Quaff a ‘Wessie’ on brewery patio

Mast Landing Brewing Co. received approval Tuesday for an outdoor patio that will serve as an expansion of its tasting room at 920 Main St. in Westbrook.

Following a public hearing, the Planning Board voted 5-2 to approve the use of the patio, which had already been built by building owner Storage Realty. Board members Dennis Isherwood and Rene Daniel voted against the measure.

At a board meeting earlier this month, Isherwood requested a public hearing on the patio due to its proximity to a nearby residential duplex. The only person to speak during the public hearing Tuesday was in favor of the project.

Charles Anderson, who lives on nearby Doyle Street, said he brings his food truck to the brewery on weekends.

“I’m very impressed by the way the outfit is run,” he said. “It’s a positive impact on the community.”

The board also received a few emails in support of the brewery patio.

The Planning Board has come under some scrutiny for its recent decisions on public hearings. The motion to hold a public hearing on the brewery patio was criticized by the public, as was a decision not to hold a public hearing on a site plan amendment that changed a condominium project into more apartments at Blue Spruce Farm.

Mentioning the criticism Tuesday, Planning Board Chairman Ed Reidman said, “We can’t seem to win on public hearings.”

Mast Landing Brewing Co. is the city’s first craft brewery and tasting room, and has become a popular destination since opening late last year. On Friday, the brewery will release its much-talked-about beer, called “Wessie,” a West Coast IPA named for the famously elusive Presumpscot River snake.

Ian Dorsey,┬áMast Landing’s president, said this week that the company is focused on raising Westbrook’s visability in the state.

“We want people to see this city as a destination,” he said. “With that in mind, we decided that naming our West Coast IPA after our already famous python would be a great way to keep Westbrook on the forefront of people’s minds.”

According to Dorsey, a West Coast-style IPA will typically be more bitter, maltier and in some cases, a little sweeter, than its East Coast counterparts.

The beer will be unveiled during the ‘Wessie’ West Coast IPA “Catch & Release” party from noon-8 p.m. on Friday, July 22.