Rising Tide Brewing Company Expands Brewery, Distribution

If a ‘rising tide’ lifts all boats, then the Portland, Maine based beer company by the same name is definitely staying afloat.

Rising Tide Brewing Company originally began as a nano-brewery project located in a small warehouse across the street from Allagash Brewing. But a local thirst for the brewery’s beer has led to a fairly sizeable expansion for the 20 month old company.

In March, the company moved into a 5,000 sq. ft. space located on the outer edge of the downtown Portland peninsula and recently began installation of two new 30-barrel fermentation tanks and a 15-barrel brewhouse. The new equipment will increase the brewery’s output from about 15 barrels a month to 120 barrels, a welcome change for brewery owner Heather Sanborn.

“Growing at a nano scale is not something you can do profitably,” she said. “We needed to expand to be a real viable business as opposed to a hobby.”

Sanborn said it’s been a struggle to meet demand for the better part of a year, prompting the investment in expansion.

“For us it was a question of whether or not we were going to keep going or not,” Sanborn said. “It’s a huge leap of faith. We are investing a lot of money but it is the way to go.”

The company is fueling the project with personal investments, a loan from the Greater Portland Economic Development Corporation and a traditional bank loan through Bangor Savings Bank.

To coincide with the brewery expansion, Rising Tide will also be expanding distribution into Massachusetts through Massachusetts Beverage Alliance in August.

“Boston has a fantastic craft beer scene,” Sanborn said. “I am excited to finally be in that market.”

Sanborn said the company will continue to package its beers in 1/6 barrels and 22 oz. bottles only. A brewery tasting room will also officially open to the public on June 21st.