Brunswick loses a brewpub, on track to gain a brewery

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BRUNSWICK — Ebenezer’s Brewpub on Pleasant Street has closed and is for sale.

“The place is closed. And we may or may not re-open it,” co-owner Chris Lively said over the phone Monday.

By Wednesday, the business was advertised for sale as a turnkey brewpub, for $255,000. A new owner gets the brewing equipment, assumes the building lease, and will be offered the opportunity to buy recipes and provide beer for Lively’s other business, Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell.

Just a mile away, meanwhile, a new brewery is getting ready to launch later this year.

Plans for a downtown brewery advanced Monday night when the Town Council adopted a new zoning ordinance that will now allow breweries in the district without being part of a restaurant.

Mattie Daughtry and Philip Welsch, the business partners behind the venture, said they hope to open Moderation Brewing within the next six months.

Daughtry, who is also the state representative in House District 49, said Monday morning the pair purchased the commercial building at 103 Maine St. last week in anticipation of the council action. Their business plan is modeled around the downtown location, where they hope to snare pre-dinner pedestrians and thirsty shoppers.

The space is the former home of The Looking Glass salon, which moved to 17 Mill St. In anticipation of the brewery’s plan to pay homage to Prohibition-era Maine, two posters of flappers have appeared in the papered-over windows that face the street.

A tattoo parlor on the second floor will stay put above the brewery, Daughtry said.

The space still requires significant renovations to make it a production facility, which Daughty said could take about the same amount of time the business will need to acquire federal, state and local licenses.

Ebenezer’s Brewpub, by contrast, combined a full-service restaurant with an in-house brewing operation, Lively Brewing, which also provided beer to its world-renowned “mother ship,” Ebenezer’s Pub.

Though Lively Brewing’s output dropped from more than 7,800 gallons of beer in 2015 to 3,900 in 2016, Lively denied that was the reason he shut the brewpub. The online business listing said the brewpub had gross annual revenue of more than $849,000.

Lively declined to discuss details, although the business-for-sale listing said he intends to devote his attention to Ebenezer’s Pub, which has been named “Best Beer Bar” in U.S. by BeerAdvocate.com and RateBeer.com.

The couple bought the 30-year-old business nearly 15 years ago, and started the Brunswick-based brewpub in 2014, Lively said.

Callie Ferguson can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net. Follow Callie on Twitter: @calliecferguson.

Ebenezer’s Brewpub at 112 Pleasant St. in Brunswick has closed for the immediate future. Co-owner Chris Lively said he is concentrating on running his other business, Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell.

The former home of The Looking Glass salon at 103 Maine St. in Brunswick will be the home of Moderation Brewing. The town’s first downtown brewery is expected to open in the next six months.

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Reporting on municipal, school, and community news in Brunswick and Harpswell. Bowdoin graduate, Wild Oats sandwich-eater. Callie can be reached at 207-781-3661 ext. 100, or cferguson@theforecaster.net.
  • farmertom2

    The Lion’s Pride was fabulous, and Ebenezer’s was never more than adequate, but it drifted down from there to meh. We were regulars at the Lion’s Pride, occasional at Ebenezer’s for a while, then shifted to Byrne’s.