Categorized under: event, Gritty McDuffs, press release

Gritty McDuff is named official beer of the Dempsey Challenge Cycling Fundraiser


Portland, ME – Maine craft brewer Gritty McDuff’s Brewing Company ( has been named the official beer of The Dempsey Challenge (, an October 4 fundraising event to benefit The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing.

The Dempsey Challenge will begin at Simard-Payne Police Memorial Park in Lewiston and include cycling routes of 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles, as well as a 5K run/walk and a Kids’ Fun Run. A day-long Festival in the Park will also be featured at the October event, to provide family entertainment and raise cancer awareness.

Established by actor and Lewiston, Maine, native Patrick Dempsey, the inaugural Dempsey Challenge is expected to draw thousands of participants to support the cause, as well as professional cyclists George Hincapie, a five-time Olympian, and David Zabriskie, who holds the record for fastest time trial in Tour de France history.

“We are committed to working with local businesses and Maine-based companies such as Gritty McDuff’s,” said Wendy Tardif, Dempsey Challenge Event Manger. ”Keeping things local is important to Patrick Dempsey and emphasizes The Center’s commitment to the community.”

“We’re all honored to be part of such a positive weekend of fun and fundraising for such a worthy cause,” noted Thomas Wilson, Marketing Director for Gritty McDuff’s. “This event has a lot of momentum already, and Gritty’s is committed to increasing that energy from now through October.”

As the official beer of the Dempsey Challenge, Gritty’s will provide its highly touted craft beers at the pre-event dinner for participants, and will make Gritty’s products available for purchase throughout the event. In addition to its activities during the Challenge, Gritty’s is gearing up early by hosting several on-premise promotions at its Lewiston/Auburn Brew Pub during September.

“We’ll be naming a beer after the event. During September, we’ll donate $1 from every one of those beers sold to The Dempsey Challenge,” Wilson added. “We’re also working on a contest; the prize will be a very special autographed item. We’ll be announcing details and contest rules soon.”

Founded in March 2008, The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center provides high-quality education, support and wellness services at no cost to cancer patients and their caregivers. During its first year, the Dempsey Center had over 6,000 direct patient contacts and served over 2,000 on its toll-free cancer helpline.

For further information about related deadlines, pre-event activities, and event-day particulars, visit Event Info.

Excellent Beer and Award-Winning Pubs

Since its founding in 1988, Gritty McDuff’s, Maine’s first brew pub since Prohibition, has brewed creative, quality beers that have earned awards ranging from repeat First Place wins at the annual Real Ale Festival in Chicago, to their most recent award: a silver medal at the prestigious 2007 Great British Beer Festival for Gritty’s cask-conditioned version of the 21 IPA. Gritty’s Brew Pubs also have frequently won in statewide polls the titles of “Maine’s Best Brew Pub,” “Best Maine Microbrew,” and “Best Bar.”

In addition to brewing, Gritty McDuff’s operates three popular brew pubs in Maine. Located in Portland, Freeport and Auburn, the locations draw crowds of all ages. Known for their four seasonal ales and five year-round ales, tempting pub fare and welcoming atmosphere, Gritty’s pubs have been named an Editor’s Pick by Condé Nast Traveler, highlighted as “a legend among New England brewpubs” by The Boston Globe, and cited by as one of the best bars in America. Gritty’s has earned numerous accolades from a wide variety of beer blogs and industry press outlets, as well.

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