap after, but I feel pretty great now.

This pose is called "Big Pile of Nope"

Right now this is a big pile of nope for me. 

It’s also started to push me in the direction of uncovering the spiritual side of the practice. Now, I’m totally not a spiritual person. I went to Catholic school for 12 years, which is mainly the reason why I’m not a practicing Catholic anymore. I just don’t agree with it. To be honest, I think most organized religion is a sham. I believe it makes much more sense for a person to embark on their own spiritual journey and find what is important to THEM, not just go along with what some entity tells them is important. But I digress.

Since my first class, I’ve had a desire to get to a place in my life that I feel the same off the mat as I do when I’m on it – calm, believing I can do things that I normally would be afraid to try, willing to push myself to, and sometimes past, limits that I believe are set for myself. I’d also like to have a better sense of well-being, and the ability to find joy and gratitude in every day events.

Right now, I feel a lot of stress in my life – admittedly from a lot of stupid stuff. I’d like to be able to move past that, and I feel like keeping with the practice of yoga can really help with that. Stay tuned for progress – consider this my post of intention.

Warrior > Worrier

Warrior > Worrier

WTF Comcast?

I’ve lived in my apartment for just about 6 months now, which means the most recent cable bill I received has gone up – no more discount rate for me. Now, this is probably my fault, but I didn’t realize it was going to be over $100. Also, I have the package that’s just a step above basic cable – so I pretty much have no channels or DVR.

My next logical step is to say, let’s get rid of cable. I don’t really watch any shows religiously (except for Animation Domination on Sunday nights on Fox), and huluPlus lets you watch shows right away anyway. Plus, isn’t it THE thing right now to get rid of cable? So, I did a little looking around.

My main problem is that I watch sports. And by watch sports I mean I watch Bruins games religiously. Except when they’re on late because I go to bed at 9. But that’s beside the point. Bruins games are on NESN or NESN+, or when the hockey gods decide they hate us, NBC or NBCSports. If I get rid of cable, or even downgrade to the next lowest package, I lose all those channels. So cutting the cord completely doesn’t work.

Then I found the Roku box. It seems really great in theory. You pay once for the box, have Netflix and huluPlus, and have access to other channels. They do say that the other channels may charge a fee, but don’t SAY what that fee is. Honestly, I just want the History Channel, TLC and Animal Planet (for Ancient Aliens, The Little Couple and Too Cute).

Definitely aliens.

Definitely aliens.

As far as sports goes, it shows that you can get the NHL Network. Cool, right? Sure, if I moved across the country. You can only get out-of-market games. It was pointed out to me that you could do some sort of technical thingy to make the router think you’re somewhere else which would let you get the games, but that’s just too much. Even if I had someone else set it up, if it ever broke I wouldn’t be able to fix it. Le sigh.

So right now I’m just frustrated at how expensive cable is, upset that I can’t get rid of it (well, I COULD, but going to bars to watch sports games all the time gets expensive), and generally perturbed that my cable bill is more expensive than my electric bill and renter’s insurance combined.

Who’s idea was this, anyway?

I Hate Sundays

I love my job. I don’t dislike the weekend ending and having to go to work on Mondays. But I really, REALLY hate Sundays. Some people use Sundays as a day of relaxation and getting ready for the week, but the things I have to do to get ready for the week are annoying. Let’s delve into what they are, shall we?

Meal Planning/Grocery Shopping

I love eating, however, I always prefer when the food is made FOR me. I’m trying to get better with cooking, especially now that I’m living alone, but I tend to be much less adventurous with my meal choices when I’m actually preparing the food. Partly because I just don’t have TIME to make these elaborate meals, and partly because food is so damn expensive. Believe me, I cut coupons, I shop sales, and I buy store brand. But I’m still spending about $50/week on meals. Which is far more than I’d prefer to be spending. And that’s usually without fresh veggies (I tend to buy the frozen steamer veggies – way easier and I can keep them as long as I want).

