The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association’s table in the tasting room of Maine Beer Company in Freeport, where an event this weekend produced over $5,000 to support restoration of the working waterfront after two back-to-back storms battered the neighboring coastline earlier this month. Maine Beer Co. also made a $30,000 donation to the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, a gift of over $35,000 in total. Courtesy of Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association

Freeport’s Maine Beer Co. donated over $30,000 this weekend to the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association to help coastal communities address the aftermath of a pair of January storms that caused widespread damage and flooding.

“We’re all very well aware of the record high tides that we’ve experienced over [that] weekend, and we’ve all read about the damage that has happened to our coastal communities,” said Maine Beer Co. CEO Steve Mills. “It seemed like a very natural fit to partner up [with the MCFA].”

The funds will go to help fishermen and waterfront businesses clean up and rebuild, according to Susan Olcott, director of operations at MCFA.

“Fortunately, fishermen are resilient, and in the face of challenges, they often double down, working harder to build their businesses and ensure that the next generation has similar opportunities to those that they were given,” said Ben Martens, executive director of MCFA. “We are incredibly thankful to amazing partners like Maine Beer Company that are helping us to share the story of the working waterfront and support Maine’s commercial fishing industry.”

Mills said the brewery’s support of MCFA is part of a commitment to environmental stewardship that the company has prioritized since its founding in 2009. That first year, they joined 1% for the Planet, a nonprofit that helps businesses dedicate 1% of their annual revenue to environmental initiatives.

Mills can remember their very first contribution, to Allied Whale’s “Adopt-A-Whale” program at the College of the Atlantic. That whale, named Lunch, happened to be the namesake of one of Maine Beer Co.’s first and best known beers.

This year, the brewery’s contribution to MCFA will count toward Maine Beer’s 1% but is focused on an urgent need rather than an ongoing initiative.

“We just had an outpouring of community saying, ‘What can we do? Are you doing something?’ ” he said. “We tend to lean into things like this.”

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