A well-stocked cooler at the Maine Beer Shed.KINGFIELD – The middle of a pandemic might seem like an unlikely time to start a new business, but Kate and Brian Ray didn’t have much of a choice. The doors to their new business- The Maine Beer Shed- were due to open, pandemic or not.“It’s gone way better than we could have imagined. Being in the middle of a pandemic, we weren’t expecting a lot,” Kate Ray said. “But the support from the community has been incredible.”The Maine Beer Shed, at 394 Main Street, has brought a new kind of shopping experience to Kingfield, and one that people were seemingly waiting for. The small log cabin boasts fresh produce, frozen meats and even bulk flour and grains- all sourced from nearby farms and producers. The spotlight, however, falls on the wideKate and her daughter at the Maine Beer Shed.selection of Maine craft brews. Eventually the Rays plan to stock beer from every brewery in the state, of which there are 157, Kate said. The Maine-made-beer trend has exploded in recent years, and while Kate and Brian have a passion for brewing, they wanted to stay away from the saturated market.“There are so many awesome breweries in Maine. We wanted to figure out how to bring them here without opening another brewery,” Kate said.The Maine Beer Shed is a place that celebrates all the “little guys” around the state, she said. Much of Kate’s time is spent driving from county to county picking up orders to stock the shelves of the shed. They only opened a month ago, but the keeping things stocked is already a hefty task for the amount of customers coming through the door. Being on the main drag helps, Kate said, but primarily it seems to be filling a need in the community.“It’s a convenient way for farmers to get food straight to the people,” she said, between crunches of carrot.Tarbox Farm, Cold Spring Ranch, Bigelow Fields, Crooked Face Creamery and Emery Farm are among the list of food suppliers, along with Kate and Brian’s own farm products. Kate was raised farming in Buxton, and despite seeing the realities of the industry, knew that was where her future lay. The couple bought a farm in nearby New Portland where they raise poultry and pork along with a slew of fruits and vegetables. Kate also uses the property to house her team of sled dogs which run her other business- Dogsled Maine.A collaborative effort with help from Carrabassett Region of the New England Mountain Bike Association, the pump track has only three rules: be kind, wear a helmet, and kids have the right of way.On top of all that, the Rays have two young children, who they have kept in mind while creating their dream of the Beer Shed. The open space surrounding the store has become the kids’ stomping grounds, and Kate and Brian are working on making that space open to all families who stop by. Their plan is to eventually have a cafe, with outdoor seating and plenty to do. A sand volleyball court, a pump track, open air movies and a community garden are just a few of their ideas.“We want it to be a community place,” Kate said.But for now, the couple is focusing on keeping shelves full and the beer cold.“We’re putting everything into this. We’re committed to this place,” Kate said.
The Lakers learned Monday that Walton won’t be joining them on this four-game road trip – he is now battling tendinitis in the ankle – but Jackson expressed optimism Tuesday that Walton will be able to return next week. “He’s pushing, pushing, pushing and trying to get back in the lineup,” Jackson said, “and he just needs to cool down and I think it’ll settle in and he’ll be OK.” “Without adversity, people don’t achieve greatness,” Farmar said last week. “Sometimes they don’t reach their potential if everything’s just given to them. It just makes me work that much harder and stay that much more focused and determined. My time will come.” Farmar, who played in the Rookie Challenge at All-Star weekend, said he has to find a way to make an immediate impact whenever he does play. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With forward Lamar Odom facing the prospect of season-ending shoulder surgery, the Lakers can’t get Walton back soon enough. Jackson noted that Walton has a history of playing well with Brian Cook, now starting in Odom’s place. Jackson all but ruled out Walton from Sunday’s game against Dallas, which makes a March 15 game at Denver a possibility for his return. For the first time in his life, rookie guard Jordan Farmar is having to cope with spending entire games on the bench. Farmar didn’t play Tuesday, the third game out of four he has sat out. It’s a new experience to say the least for Farmar, who led Taft High of Woodland Hills to a City Section title and UCLA to the NCAA championship game. Farmar and Sasha Vujacic lost their spots in the rotation to Shammond Williams and Aaron McKie. MINNEAPOLIS – The loss of forward Luke Walton from the Lakers’ lineup with a sprained ankle has been so profound that coach Phil Jackson last week compared Walton’s playmaking to the “yeast in bread.” Walton was the key ingredient during the Lakers’ fast start to the season and his absence has coincided with his team’s downturn: The Lakers have gone just 6-12 since Walton injured his right ankle in a Jan.26 game.