In addition to being lucky enough to spend my time writing about the Maine outdoors for Maine Today Media, I also make a living writing about beer and the brewing industry. In researching the history of Maine’s beer scene, I’ve been surprised and delighted to discover the number of beers and breweries named for features of the Maine outdoors. It seems that nearly every Maine brewery, big or small, took some inspiration from the Pine Tree State.

As a way of wedding my twin passions for beer and the Maine outdoors, I’m pairing the best of these brews with their namesakes. Before, after or even during your visits to these destinations, I recommend checking out this six pack of beers that looked to them for inspiration.

Sheepscot Valley Brewing Co.: Pemaquid Ale

The Beer: Brewed on Hollywood Boulevard in Sheepscot, Pemaquid is a full-bodied Scottish ale with a hoppy bite. Despite the strong body, it drinks clean and refreshing.

The Trip: One of my favorite spots in the state, the Pemaquid peninsula offers loads of hiking and kayaking opportunities. Some of the most popular paddling is off the launch site on Route 129 in Bristol Mills, where visitors can reach the relatively calm waters of the Pemaquid River.

Sebago Brewing Co.: Frye’s Leap IPA

The Beer: Described by the brewers as “Maine’s Legendary IPA,” Frye’s Leap was one of the first examples of an American-style India Pale Ale brewed in Maine. The prevalent flavor is fresh citrus.

The Trip: Frye’s Leap takes its name from a legendary cliff face on Sebago Lake, from which Scarborough native Captain Frye jumped in the 1800s to escape capture. Don’t reenact that: The leap is both deadly and illegal. Instead, take the Frye Island ferry from Raymond Cape and explore the island on foot.

Baxter Brewing Co.: Pamola Extra Pale Ale

The Beer: The perfect pint for the light beer drinker, Baxter’s Pamola XPA is a light, easy-drinking ale that drinks like a lager. At under 5 percent alcohol by volume, it’s also a great session beer.

The Trip: Pamola isn’t a place; it’s the legendary bird spirit that is said to protect Mount Katahdin, which is a destination worthy of an article of its own, but I’ll say here I recommend the Hunt Trail or the (now closed) Abol Trail to the summit.

Rising Tide Brewing: Maine Island Trail Ale

The Beer: Available May through August, MITA has been voted Maine’s best beer in the Maine Madness Beer Tournament (run by MaineToday’s Dave Patterson) two years in a row. It’s a balanced American pale ale, easy on hops but big on flavor.

The Trip: Spanning the length of the Maine coast, the Maine Island Trail is a network of hundreds of sites beginning at the New Hampshire border and ending in Machias.

Bar Harbor Brewing: Cadillac Mountain Stout

The Beer: One of the early Maine beers to gain national acclaim, the Cadillac Mountain Stout has been brewed on Mount Desert Island since the early ’90s. A dark, rich beer with notes of coffee and chocolate, CMS is a dry stout that famously bested Guinness Draught in the World Beer Championships.

The Trip: Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, looms over Bar Harbor. Drivers and bikers can summit via a 3.5-mile paved road while hikers can follow the 7.4-mile South Ridge Trail or the easier, 4.4-mile open climb on the North Ridge.

Bigelow Brewing: Avery Peak 4088

The Beer: A new brewery, Bigelow serves locally-brewed beer in Maine’s western mountains. Its summer seasonal, the Avery Peak 4088, is a low-alcohol wheat beer. Brewed with orange and coriander, it’s a sharp, refreshing beer that isn’t too far removed from Allagash White.

The Trip: The second-highest of Bigelow’s peaks – and one of the state’s few 4,000-footers – summiting Avery Peak is something of a tradition for the Christie family.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer and lifetime outdoors enthusiast. He shares column space in Outdoors with his father, John Christie. Josh can be contacted at:

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