Inspired by Maine’s enterprising brewers, a few delicacy swaps we’d like to see.
Maine’s deepening trade relationship with Iceland got a little sudsier this summer when the Maine Brewers’ Guild loaded a custom-made, 40-foot-long, refrigerated “Maine Beer Box” onto a container ship bound for the Land of Fire and Ice. In June, attendees at an Icelandic beer fest tapped the giant kegerator, pouring cold ones from 40 Maine brewers out of 78 branded taps embedded right in the container’s side. In July, Icelandic brewers return the favor, filling the modified shipping container with their own beers and sending it back to be enjoyed at the Summer Session Beer Festival in Portland.
The ingenuity of the exchange got us thinking: how else can we creatively export Maine goods in exchange for some exotic treats? A few ideas.
►Airlift hundreds of thousands of whoopie pies into Paris. Come back with crates full of croissants, éclairs, and beignets.
►Build an intercontinental pipeline pumping maple syrup to India. Periodically reverse the flow to send back various chutneys.
►Fill a large submarine with Allen’s Coffee Brandy and pilot it to Italy. Return with thousands of gallons of Fernet-Branca.
►Send a fleet of hot-air balloons to Ghana loaded with fiddleheads. Trade them for as many sweet plantains and yams as the baskets will hold.
►Swap freight cars full of Damariscotta River oysters for Rocky Mountain oysters via transcontinental railway.
►Load a convoy of Mexico-bound tractor-trailers with pallets of Moxie. Request tropical Jarritos flavors (if they don’t return the Moxie untouched).