Last Wednesday, Dec. 2, Orono Brewing Company launched a special edition ale to benefit the Orono Bog Boardwalk and their capital campaign to replace and renew its walkway.
“We’ve had a long-standing love of the Orono Land Trust,” Heather Furth, who is the co-owner of Orono Brewing Company beside her husband, Abe Furth, said.
“[Orono Land Trust] came to us and talked about trying to start some sort of fundraiser in conjunction with Orono Brewing Company, and we kind of brainstormed about it and thought about perhaps doing a beer where money from each pint sold will go to the Land Trust,” Heather Furth said.
The ale, which is light in color, heavy in alcohol content and mapley in flavor, costs only $5 per pint, with $1 of the profits from each pint going directly to the Orono Land Trust.
“It’s a winter warmer,” Abe Furth added. “You know, it’s 6.8 percent, it’s dangerous, and it’s so easy to drink.”
Orono Brewing Company brewmaster, Asa Marsh-Sachs, is especially enthusiastic about the project.
“One of the things that I was excited about is the maple syrup that we got came from the watershed region of it [the Bog],” Marsh-Sachs said. “Good friends of ours have land on Forest [Street] and so they do syrup, so it was fun to be able to get the most local syrup possible. It came right from this region.”
Marsh-Sachs brewed eight barrels of the ale, which is equivalent to about 15 large kegs, and the fundraiser will last for the life of the beer. He expects it will stick around for about a month or so.
Heather and Abe Furth hope to raise enough money to be able to sponsor a whole section of the Orono Bog Boardwalk.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk is heading into the sixth year of its capital campaign to renew the walkway with new composite materials, including aluminum framing and stainless steel pipes. The previous material, untreated hemlock, has only lasted for about 12 years.
Jerry Longcore, the Orono Land Trust representative for the Bog Boardwalk, says that the update is crucial for the life of the destination.
“This new material is gonna [sic] last probably 35, 40 years, which is what we needed. The old material … was deteriorating,” Longcore said.
So far, during the life of the campaign, the Orono Bog Boardwalk has raised over $570,000 and replaced 252 sections of the 509 that make up the whole walkway.
Longcore is dedicated to preserving the Bog Boardwalk, because it’s an important part of the Orono community.
“The Orono Bog Boardwalk has sort of become a destination for people who want a place to go,” Longcore said. “I know everybody who comes to the University — professors — they got a little time, they take [students] out to the boardwalk.”
Abe Furth also feels strongly about the importance of the Bog Boardwalk.
“It’s a big part of the preserve is walking trails, the Bog Boardwalk and a ton of really awesome mountain bike trails, too. Everybody, regardless of age can enjoy it,” Abe Furth said.
For Longcore, the pure nature is the best part of the Bog Boardwalk.
“You’re kind of isolated. Except for the Boardwalk, there’s no human footprint out there. It’s pretty quiet,” Longcore said.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk is closed for the winter season, but will reopen for the spring on May 1, 2016.
Anyone who wishes to help by volunteering or making a donation should keep an eye on the Orono Bog Boardwalk Facebook page as well as their website, http://umaine.edu/oronobogwalk/.