They have two recent HELM styles named after them. They're both incredibly driven, creative people. They both currently reside in Portland, ME. How could we miss out on having two of our favorite people host a special edition of the Saturday Six highlighting their city and good taste?
Death & Co. is no stranger to HELM and vice versa - we did a collaboration with them that resulted in some of our most popular styles to date in fact. As partner and owner of Death & Co, co-author of multiple cocktail publications, educational speaker (just to describe only a small portion of what he does), Alex Day is active not only throughout the industry, but throughout his city. We had him highlight 3 things that he loves to do to pass the time there.
I. ISLAND ADVENTURING
"One of my favorite things about living in Maine is the close proximity to so many outdoor activities, be it the mountains for hiking or skiing, the best beaches I’ve lived near (sorry, California), a near-endless number of lakes, or simply exploring the rugged coast by car. Hands down my favorite activity in warmer weather is the Casco Bay ferry system. From a pier in Portland’s Old Port, hop on the ferry to Peak’s Island and enjoy a quick and beautiful ride. Jump off, grab a beer and some lobster (duh), and walk around the island. For a bit more activity, bring a bike and explore the ferry that hits a string of islands and spend the afternoon riding around (maybe do a flip off a pier to cool off before the next boat arrives). Returning to Portland, a stop by Luke’s for a beer or cocktail and a snack as the sun sets is the perfect bookend to the day."
II. WALKING TOUR
"A perfect lazy Saturday afternoon may be a jaunt through East Bayside’s bustling brewing and distilling areas, then up to Washington Ave. A beer at Austin Street, Lone Pine, or Belleflower (or all three?), a quick mezze snack at Baharat, then climbing the hill for oysters and great wine at The Shop. Casually browsing (and impulse purchasing) at Onggi, The Cheese Shop of Portland, and Strata. Trying my best not to buy every bottle of natural wine from Maine & Loire; likely failing and buying a bottle of white burgundy for later. Then flipping a coin on the perfect dinner: Izakaya Minato for exceptional and lively Japanese, Radici for the best pizza in town, or Terlingua for tacos with a Southwestern soul and Maine ingredients (especially in their massive back yard). If you're still capable of moving, a nightcap at Cocktail Mary is a must."
III. HUNKERING DOWN
"Though being active and hitting the town is my general modus, sometimes getting away for some solitude and quiet is the perfect way to reset, reflect and focus. Maine has so many hidden destinations to explore, but hands-down the most magical of them all is the Prowhouse in Machiasport. Up in the northeast corner in Maine, near the Canadian border and on a fantastically rugged stretch of shore known as the Bold Coast, the Prowhouse is private, intimate and stylish. Tucked away in a plot of wooded land on a cliff above the waves, the house is an aesthete’s dream: vintage furniture, perfect details, an excellent vinyl collection, and the perfect amount of space for a couple or small family. No TV to be found and somewhat spotty wifi, you can sit and gaze at the ocean stretching to infinity, write that book you’ve talked about for years, or explore a network of private hiking trails on the property."
One of HELM's favorite original creatives, Matt Whalen churned out some our best photography and videography to date. Traveling with us around Maine, he also held the title of one of the best people living here in Austin until he recently relocated to Portland. An Emmy-nominated world-traveler, we could probably ask him to pick 3 of his favorite things to do from anywhere around the world, but for now we're narrowing it down to his current home base.
IV. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPS
"Portland’s music scene rules. Since we’re in the Northeast corner of the country, we often act as the first stop for a touring act (so they can get their warm up show in before heading to Boston/NYC) or we’re the last stop (which is always a special celebration). Planning a weekend around a concert at the magical outdoor Thompson’s Point or the historic State Theater is a great excuse to make the excursion to Portland. Last year, we caught Dr. Dog’s final tour, Wilco + Sleater Kinney, and bluegrass up-and-comer Billy Strings. Check the calendar and score some tickets."
V. BREWS THE MAINE WAY
"Oxbow Brewery makes some of the best farmhouse beers in the US of A, and they recently opened up the must-visit Oxbow Beer Garden. Located about 45 minutes from Portland in Oxford, ME, they renovated an old cross-country ski barn as their newest attraction. If there’s a layer of snow on the ground, snowshoeing or XC-skiing is open to visitors, with a Bloody Mary/hot chocolate hut located deep in the woods. Once you’ve burned all those calories exploring the trails, there are fire pits, wood-oven pizzas, and cold beers awaiting you at the main lodge. It’s lovely in the summer too."
VI. DINER HEAVEN
"Everyone has their favorite cozy diner, but objectively speaking, the best diner is located in Biddeford, ME. It’s no contest. Palace Diner is a James Beard nominated, 15-seat spot only 20 minutes from Portland and absolutely worth it. They have gooey burgers, mile-high breakfast sandwiches, smashed fried potatoes, lemony pancakes and all the coffee your heart desires (or a Coors Banquet!)"