Sebago Brewing building on ‘legacy’ land

Heavy equipment from Shaw Brothers Construction preparing a site Monday on Gorham's lower Main Street (Route 25) for the $5.5 million Sebago Brewery Company headquarters.

Heavy equipment from Shaw Brothers Construction preparing a site Monday on Gorham’s lower Main Street (Route 25) for the $5.5 million Sebago Brewery Company headquarters.

A jubilant Kai Adams, left, joins Sebago Brewing Company partners Tim Haines and Brad Monarch as they break ground Monday for a new headquarters on lower Main Street in Gorham.             

Building a new home for Sebago Brewing Company in Gorham is underway across lower Main Street from Nappi Distributors, shown in the background as framed by a tractor-trailer delivering a load for the new project.

Spring weather cooperates Monday as Sebago Brewery Company breaks ground for its new corporate headquarters in Gorham.

Michael McCaffrey of Westbrook is ready for action Monday as construction begins for Sebago Brewing Company’s new home in Gorham.

GORHAM — Sebago Brewing Company is building a new $5.5 million headquarters on a historic Main Street site owned by the Shaw Brothers Family Foundation.

Brewery owners Kai Adams, Tim Haines and Brad Monarch broke ground for their project in a ceremony Monday. “It’s an awesome day in Maine,” a jubilant Adams said, under a blue sky and spring-like temperatures. “Fantastic.”

The brewery has outgrown its leased space in Gorham Industrial Park. Its new 31,000-square foot building will include a brewery, tasting room, restaurant and corporate offices. The production plant will occupy 21,485 square feet.

“We’ll be able to double our capacity,” Adams said Monday.

Great Falls Construction of Gorham is building the new facility, expected to be completed by the year’s end. Shaw Brothers Construction is handling the site preparation work.

Sebago hopes to have beer flowing in the new plant by January 2018, following a brief production break to move.

“Our goal is a two-week shutdown,” Monarch said.

The company will have 40 full- and part-time employees.

Sebago Brewing was established in 1998 and has been in the Gorham Industrial Park for more than a decade. Tom Ellsworth, the town’s economic development director, said the town grows businesses from within.

“It’s the perfect success story,” Ellsworth said. “It’s an economic development success story.”

Across the street from Nappi Distributers, the new brewery is being built on a leased 6.5-acre parcel.  The land is part of the 258 acres owned by the nonprofit Shaws Brothers Family Foundation established by Jon and Danny Shaw of Shaw Brothers Construction.

The construction company cleared much of the huge parcel last year. Plans include restoring 100 acres to agricultural uses, building trails for public recreation, and providing access to the Presumpscot River.

The site predates the founding of the town. Much of the land was owned by a British loyalist during the American Revolution, and earlier had been a grant during the reign of England’s King George II.

Adams called the site a “legacy.”

Those who attended the official groundbreaking ceremony were handed a can of beer, prompting Ellsworth to remark, “In 22 years with the town, it’s the first I’ve ever performed official duties with a beer in my hand.” 

Kai Adams, a founder of Sebago Brewing Company, left, briefs Tom Ellsworth, Gorham’s economic development director, on the company’s plans for a new headquarters.