Fall Fun: Mike’s Maze Beer Tasting

I think there are a few things you can do to test your relationship: build furniture together, go on vacation together, and successfully make it through a corn maze together while drinking beer.

After Josh and I went to Mike’s Maze in Sunderland, MA last year, we realized that they had a special event that was a beer tasting in the maze. Tickets were sold out then, so we knew we wanted to go this year. I followed Mike’s Maze on Facebook, and once they started posting they were opening for the season in September, I bought beer maze tickets as soon as they were available.

The event was Friday night, and we wanted to get dinner beforehand, something quick and easy. Josh was looking up restaurants in the area around Sunderland, and once he said there was a Bueno y Sano nearby, I said yes.

It’s a local chain in the Western MA area that serves incredibly good Mexican food. I’ve had it twice before, and I’m obsessed.

I got a steak bowl with sour cream, and Josh got chicken quesadillas. And we love that Bueno has Barq’s Root Beer, both of our favorite soda.

Once we finished eating, we had a little time to kill so we walked around the streets near the restaurant. Going for walks around new areas is something we enjoy, and where we were, there was lots of foilage. It’s definitely peak New England now, and I love it.

We got to Mike’s Maze right around 6:00 p.m. when the event started. We checked in and got our wrist bands before checking out the main maze. Since this was the maze area we went in last year, we assumed the beer tasting would be in there, too. The theme for this year is “At the Movies” and everything is always very coordinated and festive.

What we didn’t realize was that there was a separate maze out in the back specifically for the beer tasting. We followed a short path through the edge of the main maze out to the back of the corn field.

The sky looked super pretty as we walked back, and the view was very New England-y.

Thankfully, there was a big sign directing us to the beer, and, of course, we had to take a picture with it.

We checked in again at the booth by the maze entrance and got the following: our tasting cups, 6 drink tickets for each of us (you had to drop a ticket at each brewery’s table when you got your beer), a flashlight, and the map. Since we originally thought the tasting was in the main maze, we were confused why we weren’t given a map at the first check-in, but everything started to make sense.

There were six breweries in the maze: Loophole Brewing, Element Brewing, Leadfoot Brewing, Berkshire Brewing, Pioneer Valley Brewing, and Amherst Brewing—all local breweries we’ve had at other beer tastings before. Those were marked by the little beer glasses on the map, while there were numbered stars for trivia questions. You could check your answers at the end to see how many you got right. They were all scary/Halloween movie themed.

Around 7:00 p.m., the sun had completely set and it was dark. Josh was in charge of the flashlight as we walked through the maze. We got through two breweries and a few questions before it got really dark, so we had to adjust to walking through the maze. We followed the map but you could also tell where things were because you’d hear and see groups of people.

Toward the end, some of the other groups were definitely buzzed from the beer, and at one point, a woman said she wanted to join our group since hers wasn’t listening and then she showed us pictures of her new dog. I mean, we’re never going to say no to dog pictures. And the woman seemed harmless. Just a lot of the awkward laughing with other buzzed folks at a beer tasting. Not the first and not the last time we’ll experience that.

We finished up all of the questions and hit the final brewery a little before 8:00 p.m. I had to go to the bathroom, so I stopped in one of the port-a-potties; boy, it’s hard to go in one of those in the dark. We returned the flashlight and clipboard and tossed the cups before heading back out toward the main maze. I think we felt too confident in our trivia answers because we only got 3 of the 10 correct. And two of the correct answers were ones that I randomly knew.

The event ended at 9:00 p.m., and it took us about two hours to go through the whole maze. People were still coming in when we were leaving, but we got there on time so we could take our time and enjoy the maze. It was so much fun and a great fall activity. I’m glad we were able to go this year, and it’s on our must-do list for next year.

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