A group of about 15 stood in the former three-bay tractor-trailer servicing area at 103 Fox St. in Portland Sunday, sipping Rising Tide Ishmael and Daymark beers and glancing over the open space.

Heather Sanborn, who describes herself as “marketing director and everything else except brewer” for Rising Tide, was excited to show off the brewery’s new Bayside home. But she and husband Nathan, the brewer, were even more excited about the new 15-barrel brewing system that was due to arrive Wednesday. The system was built by DME Brewing Services on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

“We’ve got a big crew coming in, and they’ve worked on breweries before,” Nathan said. “We hope to have it operating by late June.”

Rising Tide has been brewing its beers one barrel (about 31 gallons) at a time and putting them into a seven-barrel fermenter, bottling and capping by hand in a gravity-fed system and then labeling by hand.

The 15-barrel system will speed up the process with an automated bottling system that will keep oxygen out of the bottles and automatically cap and label the bottles. This will allow them to meet the demand that is growing, especially since Rising Tide is expanding its production into Massachusetts.

Nathan said Rising Tide has the ability to sell growlers at its new brewery, but does not have enough beer on hand now to meet its other demands and still sell growlers. It has been saving up beer to take part in the American Craft Beer Fest Friday and Saturday in Boston.

“We’re really excited,” Heather said. “We’ve been before as beer drinkers, but this is the first time as brewers.”

During the tour, Nathan said Rising Tide’s beers take “three and a half to four weeks from grain to glass.” He said it takes about eight days for the primary fermentation, and because all of the beers are bottle conditioned, they require two weeks in the bottles.

The only Rising Tide beers generally available on the market now are Ishmael, an American copper ale that was the company’s first beer, and Daymark, an American pale ale with rye from small Maine farms added to the mix.

Nathan said you might be able to find Atlantis, a black ale, on some shelves, and if you do — buy it. He did not get a contract for the Galaxy hops included in the beer this year, so he has not been able to brew any of it lately.

Ursa Minor, a wheat stout, is the company’s winter seasonal.

Shortly after the new system is online, Rising Tide will offer a new IPA.

“It’s going to be a pretty big beer,” Nathan said. “It’s not very bitter, but it will be quite hoppy, and it should come in at about 7 percent alcohol.”

Once the new brewing system is operational, Rising Tide will continue to use the one-barrel brewing system and its seven-barrel and three-barrel fermenters to experiment and make pilot beers.

He said he is hoping to do a harvest beer in the fall with a lot of Maine ingredients, but is not sure if he will be able to offer an all-Maine brew.

Heather said the one downside to the move is leaving the beer community at the Portland Industrial Park, where Geary’s, Allagash, Maine Beer Co. and Bull-Jagger are located.

“It’s a great community of brewers, and they all support each other,” she said.

Heather said Allagash had a chiller that it wasn’t using, and that Rob Tod, Allagash owner and founder, called up and offered it to them — saving a big expense.

She added that having the big, air-conditioned space with lots of parking on the Portland peninsula will have many advantages.

For one, it is going to be the Portland pick-up spot for the community-supported agriculture program for Broadturn Farm in Scarborough. She said the Sanborns were clients of the farm when it was in Cape Elizabeth, and they are glad to continue the relationship.

They expect to be open for tours — and have enough beer to be selling growlers and other products — sometime around June 21.

BAXTER BREWING CO.’S Celsius summer ale was a treat after planting tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers and melons — as well as mowing the lawn — on the warm Saturday of the holiday weekend.

This is refreshing, but a lot more complex than the typical lawnmower beer that you find in many summer brews.

Celsius includes lemon and lime peel, Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass in the mix with the pale ale. I poured it into a Baxter can glass — which seemed appropriate — and it had a fairly thick, stiff head. The aroma was of floral hops and the lemongrass, but I did not smell the lemon or lime peel. It has a pleasant hops bitterness, but it finished clean and refreshing.

It is 4.7 percent alcohol, so you could have a couple of them after a day of outdoor activity — or just relaxing on the beach.

Tom Atwell is a freelance writer living in Cape Elizabeth. He can be contacted at 767-2297 or at:

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