BAR HARBOR — A new, modern two-story building to house an Atlantic Brewing Company tasting room and “brewer’s incubator” on the corner of Cottage and Kennebec streets was approved Aug. 13 by the design review board.
“Kim Swan and I got together well over a year ago,” Doug Maffucci of Atlantic Brewing said Tuesday. “We talked about developing a new venue to showcase local beers and other small-scale producers as well. We want it to be local, authentic, sustainable, creative. Lots of people are excited about it.”
The property at 52 Cottage St. is currently a Little Notch Baking Company café. It’s owned by Kennebec Cottage Associates LLC, which is owned by Swan. “Kim Swan and I are going to own the building,” Maffucci said. “The brewery has operated a tasting room on Mount Desert Street, but plans to move to the new facility, which is also set to house a “pilot brewery” or “brewer’s incubator,” he added.
Atlantic Brewing is in its 25th year of business and has 21 employees. The company makes most of its beer at a facility on the Knox Road in Town Hill. The pilot brewery would allow Atlantic to make small batches of experimental brew not to be bottled. “Town Hill is a much larger scale. We can’t do experimental batches there efficiently; we’ve been trying for years.” Maffucci added that the experimental beers would mostly be sold there at the tasting room, on draft or in growlers.
They also hope to bring other brewers to do collaborative brews, he said. “That’s the ‘brewer’s incubator’ part,” he said. “We’re working with a former master brewer from Copenhagen who’s going to come every winter. In this scale, we can afford to do projects that are outside the bounds and may or may not be successful market-wise.”
The combination of tasting room and small brewing facility will give customers the opportunity to watch brewers at work. “It lends itself to the visitor being involved visually,” Maffucci said. “People really like having the beer explained to them, and we enjoy it.” The company plans to continue offering tours at the other facility.
The architect of the new building is Corey Papadopoli of Elliot and Elliot in Blue Hill. The design is two stories high on the Cottage Street side, sloping down to a single story at the back. Lots of glass will give the building an open feel and let in light, Maffucci said.
“A big box building would have made big shadows,” he said. “I live on that street, so I really want to make sure the commercial transitions to the residential very nicely.”
They plan to source wood for siding from Appleton. The design also features a green roof with plantings that can survive the winter and a solar array on the south-facing slope.
A separate application for signage was tabled for a few months until landscape design plans are completed.