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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

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Posted: January 6, 2018

Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest and Acadia National Park: An unbeatable pairing for January fun and games

Written by: Carey Kish

Any time of year is a good time to enjoy a few made-in-Maine craft beers. Along that same line of thinking, anytime is a good time to get on out into the Maine outdoors for some fun and exercise. You see where I’m going with this? Yeah, I thought so.

A great place to pair up these two fine pastimes of beer and outdoor fun is on Mt. Desert Island, right now in the heart of winter. This time of year there’s actually elbow room on the streets of Bar Harbor, which just so happens to be the home of Atlantic Brewing Company’s second brewing location known as Midtown. And the trails of Acadia National Park are pretty much empty and just waiting for you to go hiking and snowshoeing. There are also miles of fantastic cross-country skiing on nicely groomed and tracked carriage roads (thanks Friend of Acadia volunteers!).

The cross-country skiing on portions of Acadia’s carriage road system is heavenly, thanks to Friends of Acadia volunteer groomers. Carey Kish photo.

As if you needed any further encouragement, you might as well know that the 3rd annual Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest is happening on Saturday, January 13 at, yes, you guessed it, Atlantic Brewing Midtown from 1-5 pm. That’s right, you can play to the scenic woods and mountains of the park in the morning, then quench your thirst and play some more in town in the afternoon. Perfect.

The festival will feature a great lineup of regional craft brews, as well as delish local food, live music and beer-themed games and competitions. Nine breweries will be on hand serving up their wares: Atlantic Brewing Company, Airline Brewing Company, Bangor Beer Co., Blank Canvas Brewery, Boothbay Craft Brewery, Fogtown Brewing Company, Lake St. George Brewing Company, Lubec Brewing Company and 2 Feet Brewing.

Atlantic Brewing Company’s new pilot brewery in downtown Bar Harbor is the site of the 3rd annual Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest on Saturday, January 13 from 1-5 pm. Carey Kish photo.

There’ll be no shortage of action at the beer fest. Competition will be fierce and, carrying over from last year’s event, there’ll be a donut-on-a-string contest where festival-goers will see who can eat the most donuts from a string without using their hands. Other games will include a keg-stacking competition, corn hole and a ring-on-a-string activity. Dress warm and come prepared for fun!

“We’re encouraging beer lovers to come experience Bar Harbor in a whole new way, in wintertime! Local brewers will be showcasing their beers and Midtown Burger will be serving all day,” said Kelly Roos, events coordinator for the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. “Nearly all beer enthusiasts have been to a brew festival in the summer or fall, but not many can say that they have experienced a beer fest where the brews are chilled in fresh snow.”

Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest fun… Ready, set, go! No hands, how many donuts can you eat off a string? Heather Anderson photo.

The Bar Harbor Winter Beer Fest is going to be simply too much fun to miss, never mind some time well-spent amid the incomparable snowy beauty of Maine’s beloved Acadia National Park. Tickets are only available online and will not be available on the day of the event. Please remember to purchase in advance. Tickets are $25 for unlimited beer sampling and $10 for designated-driver attendees. Note: If the weather is uncooperative, the event will shift to the next day, Sunday, January 14.

Beer festival sponsors include Atlantic Brewing Company, Bar Harbor Beer Works, Midtown Burger, Side Street Café, Leary’s Landing, Peekytoe Provisions, Cadillac Mountain Sports, The Swan Agency/Sotheby’s International Realty, Reel Pizza, Smith, Collier & Fahey, P.A.; and House Wine. Atlantic Oceanside Hotel is the lodging sponsor.

Acadia’s many miles of beautiful trails are empty in winter. Come explore and see for yourself! Carey Kish photo.

View from top of Great Head, Acadia National Park. Carey Kish photo.

Skiers on the Witch Hole Loop, Acadia National Park. Carey Kish photo.


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