Kevin Mathieu (left) and Michael Hamel of Crooked Keg Brewing. Courtesy of Crooked Keg Brewing

A new player is entering Brunswick’s beer scene.

Topsham-based Crooked Keg Brewing is opening a taproom on Maine Street. The Town Council this week approved its liquor license, and the tasting room is expected to open July 1.

Co-owners Michael Hamel and Kevin Mathieu started their nanobrewery eight years ago. They specialize in Belgian-style beers and produce 10 varieties.

“We’re excited to be part of the Brunswick community,” said Mathieu, of Auburn.

Hamel, of Topsham, runs the single-barrel brewhouse out of his basement. Lifelong beer enthusiasts, he and Mathieu got a brewing kit and made their first beer, a Belgian-style wheat ale that would become Lady in White — their now flagship beer made with New England maple syrup and spruce tips they forage themselves.

“Everybody seemed to like our beer, so we decided to go pro with it,” Hamel said.


They started making about 10 barrels a year and now do about 30 barrels annually. Their beers include mainstays Mad Milk Stout, I Hate IPA, Abominable IPA and No Soul Farmhouse Ale. Their seasonal offerings include Funkin Pumpkin, The Angry Snowman (a Belgian winter warmer), Peanut Butter Mad Milk Stout, Sunburned Blonde and Brutal Blueberry.

The Brunswick taproom, featuring seven taps, will be located in the basement of 94 Maine St. across from Moderation Brewing. The space can fit about 40 people, and food like pizza and pretzels will be served. Wine will also be available.

“We wanted more of a permanent place so people could come down and relax,” Hamel said.

Their beers are on tap at Bolos in Brunswick, Gridiron Restaurant and Sports Pub in Lewiston and The Great Lost Bear in Portland. Their beer is also sold at Tess’ Market in Brunswick and Bow Street Market in Freeport.

Crooked Keg Brewing is a mainstay of the Great Falls Brewfest in Lewiston, which will be held on June 24 this year. Hamel and Mathieu said festival goers have constantly asked them where they can get their beers.

“We thought it was time to get ourselves out there and get a taproom, finally,” Mathieu said. “Now we can say, ‘You can get it here in Brunswick.'”

Their plan is to stay in Brunswick for a few years and earn enough money for a bigger brewery.

“It’s what we’ve wanted to do for years, so now it’s finally happening and it’s pretty exciting,” Hamel said.

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