Maine Bar Lobbying Bill Murray to Attend Portland Beer Week

Novare Res Bier Cafe and dozens of New England breweries are coming together to celebrate craft beer...and Bill Murray.


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Bill Murray has built quite a reputation for spontaneously dropping in on random bachelor parties, kickball games, construction sites, and photo shoots. Now Portland, Maine, wants in on the fun.

Last week, Shahin Khojastehzad, co-owner and manager of Novare Res Bier Cafe, started a social media blitz on Twitter with the hashtag #BillMurryBeerWeekMe, campaigning the Ghostbusters actor to attend the launch of Portland Beer Week on November 5.

“It pretty much started out as a drunken conversation among co-workers,” Khojastehzad says. “We all left a shift one night and went over to somebody’s house to drink some beers and we somehow got onto the subject of Bill Murray. I started the debate, ‘If Bill Murray were a beer, what would he be?’ We came up with beer names like ‘Pils Murray,’ ‘Rushmore Red,’ and ‘Darjeeling Tea IPA.’ It was one of those things that started off as a joke, but at some point a switch went off in my head and I said, ‘I guarantee Bill Murray will show up if we pushed hard enough.'”

Since introducing the hash tag, breweries across New England have been rallying around Khojastehzad’s quixotic Bill Murray quest, making special beers with names like “Lost in Fermentation,” “Groundhog Day IPA,” and “Rauchmore,” specifically for the event. In an effort to lure the comic icon, Novare Res and all the breweries are even offering to donate proceeds of the Bill Murray-inspired brews to a charity of Murray’s choosing—if he decides to show.

“I just saw that story where Bill Murray crashed that birthday party in South Carolina, which really makes me think he’s going to show,” Khojastehzad says. “Portland Beer Week isn’t just about one entity in Portland, it’s about all of Maine coming together under one banner, having a good time, and celebrating beer. So many people have already gotten involved: breweries, bars, graffiti artists—painting Bill Murals, as they call them—and local hotels offering free rooms to him. It’s about creative people wanting to party with a very creative person.”

Along with Maine breweries like Banded Horn, Allagash, Maine Beer Company, Bissell Brothers, and Oxbow, New Hampshire’s Smuttynose will be contributing a beer, “Broken Flowers IPA,” and Massachusetts’ own Cambridge Brewing Company is rumored to be putting something together for the event.

In addition to all the special beer being poured around town, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, and other Bill Murray favorites will be screened at Portland restaurants and bars. And guests are being encouraged to follow the lead of Oxbow’s team of brewers, who have already promised to dress up as Steve Zissou, Carl Spackler, and other classic Bill Murray characters.

“It’s great to see everybody coming from a very sincere place on this,” Khojastehzad says. “Not to make the guy into a demigod, but he’s a really rad dude that a lot of people can identify with. He’s not just some shitty celebrity.”

The organizers surrounding Portland Beer Week say they won’t be offended if the actor doesn’t show, but Khojastehzad says he has one secret weapon up his sleeve. “My friend works at a bar in New York and he says there are two prerequisites to luring in Bill Murray: tequila and karaoke. So we’ll have both of those things.”

For more info visit and contribute to the cause by Tweeting #BillMurryBeerWeekMe.