A Blessing of the Beer in Brewer
Micky Bedell | BDN
Brother Don (right) of the Friars’ Brewhouse in Bucksport blesses Brewer’s newest brewery, Mason’s Brewing Co., on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s first ever brew. Christopher Morley (left), owner of and brewer at Mason’s, stands alongside brewer Forrest Brown (center) for the blessing.
BREWER, Maine — Mason’s Brewing Co. on Hardy Street will start to brew beer Thursday, so on Wednesday fellow brewer, Brother Don of the Friars’ Brewhouse in Bucksport, blessed the city’s newest brewery and its workers.
Brother Don, of the Franciscan Brothers of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, wore his traditional brown robe with rope tied around his waist when he offered up a prayer for the 20-barrel brewery’s hot liquor tank, the employees who will be making the beer and the beer itself during a short ceremony inside the riverside brewery and restaurant.
“Keep us humble to our calling,” he said. “Remind us that our craft is dedicated to using the elements of your creations to construct a new creature — beer. And may our labors serve to bring joy to all and glory to you. Amen.”
Brother Don stood with several massive 620-gallon stainless steel tanks towering behind him and said he felt small, since “I brew on a one-barrel system.”
The Friars’ Brewhouse opened in October 2013. Brewer also is home to Geaghan’s Bros. Brewing Co. and Blank Canvas Brewery.
“It’s one brewer blessing another brewer. What could be better,” D’arcy Main-Boyington, Brewer economic development director, said about the gathering.
Owner and home brewer Christopher Morley, a mortgage development officer at Bangor Savings Bank and former police officer, said he and three others will be brewing the beer that will be sold at the brewery and restaurant.
“We don’t really have a brewmaster,” Morley said after the ceremony ended. “It will be a collaboration between myself, Scott Magnon, Forrest Brown and consultant Jason Dionne.”
Several different types of beer — Roggen Bier, mocha stout, West Coast Pilz and others — are posted on the brewery’s Facebook page. The restaurant will serve gourmet pizza and other items and has an outdoor seating area.
The brick-red colored brewery, which sits on the riverwalk and faces the Penobscot River, is being built by Hardy Street LLC, which is affiliated with Ellsworth construction firm E.L. Shea, on the former location of the city’s Public Works garage.
The former Brewer Public Works garage, built in 1952, was removed in early 2004 to make way for the city’s Penobscot Landing redevelopment plans, which include a waterfront trail and Children’s Garden located next door.
The city worked with Morley to improve the locale, which had soils that needed to be removed.
Now that brewing is starting, the doors are expected to open shortly, Morley said.
“We’ll be having a soft opening in two weeks and will open up in May,” he said.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted April 13, 2016, at 6:01 p.m.