In spite of its recent sales volume taking a dip, Shipyard Brewing is planning a massive renovation and expansion at its downtown Portland, Maine location.
The plans filed with the city last month became available to the public on May 1st and revealed a $65 million redevelopment proposal. The project would include renovating their existing brick building. Two buildings on the 2-acre site—one of which is the brewery’s bottling plant — would be demolished to make room for a hotel, a residential building, an office building, and a four-story parking garage for 360 vehicles.
The residential building would house nine units and the office building would have 60,000 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet for a specialty pharmacy, and 40,000 square feet for a technical fulfillment pharmacy. The plans also include a television channel dedicated to brewing and advertising Shipyard’s brands.
But the star attraction would be the hotel, and this “brewtel” would feature 105 rooms and allow guests to tour the brewery, enjoy beers at a ground-floor tasting room, and even drink beers in their rooms via a portable draft system. Hotel staff would be educated about all facets of the brewing process.
The “brewtel” concept is rather new but not unique. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery opened their Dogfish Head Inn in Lewes, Delaware, back in 2014. BrewDog is opening two DogHouse Hotels in Columbus, Ohio, and Aberdeenshire, Scotland within the next two years.
In an interview with the Press Herald, Shipyard Founder and President Fred Forsley said that work would begin this summer and would take around a year to complete. “The goal is to build it as quickly as possible,” he said.
The renovation would require the existing to brewery to be shut down and the 30 employees staffed there have until June 15th to find new jobs. The company is offering positions to the affected workers at the brewery’s seven other locations and nine partner companies. Shipyard and its related businesses have over 900 employees.
Much of the beer currently brewed in downtown Portland will be shifted to their locations in Bangor and Kennebunk; Clearwater, Florida, and Burlington, Vermont. Once the renovation is complete, the Portland faciity will have a 30 barrel brewing system and another three barrel system for experimental beers. Additionally, they will also produce Cap’t Eli’s Soda and Ice Pik Vodka.
According to the Brewers Association, Shipyard Brewing is the 27th largest brewery in the United States. At its peak, the brewery produced 5.1 million barrels in 2013, but as of last year, that number had fallen by nearly half to 2.7 million barrels.
With the popularity of some of its best beers on the decline, the brewery has already shifted some of its production to their facility in Clearwater, Florida. And now it appears that facility will be taking on more of the workload.