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Our last Birds on Tap – Roadtrip is this Sunday

Don’t worry, it’s not gone for good. In fact, we have an even bigger and better schedule lined up for 2017. But you can still join us on Sunday for the last tour of this year!

You may have noticed our birding and beer tour series has been getting a little bit of press this year.

The Birds on Tap – Roadtrip! series, created by our partners at Freeport Wild Bird Supply, has been very popular with the participants and with the press!

Most recently, Patrick Whittle and Bob Bukaty of the Associated Press joined on a tour for a story that was released just after Thanksgiving.

The web page for the original story that was then picked up around the world.

Entitled “Loons and lager, ducks on draft: Birders, brewers form flock“, the story was picked up by many newspapers and other media outlets around the world.

Dave Evans of the Great Lost Bear found the Birds on Tap – Roadtrip! story while on vacation in Aruba.

This was just the latest in a string of high profile stories about our combination tour series. Maine Public’s Maine Things Considered had a radio story about our June edition, and Meredith Goad wrote a story earlier this year in the Portland Press Herald about our April edition.

In an effort to provide new tour opportunities for our newly interested people, we developed an all new itinerary to close out 2016. And this one features more than just beer! Our December tour offering is called Farms and Fermentation.

December birding can be a little unpredictable with the weather, therefore our Sunday morning itinerary will be very flexible.  If there is an unusual concentration of interesting birds in the area, rest assured we are going to do our best to find them.

What are we looking for on Sunday? Snow Buntings, Horned Larks, Lapland Longspurs might be most common in the fields. We may find a rare goose relocated from Greenland in areas they are known to prefer. And since some areas of fresh water have begun to freeze, we might head up to Lake Auburn, where diving ducks such as Greater and Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Ducks like to hang out. Maybe we’ll be lucky and find waterbirds that are rare inland in Maine, such as Horned Grebes and Common Mergansers.

Snow Bunting. Photo courtesy Freeport Wild Bird Supply

As we head to our first beer stop we’ll be checking out the Androscoggin River looking for unusual species hidden among the Mallards and Common Mergansers, as well as Iceland Gulls and Peregrine Falcons. We will have a constant lookout for Bald Eagles as they are also likely. And if Pine Grosbeaks and/or Bohemian Waxwings are present, we’ll likely seek these “irruptive” visitors from the north as well.

So there is a lot we can see in the bird world, and even more to discover as we cross over to the beer world around mid-day.

That first stop after birding is Bear Bones Beer, an independent nano-brewery located in downtown Lewiston, Maine with a focus on making high quality sustainable craft beer. The company was started in the spring of 2013 by Eben Dingman and Adam Tüüri. The two beer aficionados had been brewing individually for almost a decade when they decided to start collaborating with the goal of creating a delicious product with a business model based on sustainability. Their two-barrel system lies in the heart of Lewiston’s downtown, and their beer is now available in area restaurants and their tasting room is open to the public. And they produce more than beer, as they always have non-alcoholic sodas available that they also create right on site.

Our next stop will be at Norumbega Farm in New Gloucester. Noah Fralich’s family runs this farm, which is named for a “legendary settlement” in New England.

And on this farm we will find Norumbega Cidery. Hard cider played a strong part in the history and traditions of rural Maine and is currently making a comeback as an option for those interested in locally brewed and produced beverages. Enter Norumbega, one of southern Maine’s newest hard cider producers, where Noah makes sure that you know that it is all about the apples. See firsthand how hard cider is made, where it is bottled, and learn about the particular apple varieties used to make this very traditional beverage.

The ticket price is $65/pp and all transportation and alochol samples are included in the tour price. We will supply a light snack (a delicious vegetarian hand-pie) and water. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one. We also recommend bringing a lunch or additional snack if you so desire. A warm layer is highly recommended, as the shore of inland lakes can be quite chilly at this time of year.

There are only 6 seats remaining, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won’t want to miss!

Can’t make this trip, but would like a sneak peak at the 2017 schedule? Visit Freeport Wild Bird Supply for more details on the full slate of 10 offerings next year!

Don Littlefield is the General Manager of The Maine Brew Bus, and is spotted as the driver and beer guide for the Birds on Tap-Roadtrip! tours. He last enjoyed a glass of Cantina Rossa from Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville, ME. Twitter: @BeerinME