Why Brewer?

Pro Business Climate

  • City Councilors and a City Manager who understand that meeting the needs of our local businesses is a top priority and critical to the success of our City.
  • Diversified portfolio of businesses and balanced economy
  • Skilled workforce
  • One of the first communities in the State of Maine to be certified as a Business-Friendly Community.

Stable Tax Base

  • In April 2010, Standard and Poor’s upgraded the City from A to AA- with a stable outlook.  S&P affirmed this AA- rating with stable outlook in March 2014 stating, “We consider Brewer’s economy very strong.  The stable outlook reflects our view of Brewer’s focus on maintaining strong operating flexibility. We believe strong management conditions are also a stabilizing rating factor.”
  • The City’s bond rating with Moody’s was recalibrated to Aa3 in May 2010.  According to Moody’s, “obligations rated Aa are judged to be of high quality and are subject to very low credit risk.”  Moody’s has affirmed this rating in each of its surveillance reviews since that time.  The 2020 review noted that the “credit position for Brewer is good” and that the City “has a healthy financial position” and “a manageable pension liability”.

Streamlined Planning and Permitting Processes 

  • All City departments work together to help new or existing business in every way possible, recognizing the value of what each business brings to the City of Brewer.
  • Pre-approval “scoping meetings” available as needed to provide staff-level review and recommendations prior to planning board approval.
  • Personalized attention and customized approach to every business venture.

Quality of Life

  • Brewer ranks #6 in the MaineBiz 2020 Hottest towns for home sales in Maine.
  • According to Movoto’s Real Estate, Brewer was ranked #9 on the Safest Places in Maine.
  • Public safety departments
    • Police: The Police Department consists of twenty-one sworn officers that provide safety and security to the residents of, and the visitors to, the City of Brewer. The department utilizes two detective positions to investigate criminal offenses and thirteen officers on uniform patrol. Two patrol officers are assigned to the SRO position (School Resource Officer) and spend their days at the Brewer schools, working closely with students, teachers, and administrators to ensure the safety of the students.  The Brewer Police Department has an officer assigned full time to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. The centrally located public safety facility on Parkway South enables them to respond within minutes to any part of the City. The Brewer Police Department is a proactive department interacting with citizens in a partnership to help keep Brewer a safe place to live, work and visit.
    • Fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS): Brewer employs a full-time Public Safety Director and Deputy Chief along with 4 full-time Officers (2 Lieutenants & 2 Captains). We also have 13 full-time firefighters. The centrally located public safety facility on Parkway South enables them to respond within minutes to any part of the City. The department provides ambulance services, water and ice rescue services and hazardous materials response in addition to fire suppression.  The fire department also provides mutual aid to all of the surrounding communities.
  • In a 2015 U.S. News & World Report “Best High Schools” edition, Brewer High School ranked #5 in the state of Maine and ranked #669 nationwide.
  • Brewer Community School – Opened in 2011, this $40 million dollar K-8 school is a 156,000-square-foot facility was designed to LEED standards to maximize energy efficiency technologies, and all heating and lighting controls are computer automated to allow for maximum energy savings.
  • Brewer Performing Arts Center – as part of the Brewer Community School, includes a 400 seat performing arts center venue, with a state-of-the-art lighting system that  provides dramatic color rendition for its theatrical productions.
  • Scenic Riverwalk trail with free wifi, and 24 hour surveillance along the Penobscot River.
  • More than 20 Craft Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries within a 40 minute drive of Brewer, ME.

Access to Higher Education

Within 15 minutes of Brewer, there are eight institutions of higher learning:

  • University of Maine at Orono
  • University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor Campus
  • Husson University
  • New England School of Communication
  • Eastern Maine Community College
  • Beal College
  • Bangor Theological Seminary
  • Grace Evangelical College & Seminary


Brewer is conveniently located just across the river from Bangor, and is part of the Bangor Metropolitan Statistical Area.

  • Bangor International Airport (BGR) – offers 32 flights a day to and from major Northeast cities, national and regional hubs.
  • Interstates 95 and 395 – convenient access to the I-95 corridor (north and south); I-395 (east and west), Route 1 (Coastal route all points north and south) and State Route 9 (90 miles from New Brunswick, Canadian border).
  • Rail access – the rail runs through Brewer and the junction of two rail systems that service the northern and central part of the state are right across the river.
  • Port access – Port of Searsport (30 miles from Brewer) offers two terminals that handle refined petroleum cargo, dry bulk cargo, break-bulk cargo and containerized products. The Port of Eastport (120 miles) offers one cargo terminal handling dry bulk and break-bulk products.


