Two Maine-based craft breweries — Sebago Brewing and Maine Beer Company — are in the process of finalizing brewery expansions projects what would enable each company to significantly grow their operations in the greater Portland area.
Sebago Brewing, based in Gorham, today announced plans to open a new $5 million destination brewery in 2017. Pending planning board approvals, the company could break ground as early as November, it said in a press release.
“Our vision for this brewery is to create a place where people can walk the trail system or go cross-country skiing, and then take a tour of our brewery and sample Sebago beers paired with small plates from our wood-fired oven in the tasting room,” brewery co-founder Kai Adams Adams said via the release. “It will be a great place to gather in the community and the ideal use of this unique land at the gateway to Gorham.”
Adams, along with partners Brad Monarch and Tim Haines, is looking to double Sebago’s current brewing footprint and aim to construct a 31,000 sq. ft. facility complete with a four-vessel, 40-barrel brewhouse and more than 9,000 sq. ft. of tasting room and office space.
Sebago has until the end of August to submit revision plans and a final meeting with the Gorham Planning Department is slated for October 3, according to the company.
Nationally recognized Maine Beer Company, meanwhile, has also submitted plans to the Freeport Planning Department for a 20,300 sq. ft. expansion of its own, the Portland Press Herald reported.
According to an application submitted to the planning board and obtained by the paper, Maine Beer is looking to build a two-story building next to its existing 6,000 sq.ft. brewery and tasting room that would feature areas for brewing, bottling, storage, offices and up to 85 more parking spaces.
The planning board is expected to review the application during an August 10 meeting, according to the news outlet.
Maine Beer Company was founded in 2009 in Portland. The company moved its operations to Freeport in 2013 and has since grown production more than 58 percent (to 9,864 barrels in 2015), on a compound annual basis.
For its part, Sebago Brewing, which launched in 1998, has grown sales more than 44 percent year-to-date, according to the company. It produced 8,500 barrels in 2015, according to Brewers Association records.
Sebago and Maine Beer aren’t the only Portland-area breweries scaling up either. Earlier this year, Bissell Brothers Brewing Company moved its operation from a tiny space at One Industrial Way — across from the comparatively gigantic Allagash Brewing — into a larger facility at Thompson’s Point.
Foundation Brewing and Rising Tide Brewing Company have also expanded their operations in 2016, according to the Portland Press Herald.