A Week in Maine

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You might remember being inondated by photos in early August as we traveled around Maine for a week.  When Allagash Brewing Company reached out to collaborate on this trip, featuting the beautiful places and amazing people this state is seeping with, it was a no brainer. Each year, the brewery sets out to explore hidden treasures and fan favorites that make Maine such a great place to live and work. For us, it was an opportunity to do all of that as well as indulge in many amazing Allagash beers.

 

This year, the Allagash team struck out across the length and breadth of the state—starting in Aroostook County, up to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (fitting, right?), over to the Moosehead Lake region, down to the midcoast, and finally wrapped up in Portland with a tour of the brewery and a beautiful farm to table dinner.  

 

Here a few highlights from the week.  We hope it’ll encourage you to get out and explore this beautiful state (or come up for a visit!).  We'll tell you first hand that Maine pairs nicely with a cold one. Enjoy!


Day 1:

After the Allagash Brewery crew enjoyed the farm country of Aroostook and the wilds of the Allagash Waterway, we caught up with them on the shore of Moosehead Lake.  The Birches became our base over the next few days as we explored the area between Jackman and Kokadjo.

 

Day one began with a ferry from Rockwood out to Mount Kineo.  We made a quick ascent of the little mountain via the Indian Trail to enjoy sweeping vistas of the entire lake and surrounding forrests.  The Bridle Trail offered a smoother descent as we scurried to catch the ferry and dodge the afternoon rain showers.  We managed to squeeze a quick dip in the lake before the rain dropped, which ended up being the perfect ambiance to relax in our cabin.  As dusk approached, we piled into the car for an evening moose viewing expedition towards Jackman. Although we didn't spot any in daylight, an antlered behemoth popped out of the dark along the road on our way home — long enough for us to enjoy, but not light enough for us to capture.  A fireside Curieux and great chats rounded out the evening.


Day 2:

The second morning started early — around 4 AM — as we headed to Greenville for a Moose Safari with Northwoods Outfitters.  A van ride took us out to an undisclosed pond deep in the north woods.  Once there, we clambered into canoes and paddled out on serene waters in search of moose.  Alas, none were to be found that morning, but it was still a gorgeous morning paddle.  We followed that up with breakfast and (much needed) coffee before making our way out to the site of a B52 crash on Elephant mountain.  It was a sombre site of much reflection and very few photographs, and I’m very glad to have seen it.  On our second night we grilled burgers and vegetables over an open fire, all enjoyed with Sixteen Counties of course.


Day 3:

After a hearty breakfast at The Birches we hit the road for the coast.  We met up with Jackie Greaney and Paul Havel at the top of Mount Battie where we got a brief view of Camden before the clouds moved in.  Long Grain, as usual, did not disappoint for lunch (I’m a perennial fan of the Pad Thai-perhaps not the most adventurous but oh so tasty).  From there we made our way out to Tenant’s Harbor where we were greeted by lobsterman Peter Miller.  We accompanied him as he pulled traps, getting to measure and band our own lobsters for that evening’s dinner.  Ben of Luke’s Lobster gave a brief lesson on lobster roll making—my takeaway was simplicity is the key!  Then we dug into a massive and unbelievably delicious shore dinner on the edge of the water as the sun set over Tenant’s Harbor, Two Lights in hand.  


Day 4:

Our fourth Day with Allagash delighted us with a gorgeous sunrise—pink hues in all directions.  Unfortunately, Christine and I had to zip back down to Portland to get a few hours of work done before rejoining the crew at The Honey Paw in Portland.  We tried a huge selection of appetizers and entrees (hint-definitely order the lobster toast!) followed by their delicious ice cream sundaes — it was all exquisite.  From there we regrouped at Allagash Brewery and we were treated to a special tour featuring their wild beer program, their coolship (where spontaneously fermented beers are made), and even to the lab that oversees quality control. Having done countless Allagash tours (which never get old), it was great to see a totally new side of the brewery and learn more about the stories behind the beer.

 

The Week in Maine culminated with a magical farm to table dinner at Bumbleroot Farm.  The food was prepared by Big Tree Hospitality on a spit over a pile of coals.  We all piled onto a long farm table with folks from the Maine Farmland Trust and other photographers who had won their tickets to dinner through a photography contest.  A series of courses unfurled, my favorites being the salads with Bumbleroot Farms veggies and the melt in your mouth goodness of slow roasted swordfish belly wrapped in banana leaves.  To top it all off we got to try the best beer of the week — Allagash’s peach sour, Farm to Face.  It was the perfect end to a superb week with Allagash, for which we are immensely grateful.  Not only for our shared love of Maine, but the core of this trip featured the importance of making connections, building community, and finding reasons to celebrate. We hope this inspires you to expand your radius around Maine, find a new lobster pound or trail head, and grab a cold Allagash along the way.

 

So, let us know: what does your perfect week in Maine look like?  

Cameron Held