Brewery plans April opening

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NEW GLOUCESTER — The community-focused brewery that originally planned to launch in October is nearing the home stretch and plans to open its doors in April. 

NU Brewery (pronounced “new”), founded by President Chris Ventimiglia of Freeport and CEO Russell Voss of New Gloucester, will be located at 437 Lewiston Road.

The pair will create unique beers on site both for the tasting room and for their canning and kegging lines.

Both hail from culinary backgrounds, so Ventimiglia says they “reverse engineer” their beers, starting with the end goal and then working backwards. 

“We change more of the process rather than all the ingredients like everybody else is doing,” he said. 

“We guard our mind” and “don’t really look at what everybody else is doing,” he added. 

Their efforts have yielded a special key lime gose, a champagne lager and, their flagship, a light craft lager. 

“Lagers are not something that are really traditionally chased after like IPAs are by craft breweries. So there aren’t a lot of lager options. Our flagship is really going to be focused on providing a craft lager option for people that up until now haven’t had that,” Voss said. 

Some of their recipes have yielded second place wins at national competitions. 

Ventimiglia calls the tasting room a “teaching tasting room.”

“It’s about letting people know what they’re drinking, teaching them what they’re actually putting into their beer and then that raises the value of what they’re drinking. You appreciate it more,” he said.

The facility will have production days for canning and kegging when the tasting room will be closed. Tours of the production room will be offered when the tasting room is open.

In the coming months, Ventimiglia and Voss plan to hire more staff and initiate the second phase of their project, which will involve creating a family-friendly outdoor seating area and beer garden. They also would like to bring in food trucks in order to support those local businesses. They hope to become a community gathering spot.

The duo has been friends for 20 years, and they came up with the idea for the brewery three years ago. But the process towards completion has been slow. Issues with Central Maine Power and hooking up the facility’s power have lasted months.

“It’s been taking longer than the worst case scenario we had planned for,” Voss said.

But, with an outpouring of community support, they are finally nearing the finish line and look forward to sharing the brewery with their neighbors. 

“The support that we’ve gotten from everybody in this community has been so awesome. They care about what’s going on. It takes a village, and it really has for us. It’s been heartwarming, really, to know that we have such support,” Voss said. 

Jane Vaughan can be reached at 780-9103 or at [email protected] 

NU Brewery is located at 437 Lewiston Road. 

The brewery plans to open in April, months after its original grand opening date in October. 

Chris Ventimiglia, left, and Russell Voss began the process of opening the brewery three years ago.