Raising a toast to Wessie, one year later

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Mast Landing Brewing co-owners Parker Olen, left, and Ian Dorsey have brought back their Wessie beer, named after the elusive snake seen in the city last summer, for its second year.

WESTBROOK — With the one year anniversary of the first Wessie sighting approaching, beer enthusiasts can drink in the elusive snake’s honor at Mast Landing Brewing Company.

The brewery, located at 920 Main St., on June 9 released its Wessie beer for the season. The IPA (India Pale Ale) is named after the famous snake that was spotted in Westbrook multiple times last year.

“We were hoping that once we released the beer it would reinvigorate people’s curiosity about Wessie and someone will see him again,” Parker Olen, the marketing director and co-owner of Mast Landing, said. 

Wessie was first seen in Westbrook around this time last year. Westbrook police first reported seeing the large snake at the end of June 2016 at Riverbank Park, where it was supposedly eating a beaver. The Wessie craze then swept Westbrook, the state, and eventually received national attention

A resident then came across a 12-foot-long shed snake skin, which was determined to have belonged to an anaconda. While many questioned whether Wessie was a hoax, a Twitter user with the name Wessie P. Thon taunted media, residents and skeptics. 

Olen said the Wessie beer was created to “keep the fun alive.” 

“Even if no one sees him or talks about him again, we hope our beer helps the legend of Wessie live on,” he said.

The beer, which first debuted last summer, is now being canned for the first time. It will be produced once a month throughout the summer.

“Like Wessie took over the summer last year, our Wessie is our summer seasonal IPA,” Olen said.

The beer is Mast Landing’s take on a West-coast style IPA, Olen said. The brewery had been wanting to create a beer in this style and the word play of “West coast” and “Wessie” went well together. 

Olen said the brewery wanted to create a beer with a local theme because Westbrook is important to the young business.

“We want to give Westbrook a shout out,” he said. “We love it here.”

Olen said the beer has been popular among Westbrook residents because of the fascination with the mysterious snake. He said the hype has been good for business.

“The community definitely comes in because everyone knows about Wessie,” he said. “As a young company this helps us grow in a competitive industry.”

There’s someone else who likes the beer as well — Wessie. According to his Twitter account, Wessie P. Thon approves. 

“Wessie has drank the beer,” Olen said. “Wessie is a fan of Wessie.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Mast Landing Brewing co-owners Parker Olen, left, and Ian Dorsey have brought back their Wessie beer, named after the elusive snake seen in the city last summer, for its second year.

Mast Landing Brewing’s Wessie beer, being poured by the brewery’s president and co-owner Ian Dorsey, is available in cans this summer and will be brewed once a month through August.

A large shed snake skin was discovered by a Westbrook resident Aug. 20, 2016, reigniting buzz surrounding “Wessie.”

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