Posted: May 22, 2017
Pair your warm-weather activities with these Maine beers
Written by: Dave Patterson
Up Next: In Maine summers, the big screen goes outside
Whether its taking a ferry to one of Maine’s countless islands or playing cornhole next to a campfire on Sebago Lake, a Maine summer offers salve to any tired soul seeking refuge in her loving arms. What better way to enhance a summer afternoon in the Pine Tree State than with a Maine beer? Maine brewers offer a wide range of beer styles and flavors perfect for all summer activities. Here are our pairings.
Photos by Carl Walsh/Dave Patterson
Ferry ride to Peaks Island; Rising Tide's Pisces
Brewed with Maine seawater, coriander and lactobacillus, Pisces is the perfect companion as you lounge on the top deck of a ferryboat floating across Casco Bay. The light tartness from the lactobacillus and the brackish addition of seawater compliment the savory ocean air. The hint of coriander refreshes the palate as the Portland skyline fades while you drift towards an evening of bike riding on the back trails of Peaks Island. At a manageable 3.4 percent, Pisces enhances the senses without dulling them, giving you plenty of energy to enjoy an evening of traipsing around the island.
Photos by Gordon Chibroski/Dave Patterson
Backyard Lobster Bake; Allagash Saison
Summer in Maine is for water boiling over a propane flame in the backyard while live lobsters wriggle in a paper bag and the soft click of oyster shells being shucked sounds. As I slurp briny oysters garnished with fresh lemon juice and horseradish, my palate yearns for a refreshing Allagash Saison. The bright lemon zest esters from the saison yeast along with the citrus fruit backbone from the Cascade hops compliment the salty feast of oysters. Sipping from a bottle of Allagash Saison between bites of butter-dipped lobster meat while your friends laugh beneath the naked summer sky is dangerously bliss-inducing.
Photos by Gregory Rec/Dave Patterson
Baxter Peak; Orono Brewing's Ozone IPA
You've just scrambled along the serrated Knife Edge Trail amidst the awe-inspiring views of Chimney Pond and 360 degrees of Maine peaks. You and your friends rest on the jagged stones of Baxter Peak while delirious hikers celebrate the completion of the Appalachian Trail. Ideally, you'd crack a can of Ozone IPA from Orono Brewing right then and there and send your palate on an elevated hike all its own. But thanks to a certain champagne-popping AT hiker, we now know that's illegal. This IPA drips with tropical fruit and dank herbal notes from the Mosaic and Galaxy hops. The subtle grain flavors and crisp, dry finish would satiate the body and soul as your throbbing legs rest before you make your descent down Cathedral Trail. Alas, you'll have to wait to get to your lean-to at Roaring Brook Campground where your Ozone IPAs await.
Photos by Dave Patterson/John Ewing
Fly-fishing the Rapid River; Banded Horn Brewing's Luminaire
The Rapid River is a fly-fisherman's paradise. The water is impossibly clear, and the native brook trout and landlocked salmon are impossibly prolific. After a morning of fishing the riffles above Pond in the River, sipping a Luminaire from Banded Horn while sitting on a glacial rock jutting out of the water and contemplating the deep mysteries of Maine's northwest woods is a transcendent experience. Luminaire is a traditional lager brewed with generous amounts of American hops. The lager yeast and light grain bill are wildly refreshing, and the citrus hops awaken the palate while ancient loping brook trout rise to the dark surface to feed on caddis flies on a summer afternoon.
Photos by Ben McCanna/Dave Patterson
Crescent Beach State Park; Sebago Brewing's Simmer Down
It's a sun-drenched day in mid-summer at Crescent Beach. The sand is warm beneath your stretched-out towel. The distant horizon of the Atlantic Ocean glimmers through your Ray Bans. Tom Petty's southern drawl croons from a radio somewhere close by. You reach into your ice-filled cooler and pull out the Maine beer that will take this beach day to intergalactic heights: a Simmer Down from Sebago Brewing. Cracking the can releases the cornucopia of tropical fruit notes from the heaps of Mosaic hops in this session ale. The juicy hop flavors and clean grains of Simmer Down intermingle with the salty breeze from the outgoing tide making you feel infinite.