BAR HARBOR, Maine — When Carey Kish had to ask his publisher for a deadline extension for his latest book on hiking, he had a perfect excuse: He was out hiking.
In 2019, Kish tackled the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Mexican border through California, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. It’s an epic trek, the kind of challenge that Kish—who already thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail twice—found irresistible. He couldn’t work while out on the trail, so he put writing on pause for six months.
Now that slightly delayed book is finally out, a guide called “Beer Hiking New England,” described as “the tastiest way to discover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.” It introduces readers to 50 hikes paired with 50 nearby breweries, covering a wide range of terrain from the rugged 4,000-foot peaks of New Hampshire to tranquil coastal paths in Connecticut.
Perhaps the biggest challenge was figuring out what to put in and what to leave out.
“There’s 10,000 miles of trails [in New England]. There’s over 700 breweries,” Kish said. “It was like, 'Wow, where do I start?'”
The only way to find the right places was to research them. Kish drove 20,000 miles, hiked 75 to 80 trails to find the 50 he liked best, visited 75 to 80 breweries and brewpubs, and sampled 230 different beers. His trail nickname is well earned: “Beer Man.”
Some writers gripe about the difficulty of their craft, the lonely hours spent at a keyboard, the frustration of trying to get the words and story to take flight. Those burdens seem not to have afflicted Kish, at least not when it came to research.
“I love beer, and I love hiking,” he said cheerfully. “I just love being out there and having fun.”