WESTBROOK, Maine — Mast Landing Brewing Company is in the midst of a big upgrade, one that will increase production capacity from last year’s 4,500bbl brewed to a potential 11,000bbl this year. A brand-new 20,000 sq ft. production facility will fully come on-line this month, outfitted with a 30bbl brewhouse and a set of 13 fermentation vessels of varying sizes. Mast Landing’s new production-only location sits on Saco St. in Westbrook, just over a mile away from their HQ on Main Street. The brewery’s original location will continue to house their popular tasting room as well as specialized mixed fermentation and wild ale projects, while the bulk of the brewing and packaging heads down the street.
Mast Landing has watched a steady rise in demand from their home base just outside of Portland. The nearly four-year-old brewery has been canning since early on, and launched distribution to Massachusetts in 2017, with New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire following. Rhode Island and Vermont are expected to join the list before the end of 2019, with limited international distribution also on the horizon. In 2018 the the brewery landed at #22 on the Brewers Association list of the 50 Fastest Growing Small and Independent Breweries in the country. President & CEO Ian Dorsey has no question about what drives the growth: “The fact that we are tripling our production is a great testament to all the hard work and dedication everyone has put forward over the past four years. I am continuously proud of what our team is able to accomplish.” The brewery’s core stout, Gunner’s Daughter, has caught the attention of many in the U.S. and internationally with its peanut butter and dark chocolate notes, while a consistent stream of year-round and one-off IPAs and sours round out the portfolio.
The new facility brings with it the ability to keep up with demand, while continuing to innovate. “We grew out of our space on Main St. far quicker than anticipated thanks to our loyal community and some great distribution partners,” says Parker Olen, VP of Brand Strategy. “Expanding will allow us to get more beer out to our home state of Maine, and the rest of the Northeast.” The Saco St. brewery is up and running, as the production space on Main St. transitions to a mixed fermentation and barrel-aging facility.
With capacity on the rise, Mast Landing anticipates that favorites like Gunner’s Daughter and Neon Sails IPA will be available more often, meanwhile the scope of people who can access cans outside of the tasting room will grow. At the same time, a wider selection of beers will be available from the Westbrook HQ, with an experimental pilot program ramping up. The beer list at Mast Landing will be broader than ever.
While planning the expansion, there was never a question of leaving town. “Westbrook is Mast Landing’s home, no question,” Dorsey says. “The city and community have been so supportive – they embraced us from day one and are a huge part of our growth.” The new facility won’t be open to the public at first, but down the road it could open up opportunities for tours, tastings, and other unique experiences.
Also on the horizon is an expansion and renovation to the Main St. tasting room that many know and love. Olen sees the new facility as a great opportunity to elevate the Mast Landing experience across the board. “Having a dedicated sour beer and barrel-aging space will round out our portfolio, and an increase in distribution volume will help us take our on-site space to the next level. It’s all about brewing high quality beers, with a strong focus on our community.”
As Mast Landing approaches their fourth year of business, the Saco St. expansion clearly states that Westbrook’s first brewery will continue to grow beyond their corner of the world. For Dorsey, it’s an exciting, yet humbling experience. “I remember feeling like the space was massive the first time I walked into the Main St. location. I thought it would take the better part of a decade to fill,” he says. “I’m humbled by the support of our customers and partners – I can’t wait to share what the future of Mast Landing holds.”