Also, meal planning is a pain in the ass. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t try a lot of new things, and I’m kind of picky. So, I’d hate to buy all the ingredients for a new recipe only to try it and hate it. Plus, it seems like EVERY “healthy” recipe has quinoa or chia seeds. My coworkers know exactly how I feel about both of those things.

chia-seeds3

Chia seeds look like frog eggs. End of story.

Trying to choose a different meal for every day of the week is difficult for me as well. As I mentioned, my cooking skills lack variety, so I end up eating a lot of chicken and salmon. And avocado. Which isn’t bad, it just gets boring after a while.

Budgeting

Budgeting is also a Sunday task. I usually review what I spent for the last week, and try to make adjustments for the coming week. This usually means I look at how much money I have until my next paycheck and try to figure out how to feed myself on what’s in my bank account. And have gas in my car to get to work. But let’s be honest here – just because I set a budget doesn’t mean I stick to it. Sure, it makes me think about spending before I spend it…but I usually just spend anyway. I always think to myself, “If I didn’t buy those two pairs of shoes, I’d have that extra $70 in my account this week,” but it never seems to keep me from buying those damn shoes.

Cleaning

My apartment is relatively small, so I don’t have a ton to clean. But bathrooms, man, are the worst. And vacuuming, now that I have a cat, is insane. I clean up the kitchen every night after I shower, and try to vacuum every other day, but fitting that in with cooking and going to the gym or yoga is tough. So Sundays are usually reserved for cleaning the bathroom, dusting, and generally doing a thorough vacuuming of the apartment. Which is effing tiring.

In short, there’s just not enough hours in the day (or the week, for that matter) to live like a functioning adult. I honestly don’t know how you people do it.

What say you, loyal reader?

Getting Back Into It

Well hello there. If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a good 9 months since I’ve posted here. No, I didn’t have a kid (but wouldn’t that be such a kicker if I did?) I’ve gone through a lot of changes in the past 9 months, and I decided it would be fair (and hopefully interesting) to my loyal readership – all two of you – to give a little run down on what I’ve been up to. (And I’m also still obsessed with parenthesis. So. Sorry.)

Job Change

Part of the reason why I stopped writing is because I went through a major change with my work situation. The company I was working for, which I’ll name now – PerkStreet Financial – closed down in September of last year. Long story short, it was VC funded, the VCs decided they didn’t want to give anymore money, and we lost our funding.

Silver lining – I found another job as a social media and community manager at a super cool company called Grasshopper. I have a lot more creative control there, and I’m able to do a lot of stuff I didn’t have resources for in my role at PerkStreet. Also, I can still wear jeans to work and we do a lot of fun stuff in the office. Example: this video we just made for a work project. I also get to write for the blog occasionally – you can check out my posts here (please don’t judge my headshot – it’s awful).

Needless to say, I was super busy with that transition, and eyeball deep in figuring out how to handle social. Getting home at the end of the day after staring at a computer screen for 8 hours does not make for good motivation to write a blog post. So. There’s that.

Living Situation

Going along with getting a new job was getting a new apartment. Grasshopper is slightly farther from my parent’s house that PerkStreet was, however, PS was in the middle of Boston and could be accessed by public transportation. GH is outside the city and can sort of be accessed by public transportation, but not very easily from where I lived. So, on the quest for an apartment I went.

I successfully found an apartment about 20 minutes from the office, in a nice area close to a lot of stuff. It’s just the right size for me (The Boyfriend isn’t living with me yet) and my adorable cat that I adopted in February.

Sassy - the best cat ever.

Sassy – the best cat ever.

Her name is Sassy, and I got her from Black Cat Rescue, an amazing organization dedicated to finding homes for black cats, who have a bad rap and therefore are less likely to be adopted. As I’m writing this, she’s sitting on my lap wondering why I’m not giving her my full attention. Did I mention she’s also a diva?

