MAINE, Maine — When you're retired, living the good life can be a full time job.
Whether it's hanging inside, enjoying a live band or a game of Mahjong, or embarking on a popular field trip -- retirees at the Highlands Senior Living Community in Topsham know how to have fun.
Every other month, a group of about 20 residents visit one of Maine's many breweries.
On a recent trip, the group visited NU Brewery in New Gloucester.
It was Sara Townsend's third brewery tour.
"It's fun, and I like tasting the beer."
At 89, she loves a good pale ale.
"You don't have to be a connoisseur -- you can come and try things."
Bill Ewing and his wife of 40 years, Lynn Lockwood, have visited more than 80 breweries around the U.S. and Canada -- and they've got the stickers to prove it.
"We're IPA people, definitely IPA, but you still try other beers," the Lockwoods said.
"I love a pale ale," Lynn added.
Ewing says for 100 breweries, there are 100 stories.
"The breweries are a destination for us. They make us feel connected to the rest of society in a way we can understand and love."
The couple like the beer, but more importantly, they love meeting the brewers and learning about the breweries.
"It's so much fun to see all these young people with that driving them. They love it so much," Lynn said.
This is the groups 47th brewery and counting.
The next stop on this trip was the Maine Beer Company in Freeport.
Chris Toole, Highland's Executive Chef and Director of Dining Services, started the brewery tours and says they're as much a social activity as anything else.
"They do tend to draw the largest crowds."
Toole says the breweries, which typically cater to a younger crowd, are always surprised when he calls to set up a visit.
"They just can't believe a bunch of 75-year-olds, on average, are coming to try their beer, and they think it's a cool idea."
So do their guests.
"One of the things about retirement communities," Lynn said, "is you can either go in and say, 'Okay, this is it. I've done everything, and I'm going to relax,' or you can go in and say, 'Oh boy this is a new chapter, and I'm going to have a great time.'"
So with that, cheers -- to a new chapter.