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June 6, 2018

Bath to get a second brewery months after first one opened

Plans are in the works to establish a second brewery in Bath, to be called Bath Ale Works, just months after the city saw its first brewery open up.

The Times Record reported the plan is in the permitting stage. The developer, Pepper Powers, told the newspaper that it was difficult finding a space in the city for brewery production. In other cities, he said, "microbreweries tend to open in industrial areas where there are lots of closed warehouses and things like that, and it seems like Bath just doesn't have that type of facility available."

In the end, Powers found property on State Street in an area intended for commercial development. If the project is approved, construction of a 3,162-square-foot brewery and tasting room could take place this summer with the brewery opening by the end of the year.

Originally from Old Orchard Beach, Powers lives in the Washington, D.C. area, where he's worked at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center since 1989. However, he and his wife are preparing to move back to Maine. He's long been a home brewer. One of his variations is made with spruce tips.

The city's first brewery, Bath Brewing Co., opened in February. At the time, The Coastal Journal reported it was also Sagadahoc County's first locally based, locally founded brewpub, founded by Terry Geaghan, Mike Therriault and developer Sean Ireland. While Sagadahoc County has Sea Dog Brewing in Topsham, it's an offshoot of the Camden original. A big goal, Geaghan told the publication, is honoring the city's maritime history which, as a marine historian and long-time board member at Maine Maritime Museum, he knows well.

Other breweries in the works

The development of breweries remains a hot sector. Shipyard Brewing Co. aims to build Portland's first beer-themed hotel, or 'brewtel,' as part of a $65 million redevelopment plan submitted to the city and made public in early May. The Portland Press Herald reported at the time that the proposal, submitted with Bateman Partners, also envisions a first-floor tasting room and potentially craft-beer room service.

In February, plans were in the works to open a new microbrewery, called Footbridge Brewery, in Boothbay Harbor. The Boothbay Register reported at the time that business partners Nick Ullo and Dan Pangburn were developing new recipes, using Maine-sourced ingredients like blueberries and jalapenos, for test trials.

Also in February, The PenBay Pilot reported a new nanobrewery in Union was on tap, modeled after the vertically integrated farm-to-table movement, with plans to grow hops and botanicals for use in small-batch beers, at owners' Bill and Ashley Stinson's 10-acre farm.

And according to a post in the past week on the Maine Brewers Guild website, the Austin Street Brewery has plans for a second facility in East Bayside in Portland, with plans to start production by October and a large tasting room.

Maine Brewers Guild data show that Maine is home to 90 breweries, up from 35 in 2013. Craft beer has an economic impact of $67.8 billion nationwide, according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association. In Maine, craft beer has an economic impact of $476 million, according to a Brewers Association study released in September.

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