Penobscot River Trail & Geary’s Brewing
For nearly 30 years, the nonprofit Portland Trails has worked to assemble an impressive 70-mile network of recreation trails in the Portland region. Among these gems, the Presumpscot River Trail offers a half-dozen miles of splendid walking along the namesake river that separates Portland and Westbrook on its 26-mile route from Sebago Lake to Casco Bay.
From Riverside Avenue, meander through Riverton Trolley Park, where interpretive signs tell the history of this late 19th century park that once featured a casino, amphitheater, dance hall, croquet courts and more. Cross U.S. Route 302 and stroll through the dense green corridor along the east bank of the Presumpscot. Retrace your steps to the road and cross the bridge to explore the equally nice west side of the river.
Established in 1983 by David and Karen Geary, the D.L. Geary Brewing Co. on Evergreen Way is the first brewery not only in Maine, but in all of New England. The first Geary’s Pale Ale was sold in 1986. After a 30-year run, David Geary sold the business to a group of investors headed by Alan and Robin Lapoint of Freeport, who have carried on the Geary’s heritage of English-style beers, while modernizing the brewery and crafting a line of contemporary brews.
A new, closed fermentation system enables Geary’s to produce any style of beer, like the OG Lager, a traditional Munich-style lager, and the Riverside IPA, a New England-style IPA. In addition, a new pilot system allows the brewers to have fun and experiment with many different brews, such as Windhold IPA, a filtered, juicy double-hopped IPA. Geary’s stalwarts can enjoy their longtime favorites, too, from the Pale Ale, Hampshire Special and Old Thumper to London Porter and Brown Ale.
The beer garden sports picnic tables and lounge chairs, while the tasting room is an intimate, friendly space; both are conducive to enjoying a pour or a flight and chatting it up with craft beer enthusiasts from near and far.
Presumpscot River Trail
— Text & Photos: Carey Kish of Mt. Desert Island. Carey is an avid beer drinker, editor of the AMC Maine Mountain Guide, and author of AMC’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast.