Asa Marsh-Sachs (l.) and Abe Furth (r.) of Orono Brewing Co. atop Maine Brewing Co. tanks in Freeport that the duo have purchased for OBC’s expansion project.” Image courtesy of OBC
By Chris Sweet
2017 might go down in history as the year of the woman and Maine’s craft beer scene is beginning to catch-up to this trend as recently noted by Maine’s largest newspaper the “Portland Press Herald.” Female brewers are becoming more prevalent even if some taproom patrons don’t seem to realize the gal pouring their IPA might have also created it. This happened to Monhegan Brewing Co.‘s Mary Weber as well as her sister, Elizabeth Johnston, an apprentice brewer at Lake St. George Brewing Co. in Liberty. The “Press Herald” also pointed out that Lisa Kellndorfer of Austin Street Brewery is the only other female head brewer in Maine along with Weber. 2018 should see the number of women directing brewing operations double to four when Johnston completes her training and Shonee Strickland becomes head brewer at Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co. in Yarmouth when it opens later this year.
Cushnoc Brewing Co. in Augusta opened at the end of 2017 and it is already expanding. A new 7-bbl brewhouse has been installed to increase brewing capacity by two and a half times. The expansion allows Cushnoc to keep its core beers on tap while also experimenting with different recipes.
The expansion of Orono Brewing Co. along the Penobscot River is moving along with the spring 2018 completion date still within reach. Head Brewer/Co-Owner Asa Marsh-Sachs and Co-Owner Abe Furth recently completed a purchase agreement with Maine Beer Co. in Freeport for brewing equipment MBC had used after its move from Portland to Freeport in 2013. OBC’s expansion will help to increase the availability of its flagship Ozone IPA and other regularly produced beers around Maine and beyond while also preserving the ability of Marsh-Sachs to experiment. Both downtown Orono and downtown Bangor OBC tap rooms will remain open and will continue to brew small-batch specialty beers.
Speaking of Maine Beer Co., co-owner Dan Kleban has been reelected to the Brewers Association board of directors. BA is a Colorado-based national craft beer advocacy group.