After over a year of work and preparation, Orono Brewing Company will be opening a new location at 61 Margin St. later this fall.
After realizing that the local demand for beer was greater than the previous facility could meet, owners Abe Furth, Mark Horton, Heather Furth and Asa Marsh-Sachs purchased the property in 2017 with the intention of expanding the production capacity of their business.
Formerly a rock-crushing facility, the old building sat empty from 2013 to 2017.
Orono Brewing Company already has locations in Orono and Bangor, but these lack the space and equipment the owners need. A small canning unit means that they can only send out canned beer about once a month, if that. It was becoming difficult to produce enough beer just to sell in-house.
The new Margin Street facility allows the owners to not only expand physically but to increase their production capacity. With their new, nearly fully-automated canning line, they are able to can beer regularly and send out multiple cases a week.
The new space allowed brewmaster Asa Marsh-Sachs to purchase fermentation tanks and brewing equipment—complete with a catwalk that makes ladders unnecessary—from the Maine Beer Company in Freeport, which recently underwent an expansion of its own.
Marsh-Sachs believes in the importance of making connections and building relationships in the brewery community, as well as treating the Orono community well.
“I grew up on a flower farm,” said Marsh-Sachs. “So I’m excited to plant flowers, trees—make it an exciting place for people.”
One of the reasons why the Orono Brewing Company team works so well is that they recognize that each person brings unique strengths to the table. This spirit of collaboration is also a piece of what drives them to expand. Orono is a close community and the owners of this business want to create a new space where people can have drinks, play ping pong and spend time together.
“We have goals both locally and statewide,” said Abe Furth. “Now we’re able to take care of statewide demand, and we’re excited to offer a fun and energizing atmosphere for the town.”
Furth told the Bangor Daily News in May 2017 that they are “dedicated to slow and incremental growth,” building the business slowly in order to maintain quality.
The Margin Street location also has a full-sized kitchen, giving the brewery the chance to develop a food menu similar to that of Woodman’s Bar and Grill, also located in Orono and owned by Horton and the Furths.
While an exact opening date has not been set, the 61 Margin St. location will open in the fall of 2018.