Pepper Powers of Phippsburg and wife Jean plan to start a brewery and taproom, Bath Ale Works, at Wiscasset Marketplace on Route 1.
Pepper Powers is recently retired as a NASA contractor at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and came back to Maine to do something fun, he said. He grew up in Old Orchard Beach. The name of the proposed brewery is a play on Bath Iron Works. The first idea was to open the brewery in Bath, but Powers said the Bath space was limited, and the Wiscasset space seemed perfect and would need only minor tweaking.
The space, between Dollar Tree and Nickels Back Redemption Center, is in part of the former Yellow Front Grocery. Powers is working with the landlord to bring the building up to speed. Powers said he will begin working on approvals in the next month or two; a summer opening is planned.
The business will have a wide variety of beer styles. “We don’t want those older styles to get lost in the shuffle,” Powers said. He said his brews will be more in the British or continental style, including pale ales, porter and stout. The plan is for an open floor plan where patrons can see the brewing process. He likened it to Flight Deck at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Nautical/industrial will be the decor inside. A few alterations are planned for the exterior, including more windows.
The 11 brews in the starting lineup planned for opening day can be seen at www.bathaleworks.com. They include pale ales, stouts, porters, rye ales, dark ales, and German-type beers. Powers said new beers can be brewed in 10 days to two weeks. He plans to sell his packaged beer in the taproom and provide kegs to local restaurants. Food will not be served.
Powers has arranged for local farms to take the brewery’s spent grain.