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Road Trip: Acadia National Park and Atlantic Brewing

The next leg of our family trip took us north into Maine where we met up with a friend from Rockport. This was my first time back to this area since being a young boy, and I was amazed at the beauty and the friendliness of the people.

When we arrived, dinner was being prepared by a gathering of Doug’s family and friends, complete with a couple of growlers from Liberty Brewing. One of the beers, Dewey’s IPA, was named after the Dewey who brought the beer, and the other was a coffee porter. Both went well with the scallop shish kabobs and a stroll along the harbor. Before leaving, I made sure to give Dewey some of the Midwest treats that I brought along, including Bell’s, New Holland, Sun King and Greenbush. The following day we continued our trip to Acadia National Park.

I was amazed at the beauty, and we took several hikes on the trip, including one along the shore where we explored tide pools, and another on South Bubble Mountain, which proved to be incredibly rocky and at some points a bit technical.  At the top, however, we were awarded a magnificent view.

For about 20 years, there were two breweries on Mount Desert Island, where Acadia National Park is located. In 2008, Bar Harbor Brewing Company, known for their Cadillac Mountain Stout, Harbor Lighthouse Ale, Thunder Hole Ale and True Blue Blueberry Wheat Ale went up for sale. Doug Maffucci, owner of Atlantic Brewing Company (formerly Acadia Brewing Company) didn’t want to see these brands disappear, so he purchased the brewery and combined them under the same name. This gave Atlantic the opportunity to expand to a larger facility, while still having a presence downtown Bar Harbor.

Atlantic Brewing Coal Porter and Blueberry Ale. Flavor 574 photo/Eric Strader
Atlantic Brewing Coal Porter and Blueberry Ale.
Flavor 574 photo/Eric Strader

On the way back to our campground, both invigorated and exhausted from our hikes, we stopped at the grocery store, where I picked up some Atlantic Coal Porter (5.6 percent ABV) to enjoy around the campfire. I also found another beer on the shelf that reminded me of my first experience with Bar Harbor beer.

The exact time frame is difficult to remember, but several years ago some friends of mine visited Acadia on a trip and brought back some beer. A few of us gathered upon their return and we accidentally finished off the bottle of blueberry beer before his wife was able to sample it. I do know that this was before 2008, so that bottle was definitely brewed by Bar Harbor Brewing. However, I did bring back a bottle of Atlantic Blueberry Ale (5.1 percent ABV) that I will hand deliver directly to her.

The following day, after more hiking, we took a trip into downtown Bar Harbor to grab some lunch. Before leaving the island, I made a stop at the Atlantic Brewing tasting room.

Pouring a New Girl Black IPA at Atlantic Brewing. Flavor 574 photo/Eric Strader
Pouring a New Girl Black IPA at Atlantic Brewing.
Flavor 574 photo/Eric Strader

I once previously enjoyed a Cadillac Mountain Stout (7 percent ABV), although I’m not sure if that had been before or after Atlantic Brewing acquired this brand. The other two beers that I tasted were from their small batch series, New Guy IPA and New Girl Black IPA, so they were only available on tap. Both were solid beers and I wished that I had had more time to spend both at the brewery and at Acadia National Park. We later determined that this was the favorite part of our travels, but at that point, it was time to travel even farther north, to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

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Comments · 1

  • Terry Mark · June 29, 2016

    I have great memories of visiting Acadia National Park with my wife. Alas, back then, I was not aware of or interested in craft beer.

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