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YARMOUTH — Two local entrepreneurs plan to establish the town’s first craft brewery in the historic Maine Street Village district.
Brad Moll and Frank Grondin are the pair behind Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co. They don’t brew beer, but consider themselves fans of the Maine craft scene.
“I just feel like anywhere you go, there are people looking for a craft beer experience,” Moll said in an interview June 1. “It’s really something we’ve always wanted to do and we just thought Yarmouth Main Street would be a great place for it.”
They have secured a lease for 236 Main St., a building soon to be vacated by Anthony’s Dry Cleaners.
“Everything is pending town approval,” Moll said, adding that he and Grondin are expected to go back to the Planning Board this month after receiving feedback on a sketch plan proposal May 24.
Grondin, 45, is co-owner of Handy’s Market & Cafe on Main Street. Moll, a 44-year-old developer, said they hope to make brewery’s “hyper-local” focus a social center for the neighborhood.
As a licensed brewpub, the brewing end of the duo’s operation will also have a full kitchen and restaurant. Plans for the 2,100-square-foot space include seating for 60 people, with a 30-seat seasonal patio.
As for the beer, Moll imagines an ever-changing lineup – made in small batches on a modest, five-barrel brewing system – intended to keep customers interested and coming back for more.
“When people come in, they can say, what’s on tap today?” he said.
The head brewer will have the flexibility to experiment with the brewery’s portfolios of beer, which Moll said will only be sold at the brewery for the foreseeable future.
However, the license does allow the company to distribute its beer to other restaurants and retailers if they choose to expand in the future, which Moll said he hopes will be the case “as soon as we’re ready.”
Because the project is still pending approval, Moll said he and Grondin aren’t ready to release the name of the brewer they intend to hire.
They also must hire a chef and general manager – but right now, Moll said, the pair is focused on getting Planning Board approval, securing their brewery license, and making a final decision on brewing equipment.
The project’s sketch plan application calls for a substantial renovation of the interior walls, exterior doors and windows, and roof trusses of the building, which will also get an aesthetic makeover in the form of a new cupola and signs.
Inside, the decor will pay homage to the neighborhood’s industrial history.
Brickyard Hollow, Moll said, was once a “sort of a wasteland,” a wet, muddy stretch of land that separated Yarmouth’s fishing industry from its inland farming community.
At the turn of the 20th century, the town decided to eliminate the swampy dividing line and fill in the hollow with black ash from a local paper mill, established nearby on the Royal River. In time, the area was populated with the local institutions that make up the heart of Yarmouth’s Main Street village, including a school and Merrill Memorial Library.
Not only the inspiration for the name and decor, the area’s history resonated with Moll’s and Grondin’s vision for what a brewery could represent in Yarmouth.
“We want to bring people together at our spot,” Moll said, just as town leaders sought to by “bring(ing) the two communities together” more than 100 years ago.
Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co. plans to move into 236 Main St., Yarmouth, which is being vacated by Anthony’s Dry Cleaners.
Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co. is slated to be Yarmouth’s first craft brewery. The business partners behind the venture, Frank Grondin and Brad Moll, hope the brewpub will be a Main Street gathering place.