When the first craft distillery opened in Maine’s capital, Portland, in 1820, it became one of the first breweries in the state to tap local ingredients and focus on small batch beer.
Now, it’s been more than a century since that first brewery, and a year and a half since the last.
The new distillery in Maine, the Bangor Brewery, is about to get a lot bigger.
The Bangor Beer Co., which has plans to build a $2.5 billion facility in downtown Bangor, Maine, is currently working with a partnership with the Bangors Brews & Spirits Co. to expand the brewery to an additional 10,000 square feet.
The plan is to use the new facility to produce about 40,000 barrels of beer per year, according to the Bangones Brews, and to create about 10 jobs.
The expansion of the brewery, which will allow the Bangons to focus on quality, won’t be cheap.
The brewery is expected to cost about $2 million per year to build, which is about the same amount of money the brewery spent on a new tasting room and brewing operations in 2014.
The investment, however, comes at a time when Maine has one of Maine’s highest beer production costs.
Last year, Maine’s breweries produced about $17.7 million in beer, according a report by the Maine Beer Distributors.
The state’s breweries, however are growing.
The number of breweries in Maine has grown from 6 in 2013 to 13 this year, and there are now 10 breweries operating in the State of Maine.
“We’re seeing a lot more growth in the industry, and that’s a good thing,” said John Ewing, president and CEO of the Maine Brewers Guild, which represents the craft beer industry.
“It’s not just about craft breweries, it really is about breweries in general.
You’re seeing breweries opening in every other part of the state.”
Ewing says the new brewery will also help boost the local economy.
“I think we’ll have a lot of jobs, and we’ll also be able to grow the state and make a lot less money, which can be a lot better for everybody,” he said.
The boom in craft beer has led to a huge influx of jobs in Maine.
The average annual pay for a brewer is about $150,000 in Maine today, according, and Ewing said the new Bangor brewery is the first of many to see an increase in wages.
The economic benefits, however the new brewing facility will bring to the local community and the Bangoes Brews and Spirits Co., is unclear at this point.
“If you’re looking at the total economic impact, it probably wouldn’t be enough to justify that [additional investment],” Ewing told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
“They’ve done this in the past.
We’re seeing more breweries coming in and they’ve done it better.”
The Bangones brewmaster said the Bangos would have to spend the extra money on renovations, but added that he and the brewery are confident the Bangs will do a fine job.
“The Bangoes are very well respected and they’ll take the time to do their work,” he told the Bangers Brews.
“That’s a pretty big investment, and it’ll be paid back by the business in the future.”