Brewed for Your Sense of Adventure
Let Baxter Brewing be your guide to Maine adventures this summer
An ingredient as essential as hops and yeast are to its beer, adventure has been infused into the Baxter Brewing Company ethos from the beginning. When the brewery opened in 2011 in an old mill on the Androscoggin River in Lewiston, Baxter was on the leading edge of the craft beer wave in Maine, and the only one to offer its lineup exclusively in backpack-able, environmentally friendly cans. “Baxter is like other great Maine brands in that it is more than a product, it’s a lifestyle,” says Jennifer Lever, who became company president last year following the retirement of founder Luke Livingston. “We want our beers to be a part of the memories people make when they are outdoors, whether it’s sitting on their porch or climbing Katahdin.”
The state’s highest peak is woven into Baxter Brewing’s adventurous DNA. The brewery was named in tribute to Baxter State Park, and a recent brand redesign features Katahdin’s ridgeline as a unifying element on the cans of most of its beers. This includes MHT, a dry-hopped lager that debuted in 2018 to raise funds for and awareness of Maine Huts and Trails. MHT kicked off Baxter’s Passion Project program, defined by Lever as “beers that reflect our hearts and represent and support organizations with which we have developed close relationships.”
Originally brewed as a limited release, MHT was inspired by an annual mountain bike and trail race coproduced by Maine Huts and Trails and Baxter Brewing. Baxter, now Maine’s second-largest brewery by volume, doesn’t just sponsor outdoor events: it produces them. Baxter Outdoors, the brewery’s outdoor adventure arm, debuted in 2014 with four trail races in lesser-explored areas of Maine, and has grown to a calendar of more than 15 events each year including trail running, mountain biking, beer festivals, live music, ice fishing, and snowshoeing. In 2019 Baxter Outdoors took over the Sugarloaf Reggae Fest sponsorship from Bud Light, and the brewery created Road to Reggae, a mountain lager, for the ski party of the season.
TAKE A HIKE WITH BAXTER OUTDOORS
Baxter Outdoors director Adam Platz, building on the mission of Baxter Outdoors, wants to introduce people to lesser-explored hiking destinations around the state. He’s launching an online series of trails he’s hiked, which will include detailed instructions, photos, a map and directions to the trailhead, a link to a Strava route, and, of course, a recommended Baxter beer. We asked Platz to give our readers a preview of the series with some of his favorite under-the-radar hikes.
Streaked Mountain | Buckfield
Streaked Mountain is a short, 1.5-mile round-trip hike in Buckfield to a ledged-summit with unabated and dramatic views in almost every direction. Short and extremely steep, this hike offers more bang for the buck than almost any other in Maine. With views of the White Mountains to the west and Maine’s High Peaks to the north, this hike will put you in front of jaw-dropping views in 45 minutes or less. Bring a bag lunch and a beer. This is the perfect hike for a quick getaway.
For this speedy ascent, we recommend a can of MHT hoppy lager. This 5.5 percent ABV dry-hopped lager is a staple for summits. It’s light enough to not bog you down on your descent, but piney and aromatic in a way that will lock you into your surroundings, warm your thoughts, and amplify the sunshine on your face. Don’t take our word for it though. Get up there and try it out for yourself.
Hike Distance: 0.7 miles each way Bottom Elevation: 1,035 feet
Top Elevation: 1,750 feet
Four More Out-of-the-Way Maine Hikes to Try:
Long Reach Preserve | Harpswell Harpswell Heritage Land Trust
A challenging 1.5-mile trail takes you through spectacular mossy forest where the Harpswell peninsula’s distinctive folded bedrock geology is on display. The trail surrounds and crosses a peat bog and ends up along the shoreline of Long Reach, which is mudflats at low tide.
Borestone Mountain | Elliotsville Plantation | Maine Audubon
The craggy summit of Borestone Mountain offers a stunning view of the 100-Mile Wilderness, one of the final sections of the Appalachian Trail. Getting there involves a short but steep hike up stone steps and over boulders, two with iron handholds. For those who aren’t up to the climb, the Base Trail leads to a lookout, and the Peregrine Trail provides views of the three ponds at the base of the mountain. A visitors’ center with restrooms and interactive nature displays makes this destination a good option for families.
Ovens Mouth Preserve | Boothbay Boothbay Region Land Trust
This nearly 150-acre preserve is divided into two peninsulas, which are connected by a pedestrian bridge. Ovens Mouth West offers easier hiking along a 1.1-mile loop, and Ovens Mouth East has more challenging terrain on 3.6 miles of trail. Both include shoreline sections, where you can watch the dramatic effects of the tide change.
Jamies Pond | Hallowell | Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries
The 840-acre Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area has 5.9 miles of well-marked trails with connecting loops; all trails are easy to moderate. There are three parking areas, including one next to the pristine, 107-acre pond that was once the water supply for Hallowell—a good spot for a sunny picnic after your hike.
BAXTER BEERS BREWED FOR THE OUTDOORS
MHT | With cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking symbolized right on the eye-catching label, this beer makes its outdoors connection clear. Called an India pale lager, it is brewed in a three-step process beginning with a wheat beer–like mash and cold fermentation using bohemian lager yeast. It is then dry hopped like an IPA. The result is a clean, refreshing beer, perfect after a day on the trail.
Staycation Land | One of the brewery’s core beers, Staycation Land was released in late 2017 as Ein Stein, brewed like a German helles but with the crisp feel of a lager. An easy drinker for taking out on the boat or mowing the lawn.
Popham Beach | A delicate honey-blonde ale brewed in tribute to one of Maine’s most beautiful beaches, this Passion Project beer is the first of a series that will support the Maine state park system. Breezy and fresh, it’s made for blue-sky sunny days.