Getting Physical

So, I’ve written a lot before about trying to become a runner. However, after stopping and starting several times, it’s time to admit: I HATE running. I don’t want to be a runner. Yes, I want to exercise and be healthy, but on my terms. Doing what I want to do. And that, my friends, is yoga.

Okay, I’ve only been to three classes. But after every class I find myself actually EXCITED for the next class. Like, looking forward to when I can go again, rather than dreading having to make myself go to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m keeping my gym membership to use the machines and get my cardio in, but I don’t think I’ll step on the treadmill again unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Expect posts about my yoga journey – it’s pretty intense.

In the interest of time, the cat on my lap, and your waning attention span, I’m going to close this out. I’m hoping I’ll keep up with this – I enjoy writing, even if no one else is reading it. Til next time!

 

Kids? No Thanks.

First, I want to say that I know a lot of moms, and I admire every one of them. Working moms, stay-at-home moms, moms with one kid, moms with many kids – and I consider you all superwomen. It takes a special kind of gal to decide to bring another human being into this world, and to make sure that they are well cared for and brought up to be a functioning member of society. So please don’t take this as a knock at moms. You’re all great.

I am not one of those gals.

I was at The Boyfriend’s sister’s bridal shower yesterday, and of course the subject of children came up. Apparently it’s still an assumption that when you get engaged you’re already planning on having kids. Can we take things one step at time? Planning a wedding seems stressful enough, who wants to think about having a baby?

Anyway, I made the statement that I don’t want kids. Ever. I generally dislike children. Well, let’s be clear: as long as they aren’t crying, sticky, drooling a lot (more specifically, on me), or talking in that way a four year old talks so it takes an hour for them to tell you a five minute story, then I like them. Generally I like them while they’re small and cute and can’t move around much or talk back. There are a select few that are cute toddlers (and those moms know who they are), but once they get old enough to actually make decisions and know right from wrong, I’m out.

So, back to my statement: no kids. I’ve talked to The Boyfriend about it, as well, and he agrees. Sure, bringing a life into the world is wonderful and all, but right now I can hardly take care of myself, let alone another person. Also, I’m way too selfish for that. We like to take day trips to Maine and New Hampshire, or take off for a weekend once in a while. Once you have a kid, *womp womp*. You gotta get a sitter (and they cost a hell of a lot these days), plan their meals, make sure they have food, emergency numbers, the whole nine yards. Or, if you take them with you, you need to keep them entertained and plan all your activities around them. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

The most annoying part of the kids conversation, though, is when people say, “Oh, you’ll change your mind when you’re older and married.” Or, the ever popular, “It’s different when they’re your own.” NO. NO IT IS NOT. It’s still drool, spit up, poop, waking up at 3am, packing the baby bag, unpacking the baby bag, and on and on. And also, who the hell are you to tell me what *I* will end up wanting in life? If I listened to every person that told me what would happen with my life, I would be in a totally different place than I am today, probably hating life. So, that.

I plan on having a long, happy, childless marriage. With many trips to islands, spontaneous weekend getaways, and maybe even a visit to Canada. All without needing to make room for a carseat among the luggage, or having to deal with crumbs in my purse.

End rant. Thanks for reading.

Color Me Rad: My First 5k

I did it! Well, sort of. A few weeks ago I completed my first 5k. I don’t want to say I RAN it, because I only ran about half of it. But I can still say I completed it! That’s almost as cool, right?

Either way, the 5k I ran was definitely cool. It was Color Me Rad, which basically is exactly as it sounds. At each kilometer, you get showered with dyed cornstarch, so by the end you’re one giant rainbow. It had a reasonably priced entry fee ($35), and the race bib came with a tshirt, sunglasses,  and a “color bomb” that you could throw at the finish line. They also played upbeat music along the route (which was flat and super easy) and had two water stations. Had I trained better, I would have been able to run the whole thing. But that’s what the next one is for!

