Stories from the Land

Childhood Friends Work and Play at Brave Boat Headwaters

June 2017

Ian Goering (left) and Ian Browne (right).

Ian Goering (left) and Ian Browne (right).

Ian Browne and Ian Goering have been playing in Brave Boat Harbor since they were 14 years old, often venturing off with canoes and surfboards in tow. As adults, they continue to venture to their favorite childhood haunt—for pleasure and for work.

The friends serendipitously both got hired by Tributary Brewing Co. in 2015, where they work on the brew crew. Last winter, they were tasked with collecting 31 gallons of saltwater to produce a German-style beer called a Gose. They knew just the spot to collect the water from. 

“Oh man, it was cold,” says Goering, laughing. “We had originally planned on taking the canoe and paddling out, and woke up wicked early to go down there. But Ian and I had assessed that morning that we weren’t going to get in a canoe because it was way too windy and way too cold.”

Kittery Land Trust’s new Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve protects 150 acres of waterfront property lining the harbor. That preservation helps limit runoff and pollution into the harbor.

“Beer and local water sources have always been connected,” says Goering. “The kind of water you have has always dictated the kinds of beers you can make, so being able to use a protected water source like that is really exciting, to be able to carry on that tradition.”

But Ian and Ian discovered the magic of the harbor long before taking up brewing. As teenagers, they would often surf a small wave in the harbor.

“There is a little wave that breaks at the mouth of Brave Boat Harbor,” says Browne. “It’s this picture perfect wave, the kind of wave you would draw in your notebook in fifth grade. It’s beautiful, I have surfed it a bunch of times.”IMG_1320

Browne and Goering are both grateful that the area has been preserved.

“The trails I’ve been hiking since I was 14, I can still go hiking on and they haven’t changed that much,” says Goering. “If they have changed, they have changed for the better.”

Browne agrees.

“Brave Boat Harbor is probably one of my favorite places in the world,” he says. “It’s a really special place.”