Christy Cain of Lisbon poses with her pit bull Olive, the namesake of the future Olive Pit Brewing Co. coming to Lisbon. Contributed photo

Lisbon will get its first brewery later this year when Olive Pit Brewing Co. opens, joining an explosion of craft beer breweries in Maine in recent years.

Christy Cain, who lives in Lisbon with her wife, closed Wednesday on the 7,850-square-foot building at 16 Main St. Three existing second-story apartments will remain and Cain will create a brewhouse and tasting room in the former salon and spa space on the first floor.

Cain said she will brew beer that appeals to her taste, and said women often experience bitter flavors more acutely than men.

In fact, a 2017 Yale School of Medicine study found that 35% of women — compared to 15% of men — are so-called “supertasters” whose sense of taste is augmented by a larger number of taste buds.

Cain said she and her wife had difficulty finding beers they like and aren’t fans of the bitter beers Maine is known for.

“So I sent myself to brewing school, and learned how to do it, and got a diploma in brewing science, and bought a building,” Cain said.


Cain plans to cater to this niche and cater to the growing female beer consumer.

Cain said she’ll make beers for the hops lover but wants to have a full spectrum of beer for every taste preference, ranging from sour beers to lagers.

Olive Pit will also feature an outdoor beer garden for drinking al fresco, and in a way that could help meet social distancing requirements in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cain hopes to get the business open by late summer or early fall. In the first year, Cain expects to employ between two and four jobs and add four more jobs the second year.

Cain said she wants her business to become part of the community. Olive Pit will sit between Main Street and Route 196, a corridor that draws more than 20,000 vehicles a day.

“I’ve got lots of eyeballs,” Cain said.


According to the Manie Brewers Guild, Maine was home to 155 licensed breweries as of early 2020 compared to only 73 active breweries in 2015. Between 1933 and 1990 there were only two active breweries in the state.

But while the state becomes saturated with small breweries, Lisbon has, until now, remained untapped.

Ross Cunningham, president of Positive Change Lisbon, a local business advocacy group, said the brewery will add to the eclectic and dynamic mix of downtown businesses in Lisbon.

“We work very hard to make Lisbon welcoming for new businesses and we are thrilled that Olive Pit Brewing Co. believes Lisbon is the right fit for them,” Cunningham said.

The business is named after Cain’s pit bull, Olive. Olive Pit will be dog-friendly and support pet adoption organizations as part of its mission, Cain said.

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