Pepper Powers, co-owner of Bath Ale Works, is moving his Bath-themed brewery up Route 1 to Wiscasset due to scheduling delays. Photo courtesy of Pepper Powers

WISCASSET — After years of delays, Pepper Powers has decided to open Bath Ale Works, his new brewery, to Wiscasset rather than Bath, as originally planned.

Powers, co-owner of Bath Ale Works alongside his wife, son, daughter-in-law and four friends, abandoned his plan to open the brewery on State Road in Bath.

He plans to open in June or July, at the height of the tourist season, in the Wiscasset Marketplace strip mall on Route 1 next to the Family Dollar, Subway and the Marketplace Cafe.

Powers said he isn’t changing the brewery’s name because he said he feels Bath Ale Works is “a nice name that represents the Midcoast.”

Powers, who grew up in Old Orchard Beach, said he began brewing his own beer in his home in the early 1990s but didn’t start looking for a brewery location in Bath until 2016.

“This has been a long time coming and we’re really looking forward to opening,” said Powers. “We want to do our best and bring something unique to the Midcoast.”

The brewery features brews named after Bath Iron Works ships, like the Arleigh Burke India Pale Ale, the Zumwalt Porter and the Crane 11 Strong Ale, among others.

Now that a location has been found, the next step is to obtain state and federal brewery licenses. There are an estimated 153 active, licensed breweries in Maine, according to an October 2019 report from the Maine Brewers’ Guild.

The southern Midcoast is already home to Moderation Brewing, Flight Deck and Black Pug, as well as Bath Brewing Co., Maine Beer Co., Sea Dog and Stars and Stripes Brewing, but Powers said he isn’t concerned about competition.

“The brewing industry in Maine is more of a fraternity because everyone helps one another,” said Powers. “That’s one of the things I love about the industry.”

According to an economic impact study by the University of Maine and the Maine Brewers’ Guild, the brewery industry contributed more than $260 million to the state’s economy in 2017 and employed nearly 2,000 Mainers.

Christie Mahaffey, co-founder of Foundation Brewing in Portland, said in March that industry officials are predicting 15% growth in 2020.

Powers said he plans to hire two to four employees upon opening, depending on demand, and expects to serve 11 beers on tap.


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