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Updated: April 3, 2024

Clam chowder beer, magic unicorns: Maine companies almost got us on April Fools' Day

Courtesy / Shipyard Brewing Shipyard Brewing unveiled an unusual libation for the strong of stomach on April Fools' Day.

Fancy a Clam Chowdah IPA from Shipyard Brewing Co.?

Or a lager by Cushnoc Brewing Co., made with real Kennebec River floodwater, collected from the Augusta brewery’s basement?

Cushnoc Brewing promotes its Flood of 2024 Lager in a “commercial.”

“Infused with debris, propane, cumby cups, random debris and silt from the bottom of the river,” Cushnoc said in an April 1 social media post. It touted the Flood of 2024 concoction as “our most born on the Kennebec-est beer ever.”

Within six hours, the post and video commercial worthy of a “Saturday Night Live” skit had attracted 120 likes and more than a dozen comments.

“I’ve been dying to try this one,” one follower remarked.

Both announcements were posted on April 1, a worldwide day of hoaxing and fun, along with a host of others by Maine companies from Franklin County to Freeport.

“We have played a bit in April Fools’ pasts about brewing our beer with real Maine lobster," said Emily Zollo Mishou, Shipyard’s social media manager. "But this year we were thinking of other New England classics to play off of and thought clam chowder had the right amount of intrigue and disgust to give our audience a good chuckle this April Fools' Day.”

Video still
From Foundation Brewing & Pizza, a "how to" video on dumping a bucket of water on an unsuspecting victim.

Foundation Brewing & Pizza, of Portland, took a different tack, posting a 25-second “How to April Fools” video that showed a water-bucket dump on an unsuspecting victim.

“Caitlin’s Corner is brought to you by buckets of water,” the voiceover says. “Dump one on your co-worker and tell them Caitlin sent you.”

Sarah Bryan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, had fun reading all the posts, noting that Cushnoc’s video especially made her laugh.

“Given the chance to cut loose and poke a bit of fun at trends, our cherished colleagues, and even our own operations, Maine brewers will almost always jump at the chance to create a moment to share in some laughs and a joke or two we are all in on — even if some of the ‘innovations’ promised this April Fools' Day might be better left on the research and development shelves,” she said.

Ski-mountain connector 

It wasn’t just brewers who were having fun this April 1.

Dumping unusual news on Maine skiers, Sugarloaf announced a joint effort with Sunday River to build a tram connecting the two resorts by 2097.

Social post
Sugarloaf / Facebook post
Coming in August 2097: a 48-mile-long "gondi-rail lift" connecting two of Maine's largest ski resorts.

The tongue-in-cheek post, which included a photo, got a chuckle out of skier Nancy Marshall, CEO of Marshall Communications and a consultant to Sugarloaf, where she previously worked as communications director.

“How things have changed,” she said. "I remember the mid-1990s, when Les Otten acquired Sugarloaf and Sugarloaf President Warren Cook drove down to Sunday River and presented Les with the lift sign that said, ‘If you were at Sunday River, you would be at the top by now,’ and it had been on a Sugarloaf lift tower at a place where you would look up and there was still a lot of the mountain and ski terrain above you.

“Now the two are owned by Boyne, and the April Fools' announcement said that the lift connecting the two would open in 2097,” she added. “Good joke!”

Unicorn cuteness 

Cuteness was also in force this April Fools' Day, particularly at Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment.

Courtesy / Wolfe's Neck Center
"We are so excited to announce the arrival of some very magical friends on campus," Wolfe's Neck Center posted on social media April 1.

Announcing the arrival of “some very magical friends on campus,” the Freeport-based nonprofit posted a picture of a pink-nosed white unicorn with a yellow and pink horn.

“We will be offering rides around the property and have been told that they may grow wings as they get older,” the organization said in its post. “Who wouldn’t want a ride and a bird's eye view of our miles of coastal farmland?” 

The post, whose hashtags included #checkthedate and #gotcha, generated 286 posts within seven hours.

Rolling on the river

Not to be outdone in creativity, the city of Auburn touted new Androscoggin River cruises aboard a vessel named the Androscoggin Belle. The season's starting date? April 1, of course.

social media post
City of Auburn / Facebook post
A one-of-a-kind cruise on the Androscoggin River touted by the city of Auburn.

And there was a cheeky post on the Portland Old Port website announcing the grand opening of a Hooters restaurant at 84 Commercial St. The post included a rendering of the building with a Hooters sign. 

“The 6,500 square foot establishment is designed to merge Hooters’ vibrant dining experience with the historic charm and maritime heritage of the Old Port,” the post said.

Hooters exterior
Portland Old Port / Facebook post
Portland Old Port "announced" the opening of a new Hooters in the heart of Portland's Old Port in an April 1 social media post.

“Nice try guys!” responded one follower, while another remarked, “I was about to get excited — I heard they had good chicken wings.”

Elsewhere on social media Monday, Maine television stations were issuing forecast maps for Wednesday’s winter storm, with some showing 5 to 10 inches of snow along the coast and 12 to 18 inches further inland.

We”ll know soon enough if the predictions are real or just more April fooling.

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