  • Electricity – Brewer’s electric service is provided by Versant Power. Maine has the lowest electricity costs in New England.
  • Petroleum & Natural Gas – Brewer has access to myriad providers including Bangor Natural Gas, Irving Oil, Webber Energy and Dead River.
  • Telecommunications – Geographically, Brewer is located in the greater Bangor region, one of two major communication hubs in Maine; Bangor is a connecting point for much of Maine’s fiber optic lines. Most of Brewer has access to this high speed transmission. Telephone and internet providers include Fair Point Communications and Spectrum.
  • The wireless providers available in Brewer are AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile and US Cellular.
  • Water  – The Brewer Water Department services the water needs of the City of Brewer. Brewer received a 2011-2014 Certificate of Excellence for Community Water Fluoridation, which is given to municipalities for consistently maintaining fluoride levels between 0.7-1.4 ppm.

Regional and State Statistics

  • Maine ranked 12th among all fifty states in the fairness of its litigation environment in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 State Liability Systems Ranking Study.
  • Maine has the lowest electricity costs in New England.


  • 2019 Best Tasting Water in Maine by the Maine Rural Water Association
  • 2015 Operation & Maintenance Program Excellence Award by the U.S. EPA to the Brewer Water Pollution Control Facility.
  • Stable outlook. Affirmed March 2014. S&P bond rating from A (upper medium grade) to AA- (high grade) in April 2010.
  • Moody’s bond rating increased from A2 (upper medium grade) to Aa3 (high grade) in May 2012.
  • Winners of the U.S. EPA’s coveted Phoenix Award in 2009, which honors the accomplishments of those who solve critical environmental challenges, transforming blighted and contaminated sites (the former Eastern Fine Paper Co. mill) into productive new uses.

Machias Savings Bank

As the CEO of a business that itself moved here not too many years ago (in 2012), I can confirm how differentially supportive and rich in resources this community is. From municipal leadership to market infrastructure to its talent pool, the City of Brewer and its people have been partners in our success.

We now have the privilege of being an integral part of this community, and that includes our long-term commitment to partner with new and expanding businesses here, helping them grow and become vibrant and vital forces in this community themselves.  And together, we move Maine forward. 

- Larry Barker, President & CEO


When Cianbro decided to strategically develop its modular manufacturing capabilities, we evaluated options throughout Maine, New England and beyond in our effort to respond to global demand in that market. Deep water access, multi-modal transportation capability, a motivated workforce and ease of conducting business were all crucial considerations. In the final analysis after detailed due diligence of all options Cianbro chose the City of Brewer and developed a world-class facility. From the very beginning, the City of Brewer welcomed us with open arms and helped clear the way for removing an abandoned paper mill, developing unfettered waterfront access while creating an unsurpassed facility that created 750 jobs and now delivers products around the World. Our location in Brewer not only helps bring together and attract new team members from across the United States, it generates a warm and welcoming community for our team members and clients. Having a supportive, stable and consistent local staff and government that creates an atmosphere that matches our company philosophy of “It’s all about the people” makes doing business in Brewer a pleasure”.

- Pete Vigue, Chairman of the Board, The Cianbro Companies

Winterport Boot

We have been in Brewer since 1981. In that time, we’ve known the people who work and live here to have a friendly, hometown attitude. We feel it and so do our customers. This is thanks to City of Brewer government whose elected officials and city employees prioritize quality of life and access to local, independent businesses like ours. From starting a thriving business association group to providing continued services, the City bolsters a sense of community. Folks come to Brewer knowing we and our neighbors are easy to find and that we can exceed their expectations. We, and our customers, have benefited greatly since we took steps to make Brewer our home.

- Mike Allen, Owner & President

Mason's Brewing Company

If you are looking for stability, consistency, and ease of doing business, do yourself a favor and talk to the folks in Brewer.

- Chris Morley, Owner & Founder, Mason's Brewing Company

Penobscot Eye Care

We anticipated a temporary slowdown as our clients adjusted to our new location and move across the river. Imagine our surprise when we opened up to an increase of 20% in the first three months in our new location! Patients from all over the region tell us how much easier this location is to get to. They take pride in coming to such a wonderful facility for their eye care. Our doctors and staff share the pride, and tell us they couldn't think of a better place to come to work every day. The City of Brewer welcomed us with open arms, and we couldn't feel more at home here!

- Dale Graham, Practice administrator, Penobscot Eye Care