As the readers of this blog have probably picked up on, we love birds…and we love beer! And, it turns out, so do lots of other folks. So, we have worked to incorporate these two elements through events at the store, making birding and learning about birds not only educational, but fun too.
Therefore, we, Freeport Wild Bird Supply (FWBS) are excited to announce the “Birds On Tap – Roadtrip!” series in collaboration with The Maine Brew Bus (MBB). Each tour combines 2-3 hours of birding at one of Maine’s hotspots with a visit to two of our fantastic local breweries. The idea for this series comes on the heels of several very successful programs sponsored by FWBS, working with some of Maine’s finest breweries to combine birding and beer enjoyment. We began with the “Birds, Books, and Beers” author book signings at Maine Beer Company in 2013. The new tradition continues with the “Birds On Tap!” lecture series at Rising Tide Brewing as we host and support scientists conducting research on birds in the Northeast and beyond.
“Birds On Tap – Roadtrip!” seemed like a natural progression – another way to make learning about birds and birding even more fun. Additionally, it is a great way to support several Maine businesses. The trips introduce people to new breweries, new birds, and new places in a casual atmosphere that makes both birding and beer appreciation approachable. “These tours are a perfect way for couples or friends with different interests to spend the day together. We take the pressure off learning about complex topics from identifying shorebirds to hop characteristics.
These trips are truly unique, we know of no other similar tours offered anywhere in the world!
Don Littlefield, General Manager of the Maine Brew Bus, adds “Craft beer drinkers come from all walks of life and have all kinds of other interests. This pairing of bird observation and beer education has proven to be a real hit with all kinds of folks. It gives access to diverse areas of Maine and many different bird species, and also great locally produced Maine beer. We are happy to partner with Derek and his team, it’s been fantastic to see this series mature and take flight!”
In 2015, we had two very successful outings. In August “Shorebirds and Beer” visited Scarborough Marsh for migrant shorebirds, Barreled Souls, and Rising Tide. In November, we ventured north for a visit to Sabattus Pond for waterfowl, and then visited Baxter Brewing and Maine Beer Company.
Based on the popularity of these trips, we are excited to offer six different trips in 2016, covering birding and breweries from Kittery to Lewiston. Traveling in the Maine Brew Bus, I’ll be guiding the first half of each, as we learn about the birds and their habitats at seasonal hotspots. This is followed by two brewery tours led by the MBB guides. The locations were chosen to enjoy the peak of birding at a particular locale at certain times of year. One does not need to be a “birder” to enjoy these outings. People of all skill levels are encouraged to join us!
The 2016 schedule is as follows:
Surf and Suds
February 28th , 8:00am – 2:30pm
York and Ogunquit (wintering waterfowl especially Harlequin Ducks, Purple Sandpipers, and alcids)
SoMe Brewing & Fore River Brewing
Spring Ducks & Draughts
April 10th, 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Merrymeeting Bay (migrant waterfowl and Bald Eagles)
Oxbow & Lively Brewing
Grassland and Grains
June 5th , 8:00am – 2:00pm
Kennebunk Plains(Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow)
Funky Bow & Banded Horn Brewing
Shorebirds and Beer
August 7th, 9:00am-3:00pm.
Scarborough Marsh (migrant shorebirds)
Barreled Souls & Rising Tide
Migrants and Malts
October 9th , 8:00am – 2:30pm
Fort Foster and Seapoint Beach, Kittery (songbird, raptor, and shorebird migrants)
Tributary & Hidden Cover Brewery
Fall Ducks and Draughts
November 13th, 8:30am – 2:30pm
Sabattus Pond and Auburn Riverwalk (migrant waterfowl)
Baxter Brewing & Maine Beer Co.
For more information about each of these tours, see the “Tours, Events, Programs, and Workshops” page our website. And contact us soon (email or call 207-865-6000) as these unique tours fill up fast!