The Maine Brew Bus and Freeport Wild Bird Supply are excited to collaborate on ten great outings for 2020 in the sixth year of our popular Birds On Tap℠ – Roadtrip! series.The unique, relaxed birding and beer-ing adventures that you have come to love combine great local birding at seasonal hotspots with visits to sample the delicious creations of some of our favorite local breweries. These tours are a perfect introduction to birding and/or craft beer, and a great opportunity to travel with significant others, friends, and family that have interest in one topic, while your interest is primarily in the other (for now!). Seasonal birding hotspots and great local beer - a perfect combination, and we'll even do all of the driving!
That’s right, we’re taking you on a tour to a landfill! While it might not be our most aesthetically-pleasing destination, the massive concentration of easy food can produce incredible concentrations of birds, especially a variety of gulls, and Bald Eagles. Up to 40 Bald Eagles can be seen here in the winter, and photography opportunities can be outstanding. Meanwhile, among thousands of Herring Gulls, we’ll learn to identify - and yes, appreciate - the variety of species (yup, it’s not just one “Seagull”), starting with Great Black-backed Gull, the largest gull in the world, and visitors from the north: Iceland and Glaucous Gulls.
After we’ve had our fill (pardon the pun), we’ll head into downtown Augusta to work the river for more gulls, eagles, and likely Common Mergansers. If our gull-watching has been productive, and it’s an “irruption” year, we might stop at the Viles Arboretum instead to seek out Bohemian Waxwings or Pine Grosbeaks if they are around. But we’ll leave some extra time to search later for Snowy Owls.
After about 3 hours of birding, we will be transported to Bateau Brewing in Gardiner and Black Pug Brewing in Brunswick to sample their offerings and learn their styles.
Bateau Brewing was opened in August of 2019 by Steve Casey, Matt Kendall, and Steve Sommers. Casey owns The Depot Pub around the corner on Maine Avenue in Gardiner, and a timely conversation between Casey and Kendall allowed the brewery plan to really take shape. The brewery is located in a block of buildings from the mid-1800s known as the Dingley Block, built by the Dingley brothers who operated a hardware store there for nearly 50 years. “Bateau” is the name given to shallow draft flat-bottomed boats, the kind that Reuben Colburn, a major in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, provided to Col. Benedict Arnold in his bid to travel up the Kennebec River to capture Quebec. The brewery abuts “Gardiner Landing” park, and their deck offers commanding views of the Kennebec River.
Black Pug opened in October of 2018, and is the third brewery to call Brunswick home. Sam Wilson first started brewing in the closet of his college apartment in Burlington, VT, and his co-founder and business partner Jason Allen first started drinking beer in his college apartment in New York. The name Black Pug Brewing was inspired by Wilson’s dog, Gir, and the unpredictability of pugs as a breed encapsulate what the business is about. Wilson is the head brewer and is trying to create a really diverse array of offerings. He prefers to use culinary flavors in his beer - including fruits and spices - and is working in as many unique flavors as possible.
To get an idea about what’s in store - both in the birding and beverage departments - check out the 2017 trip report and 2019 post.
The samples are included in the tour price, and The Maine Brew Bus 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. And dress warm; it can be frigid here in winter, especially when we’re standing still.
We'll be doing all of the driving, so you can relax. And to make it even easier, we have two pick-up times and locations:
Marginal Way Park & Ride
(opposite the intersection with Diamond St, just east of Franklin Ave), Portland.
0r 9:20 am
Freeport Wild Bird Supply
541 Route One, Freeport.
(Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your departure time at either location, and please let us know where you will be meeting us)
We'll return to these locations to drop you off at 3:10pm (Freeport) and 3:30pm (Portland).
This tour is limited to 13 participants, so sign up soon! This is a one-of-a-kind tour, and we think one you won't want to miss! Call (207-865-6000), email (email@example.com), or visit Freeport Wild Bird Supply to pay by cash or check (and for more information), or, to conveniently pay online, click on the “Book Now” link below.
For more information about The Maine Brew bus, including all of their other great, non-birding tours, visit them at: