Pairing: Hiking and Beer (Special Edition – Maine)

In honor of my most recent visit to Maine, you know I’d have to do a hike and beer pairing.  As usual, I got to sample of the finest in local trail and brew.  Maine does not disappoint.

Maine

The Hike

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor the hike, we’ll head to Acadia National Park.  After my recent time at Acadia National Park, I decided that I very much like the hiking that exists west of the loop road.  For this pairing, I suggest a loop that consists of Sargent Mountain and Penobscot Mountain, with options for both North and South Bubble.

You can park on the loop road.  After leaving your car, head west towards Bubble Divide Trail.  The ascent of Bubble’s Divide from the east is not too strenuous.  However, the descent is quite steep and rocky.  From the top of the divide you have many options:  hit North or South Bubble – check out Bubble Rock, or just continue on Bubbles Divide (you can always hit them on the way back).  Descend the Bubbles to Jordan Pond, take a right onto Jordan Pond Path, continuing west.

Bubble Rock
Bubble Rock

Enjoy the pond while you are there.  Then a fun ascent begins up Deer Brook Trail.  To start the loop with Penobscot, you can continue up the steep Deer Brook Trail to tag the summit, or you can go left on the more gradual Penobscot Mtn Trail.  Otherwise, you can take East Cliffs Trail towards Sargent Mountain.  Either way, continue the loop between summits by using the Sargent South Ridge Trail.  Be sure to stop and admire, and even swim in, Sargent Pond along the way!  Finally, wrap it around back to the Deer Brook Trail to go out the same way you came over the Bubbles.

Jordan Pond
Jordan Pond

This hike is a nice sample of what Acadia has to offer.  It will get you with some solid up and down, and test your foot placement with rocks and roots.  It gives you many options to craft the hike you want to do, and will sometimes test your trail navigation skills.  Despite the fact that I received few views on my recent visit to these peaks, I was particularly taken by the expansive, open, flat-rock summit of Sargent Mountain, I’m sure it is magnificent in great weather.

on top of Sargent Mountain
on top of Sargent Mountain

The Beer

Like I said in my last post (“Up and Down:…”), Acadia is very much ‘up’ and ‘down.’  This hike of Penobscot, Sargent and the Bubbles is no exception.  After such a hike, I’d want something smooth, the opposite of the trails, to drink.  The only consistent thing about the trails at Acadia is that they consistently change.  Rather, to contrast the trails, I suggest something that is consistent throughout, from the front of your palate to the back, from the  beginning of the glass all the way to the end.

photo courtesy of www.foodiepilgrim.com
photo courtesy of http://www.foodiepilgrim.com

For this type of pairing, I suggest Baxter Brewing Company’s Amber Road Amber Ale!  This beer glows a beautiful reddish-amber, and on draft, is poured into an awesome and unique glass with Baxter’s mascot, Pamola printed on the side.  This beer has all the classic Amber Ale characteristics: strong malt backbone with the hops for support, and medium-high carbonation.  This is a beer that you can depend on to be delicious and consistent.  For those reasons, I feel like it is a ‘go-to’ beer post hike, and a perfect pairing with Acadia National Park!

After your hike, head right into Bar Harbor and grab a pint!  I like Cottage Street Pub…

Conclusion

Maine is a state that has a lot to offer in terms of hiking and beer!  I highly recommend this pairing, as do I other offerings from Baxter, Atlantic Brewing Company, and it doesn’t need to be said, but Allagash Brewing Company.  I believe Baxter is pretty new to the brewing scene, and I look forward to more from them in the future!

Pamola - photo courtesy of www.baxterbrewing.com
Pamola – photo courtesy of http://www.baxterbrewing.com
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