I just wanted to share my success with the internets since I’ve been going on and on about how I want to stick with this. And share the rad pictures! Yes, there is a mustache on my shirt.

Woo! Purple!

Woo! Purple!

Woo! Finish line!

Woo! Finish line!

My running buddy: Matt!

My running buddy: Matt!

May be the best picture in the history of pictures.

May be the best picture in the history of pictures.

Drank Some Beer at the Maine State Pier

[This post is a couple weeks removed from the event, but it’s still worth writing about nonetheless. Also, I promised beer at the end of my previous post, so here you go!]

A few weeks ago, The Boyfriend and I headed up to Portland, Maine, for the #MEBeerPier event, also called “Craft Beer Comes to Maine State Pier!”. I had never been to any type of beer fest, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I picked this festival because I love Maine, love craft beer, and The Boyfriend is interested in getting into the brewing industry, so I thought it would be good networking (right?).

As the name suggests, the entire event revolved around craft beer brewers, so we had the opportunity to sample a lot of beers that either aren’t available down by us, or that we just haven’t ventured out of our comfort zone to try. When we first arrived, we received our lunch ticket, map and tasting glass. The glass was about 8 ounces, and I figured they would give a 3-4 ounce pour for each sample. Boy, was I wrong:

So this was the sample.

So this was the sample.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a lightweight. So after about 5 of these, I was losing steam. We ate some lunch, I *think* I had a sample or two more, and then I was down for the count. I ended up taking a seat in shade of the food tent while The Boyfriend meandered around a little more.

So what exactly did I sample? Well, lucky for you, I have a handy app called Untappd (find me as SandwichesAndBeer, if you like) where I recorded the samples I tasted – well, the ones I could find, anyway. Some of the breweries were really small, and not in the app yet. I was really in no condition to add them, so I have a partial list. For a full list of the breweries, you can check out this article by CraftBeer.com.

Here’s the list of beers I tried, along with any comments I made. All of these are recommended to try, if you can find them.

1. Shipyard Brewing Company – Summer Ale

I started out slow with this one – it was the only beer I had already drank before. I’m not really an ale person, but I decided to whet my whistle with this one. Giggity.

2. Sebago Brewing Company – Hefeweizen

My preferred beers are Belgian whites and Hefeweizens (I’m an unfiltered kind of gal – ask my friends), so of course I had to try this one. Pretty run of the mill, nothing exceptional. But it was delicious.

3. Sea Dog Brewing Company – Sunfish Wheat

This was really good – it was full bodied, which I would expect from a wheat, but also was surprisingly fruity. It was a favorite.

4. Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery – Dog Days Summer Wheat

Continuing the unfiltered path, I tried another wheat. They are so perfect for hot summer days to just kick back and relax with. I was pretty damn relaxed by this point.

5. Rising Tide Brewing Company – Spinnaker

I don’t remember this one, so I had to look it up. Surprise: it’s a wheat beer. ‘Nuf said.

6. Penobscot Bay Brewery – Wildfire Rauchbier

The comment I left on this one was “BACON!” This was a dark beer that is brewed with the essence of bacon – and it had a really great smoky flavor. I would definitely drink this again – but at a time when I hadn’t had five other samples before I tried this one.

7. Allagash Brewing Company – White

The one white I don’t like. It’s a little too crisp for me, for being a white.

Along with beer, there was plenty of food. The food served was German in nature – we had sausage, sauerkraut, and huge pretzels. There were also baked beans, but I skipped those. All of it was very tasty. My only con was that there wasn’t enough seating to eat, nor was there a lot of shade, hence why I ended up sitting on the ground in the food tent. If there were more chairs and tables underneath maybe two or three more tents, that would have been perfect.

Overall, it was a really great experience, definitely something I would do again. And if you get the chance, I would highly recommend you do it, too.

Maine State Pier

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