A local Maine lawyer dropped me off a gift bag a couple weeks ago. The present? A pair of home brews.
Twin dark styles of beer. The blue hand written labels proclaiming, hinting what lies hiding inside. The dark tall bottles were Coffee Vanilla and Chocolate Maple Porter.
One count I looked up showed Maine had 31 beer breweries.
Then the raise your hands count eighteen months later, the end of 2013, the number climbs. Hoisted to 40 Maine microbreweries dotting Vacationland. Shipyard Brewery in Maine is the USA’s fifteen largest. It’s microbrewery products shipped, stocking shelves, or available on tap in forty states. All, starting in 1992 bottle operations with humble Maine beginnings in Kennebunk.
For awhile it seemed cool for a restaurant, bar, golf course, resort, white water rafting or ski slope business to have it’s own microbrewery. Handcrafted barley pop and enjoyed pretty much only locally. But often the operation going out of business, one for the history books. Nice try. It’s built on a business platform first, for profit. Not a government agency yet.
One group of Presque Isle Maine doctors gave birth to a restaurant microbrewery in Aroostook County.
Been a few year’s since the place with the copper distillery big tank, hoses, piping, couplers closed its doors.
Seems marketing the anemic volume of production, distribution, consumption like most businesses peddling a product came home to roost.
To die with poor beer reviews for suds designed with less alcohol and fewer carbs.
Like a lot of health clubs, ski areas, it seems the same pattern to make them successful.
You had to be second or further back in line. Patient. To buy them at the bank foreclosure auction for fifty cents on the dollar or less for better odds to succeed. Again. For less overhead then the over the top original dreamers begged, borrowed and stole. Invested with second and third home mortgages, cashing in life insurance policies that failed despite the all out effort. Still went under. Timing is key along with a sound marketing plan.
More what the state of Maine microbrewery licensing regulations say. It takes money, funding to get a microbrewery licensed, off the ground. Here is what one Maine couple’s microbrewery community fund raising plan.
Barley farmers, hop growers, the job comes with challenges. It is after all farming in Maine, ’nuff said.
Have to report back on the lawyer’s home brew but if you are buying, Allagash White is pretty tasty.
And another choice, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale that is not so rave reviewed by some but you be the judge. Do your own thinking about what you are drinking.