BATH — You’ve probably noticed the beer industry in Maine is a big deal. The Coastal Journal has published plenty of stories about the increasing popularity and importance to the local economy of this centuries-old drink.

Yet throughout the explosion in brewing around the state, Sagadahoc County has remained underrepresented when it comes to local brewers. Sure, Sea Dog Brewing has been serving great beer for a while, but that was founded in Camden, not Topsham.

Nearby Brunswick has some new breweries; Freeport has Maine Beer Company; Lincoln County has multiple breweries, but Sagadahoc had no brewery to truly call its own.

Until now.

Three people are changing that with Bath Brewing Company. Mike Therriault, Terry Geaghan, and developer Sean Ireland hope to fill the void in the City of Ships with their brewpub, opening in November.

“We perceived a niche, and we thought it would be good for the community to have,” said Geaghan. “There seemed to be a void in a state-wide movement.”

Before any confusion arises, Geaghan IS related to Geaghan Brothers, who run successful breweries in Bangor.

But Bath Brewing Company is an entirely local venture and will not be affiliated with its northern cousin.

The three men met at the Bath YMCA where they played basketball together.

Through talking in between games, they lamented the fact that Bath had no real brewery. Naturally, that led to starting one.

Geaghan has experience in the industry, as does Therriault, and Ireland has developed projects similar to brew pubs in the past.

They’ve talked about the idea for years, but were waiting for the right spot. The building couldn’t be too large, too small, or in a bad location.

“Let’s just say we’ve learned a lot along the way,” said Geaghan.

“Mike and I always had a vision, but bringing it to concept and reality took us down several different roads.”

Eventually, the space at 141 Front Street opened up. The building’s size is perfect for the scale of the brewpub the three hope to create, and its location in downtown is perfect.

Plus, its historic nature lends plenty of interesting architectural elements to the design.

“We knew when we saw it that this was the building,” said Geaghan.

The history of the building is evident inside. After removing offices on the second floor, the original brick wall was revealed. Scorch marks from a fire in the building’s past are visible, too. Old flooring and ceilings came to light.

The trio hopes to preserve elements of that history in their work, which has been substantial so far.

The plan is to turn the first floor into the brewing and pub-style area, with the top floor reserved for formal dining, with some casual seating, as well.

The rear of the building will house brewing equipment and cold storage, while the “brite” tanks will be set out front near the large windows to draw people in.

The current entrance to the building will be shifted south, with a large floating staircase leading to the second floor just inside. The goal is to have separate spaces that yet still feel connected.

The hope, said Therriault, is that the brewpub will become a gathering place that’s family friendly, approachable, and easygoing.

“The brewpub is a place for all; to share a family meal, catch up with an old friend, meet new friends, enjoy a game, listen to music, grab a drink or just stop in and say hello,” he said.
“Our goal is to provide a space that is comfortable and familiar, a place you can call your own.”

Bath Brewing Company is on track for a potential November opening, barring any unforeseen complications – which is always a possibility with an old building.

Nancy Carleton, who owns a neighboring real estate business, has observed first-hand how much work has gone into renovating the building.

“I know they’ve come up against more issues than expected,” she said, and added that the work hasn’t been too noisy.

She’s also looking forward to the brewery’s opening.

“We think it will bring some life back to our side of the street and we’re looking forward to enjoying the deck after work,” she said.

Brewing itself won’t start until 2018, however. Federal licensing and getting the equipment will require some time. The optimistic timeline puts brewing in April.

Therriault, Geaghan, and Ireland are all confident the new spot will be a hit in Bath.

“I’ve always had this strong urge to do something like this in Bath,” said Therriault. “I grew up here, I work here, and I love our little city, and for years I’ve been feeling like there was this opportunity to create something unique and local that would honor the history of Bath and bring the community together.”