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Carey Kish

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island has been adventuring in the woods and mountains of Maine for, well, a long time. If there’s a trail—be it on dirt, rock, snow, water or pavement—he will find it, explore it, and write about it. Carey is a two-time Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, Registered Maine Guide, author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide (10th ed.), and has written a hiking & camping column for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram since 2003. Follow his outdoor travels and musings here, and on Facebook/CareyKish. Let Carey know what you think at MaineOutdoors@aol.com.

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Maineiac Outdoors with Carey Kish
Posted: October 25, 2014

Maine beer: Acadia Oktoberfest a rousing good time of drink, food, music, people, games and crafts

Given that the Acadia Oktoberfest was nearly two weeks ago (see my blog post “A great Acadia weekend: Drink beerfest beer and tour the “other” park loop road“) and I’m just now getting around to posting about it, well, you might think I was still hung over or something.

I certainly did get my fill of good beer over the course of some five hours at the fest, that’s for sure. But it’s mostly that I’ve been having just a damn good time getting settled in to my new home surroundings here on Mount Desert Island, where my wife and I have been for about a month now.

Acadia Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor on the edge of Acadia is a great time! Photo © Carey Kish.

Acadia Oktoberfest in Southwest Harbor on the edge of Acadia is a great time! Photo © Carey Kish.

So, the Acadia Oktoberfest… you’ve just got to put the thing on your calendar for next October, the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend!

The event was well done all around, with three big tents, one each for beer, food and music, and crafts. A good crowd too, some 1,500 all told. Everybody was well mannered and seemed to have a heckuva good time.

There was a great beer drinking crowd at Acadia Oktoberfest. Photo © Carey Kish.

There was a great beer drinking crowd at Acadia Oktoberfest. Photo © Carey Kish.

I counted 18 purveyors of beer and cider as I made my rounds around the beer tent. Now with just 10 beer tickets (that’s what you get along with your 4-ounce beer glass when you enter), you’d have to wonder how you could actually get to sampling all of these fine beverages.

Not to worry.

I was rather judicious at first, savoring my beers and treating my tickets like precious gold. But then I realized (OK, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a beer fest, but then it came back to me) that many of the brewers didn’t care if you dropped a ticket into their jar or not (although some made a point of it) at their booth. And if no ticket was deemed to be wanted then surely none was offered.

And by about the 4th hour of the fest, no one seemed to care whatsoever about those damn ticket things. Imagine. The beer flowed freely. Happy boy, this beer drinker was.

Yep, I tried them all and then some. And then some more. And maybe a little more after that…

Strong Brewing, Downeast Cider House, Atlantic Brewing, Oak Pond Brewing, Sheepscot Valley Brewing, Liberal Cup. All good. Geary’s, Sebago Brewing, Allagash, Baxter Brewing. Very fine. Lively Brewing, Black Bear Brewery, Belfast Bay Brewing, Foundation Brewing, Fatty Bompkins. Yum. Rock Harbor Brewing, Shipyard, Sam Adams. Mighty tasty. Check out the various and sundry drink vendors here.

Favorite beer? You know me. The one in my hand!!!

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

The food tent had continuous live music, and although I sat and enjoyed them for several stints, I couldn’t tell you the name of the band. But they were pretty good.

On the opposite end of the tent was the food. There was a good line-up of vendors, but I never had a chance after I saw the Mainely Meat booth. Yep, pulled pork piled high on garlic toast with awesome BBQ sauce and a side of beans. Oh my. Really, really good. Made a fine base for holding down more beer. Check out the many food vendors here.

Photo © Carey Kish.

Photo © Carey Kish.

The crafts tent had a lot of cool stuff. My wife scored some great earrings and a few nice gifts for Christmas. A talented bunch for sure.

The beer fest ran from noon to 6 pm. We got there at 1 pm thinking there was no way we’d hang around till 6.

Wrong answer.

The hours flew by with good fun. Good people, good food, good beer, and some interesting games like beer pong (sans the beer) and beer keg tossing.

Torpedo keg tossing at the Acadia Oktoberfest. Photo © Carey Kish.

Torpedo keg tossing at the Acadia Oktoberfest. Photo © Carey Kish.

Uh oh! Photo © Carey Kish.

Uh oh! Photo © Carey Kish.

Six o’clock actually came all too soon in the end. But we happily exited the big tent with a promise to ourselves to return in a year’s time for another go. It was that good.

Next day we went hiking to help relieve our mildly hung over selves. Nearby to the beer fest area are great hikes on Beech Mountain, Acadia Mountain, Flying Mountain and more. You should also check my post on the park’s “other” loop road for plenty more things to see and do while you’re here beering it up.

Acadia rocks, just like the Acadia Oktoberfest. Pencil it in on your calendar and make a plan. I definitely hope to see you there!

MORE INFO: Acadia Oktoberfest; Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island.

By the way, if you’re jonesing for a beerfest, you’re in luck. The Maine Brewers Festival is November 1 at the Expo in Portland. Yeah!

Sundown on Beech Mountain, Acadia. Photo © Carey Kish.

Sundown on Beech Mountain, Acadia. Photo © Carey Kish.

Lunch perch on Acadia Mountain. Photo © Carey Kish.

Lunch perch on Acadia Mountain. Photo © Carey Kish.

Flying Mountain, Acadia. Photo © Carey Kish.

Flying Mountain, Acadia. Photo © Carey Kish.

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