Best Outdoor Adventure Beers, Maine Huts & Trails Staff Picks
Summer in Western Maine is all about adventure. Whether hiking up Bigelow Mountain, paddling the Dead River, or biking the sweet single-track in Carrabassett Valley, folks around here know how to have a good time, and aren’t afraid to break a sweat doing it. We also know that no adventure is complete without cracking into an ice cold brew once you’ve reached your mountain top… or your Adirondack chair.
But which beer is the best for your backcountry adventure? You can’t weigh yourself down with more than one or two cans in your pack, and nobody wants to feel too stumbly on the descent, so it’s important to choose wisely. These days you can find decent wine in a box, and high quality microbrews in a can. The days of choosing convenience over quality are over, and we couldn’t be happier!
After an informal poll around the office, the staff at Maine Huts & Trails has compiled our favorite trailside brews . In no particular order:
Rising Tide- Maine Island Trail Ale: As Hut Operations Manager, Sarah keeps the huts running smoothly; from sourcing ingredients from local farms to coordinating solar panel maintenance, she stays very busy. When she does get some down time, she’ll hit the trails on her bike with this hoppy, refreshing brew from Rising Tide. Knowing that they give back some proceeds to the Maine Island Trail Association makes it taste even better.
Peak Organic- Happy Hour: If you call the office or stop in, chances are you’ll talk to Kelsey, one of our Adventure Travel Consultants. She’s always up for a long bike ride or a pick up game of Velcro ball, and thinks they both pair perfectly with a delightfully drinkable Happy Hour, a pilsner from Peak Organic Brewing Co.
Baxter Brewing- Pamola: Matt Rolfson is always up for an adventure, and as our very own recreation coordinator and Registered Maine Guide, he’s an expert when it comes to having fun outside; if you've been on a guided trip with him, you know what we mean. It makes sense that his go-to brew is Baxter Brewing’s Pamola, since Baxter is committed to outdoor adventure. According to Matt, “It’s wicked good, cold, crisp and refreshing after skinning in the backcountry for pow turns all day or washing dirt out of your mouth after ripping singletrack!”
Rising Tide- Zephyr: According to Huts Field Supervisor Mike Spurrier, nothing beats the complex, heady flavor of Rising Tide’s Zephyr. “It’s pretty much the best choice after a big climb up the mountain. Gives you that extra confidence and loosens up the muscles to send it through switchbacks on the way back down! Make sure to hit some water before to stay hydrated”.
Foundation- Afterglow: Merrie is in charge of Youth Programming; coordinating educational trips for kids and getting them out of the classroom and into nature. When she’s off the clock, she’s on her mountain bike, and thinks the best rides end with a Foundation Afterglow. The juicy fresh flavor and hint of pine are like a Maine summer in a glass.
Allagash- White: After a morning of yoga and an afternoon hike, Deputy Director Libby Collet likes to keep the good vibes flowing with a hazy, light Allagash White. It pairs perfectly with a Eustis sunset, and is the ultimate way to relax and unplug.
Peak Organic- The Juice: For Hut Cook Jess Beer, Peak Organic’s The Juice is a go-to while mountain biking and lounging by the river; she thinks it’s the perfect summer beer. “The Juice is a "wicked" dry hoped pale ale that is seriously fresh and crisp. It is worth mentioning that this super palatable and easily crushed brew comes as a four pack of "tall-boys" or 16 oz.cans”. Her favorite part? The citrus notes that come through at the end. Peak Organic continues to produce top notch beers, and quench Jess’s summer thirst for adventure.
Founders- All Day IPA: We all work hard, but as Trails Manager, Savannah does a lot of the heavy lifting. After a long day deep in the woods, there’s nothing better than a cold, crisp Founder’s All Day IPA… except maybe a shower.
Still can’t decide? Lucky for you, we have a fantastic selection of beer and wine at all the huts, available for purchase even if you’re not staying with us! And if all this is making you thirsty, join us July 29th for Brews & Views at Stratton Brook Hut, a beer pairing dinner with Baxter Brewing.
This post was originally published in July 2015, and updated in July 2017.