Maine Huts & Trails LagerPosted by Adam
In the 1970’s, Larry Warren envisioned a network of trails and backcountry huts connecting the Moosehead Lakes Region to the Mahoosuc Range near Bethel. Inspired by the well-traveled hut networks of the Alps and modeled after the AMC Huts of New Hampshire, his huts-and-trails concept was an ambitious and formidable aspiration at the time. Despite decades of setbacks and opposition, Mr. Warren was finally able to fund his vision in the 2000’s and build from it an amazing non-profit called Maine Huts & Trails. MH&T currently operates 4 ‘eco-lodges’ in western Maine’s High Peaks Region as well as maintains 80-miles of trails that are open and free to the public. With opportunities to ski and snowshoe in the winter, and hike and mountain bike in the summer, Maine Huts & Trails has been instrumental in transforming a region built on the 6-month winter season, into a 4-season destination.
Baxter first linked up with MH&T in 2013 to co-host the first (and now annual) MH&T Backwoods Duathlon. The trail run and mountain bike race typically attracts anywhere from 30-75 racers, and is a true showcase of some of Maine’s most unique backcountry terrain. The course takes place on 15 miles of the 80 that exist in MH&T’s network. Jeff Ziehler once referred to the course as “punishing,” but a few post-race Stowaways seemed to ease his pain.
Next, Baxter and Maine Huts went on to collaborate another event called Brews and Views. This annual beer pairing, farm-to-table dinner takes place about 3 miles off the grid at an elevation of 1900ft, at Stratton Brook Hut, one of MH&Ts luxury eco-lodges. Getting there requires sweat. But the reward comes in the form of 5 locally sourced courses, cooked by local chef Jared Frigon, each accompanied by a Baxter beer and live commentary from our head brewers. Finishing your beers is encouraged, as there is no driving home from this event. All participants spend the night up at the hut.
Our partnership with Maine Huts & Trails was born from a mutual appreciation for Maine’s Western High Peaks and moves forward with a shared belief that promoting access to this region is fundamentally important. It is one of the final wild, mountainous spaces in Maine and we found a great partner in Maine Huts to help advertise this wonderful area.
And so, on to our latest collaboration…Maine Huts & Trails Lager, a beer to commemorate the Western Maine High Peaks Region and the great work of Maine Huts & Trails. Like our Backwoods Duathlon, this beer is a multi-stage process: Brewed like a wheat beer, hopped like an IPA, and finished like a lager. Its bright golden appearance and persistently foamy head carry strong citrus notes with dank, piney undertones. It’s full flavored but finishes clean and dry. We use wheat and pilsner malts, lager yeast, and Amarillo and Simcoe hops. In addition to promoting the region for which it is named, MHT Lager will generate funds for the Maine Huts with a portion of proceeds going directly to their trail maintenance budget.
Only 30-barrels of this beer were brewed in our first batch. All kegs have currently been purchased and are available at the following Carrabassett Valley accounts throughout Reggae Fest (April 12 – 15). Keep your eyes peeled for 16oz cans later in 2018. We are pumped to release this beer hand-in-hand with Maine Huts & Trails. Now get out there, check out the beer, and support Maine Huts!
Sugar Bowl (Bowling Alley)
The Baxter Taproom