Maine Brewing Supply Opens its Doors

Mainers throughout the Portland Metro rejoice – after years of having to travel to Gray or the internet to locate homebrewing supplies, we finally have a shop right here in our own backyard. Rob Zimmerman, a homebrewer of 10 years, was tired of facing the same problem so, to remedy this situation, he decided, along with his wife, Gaylin, to open the store he’d always wished was in Portland. Thus Maine Brewing Supply was born. The shop offers the usual spectrum of both dry & liquid yeast, bulk grains, hops, recipe kits, equipment (beginning & all-grain). Maine Brewing Supply also offers up reading material, DVDs and even a small selection of specialty and begium beers by the bomber.

The Zimmerman’s shop is located at 542 Forest Ave. in Portland, next to the Great Lost Bear (talk about marketing genius!). It’s open from noon-6 pm Wednesday-Friday, 11:30 am-5 pm on Saturday and 11 am-3 pm on Sunday. FMI call 791-BREW.

I stopped in to Maine Brewing Supply last weekend to do a little shopping of my own but wasn’t overly impressed. The shop is certainly big enough, and is much more open, clean and un-cluttered (maybe it just needs a little time) than normal homebrew supply shops – but that’s what give such shops their charm, right? Maine Brewing Supply had a great selection of hops (and Rob told me that he’d stocked up enough to hopefully make it through any supposed shortage), which they keep in a freezer on the show room floor. They were, however, a little short on the yeast selection but kept assuring me that their next shipment was due in the following day. However I, being pretty new to homebrewing after all, still use dry yeast and their dry yeast selection definitely left something to be desired.

The Zimmermans do have an excellent selection of malt grains and specialty/adjunct grains on hand (which they’ll gladly crush for you), but they won’t sell any of them in quantities under a pound. They have a great selection of recipe kits as well, but, their selection of liquid extract cans & DME was very far from even being adequate. On the other hand, the shop seemed to have a nice selection of both starter & all-grain kits and they do carry both kegs & CO2 canisters.

In the back corner of the show room is a large seating area with couches, numerous brewing publications and a flat-screen TV. Rob hopes to host classes and demos there in the future and would like the seating area to become a place for local homebrewers to come and hang out together and swap recipes & tips with one another.

While it is certainly nice to have supplies for sale so close by, and I do understand that a lot of kinks get worked out in the first few months a store is opened (Maine Brewing Supply has been open only a little more than 3 weeks), the Zimmerman’s do have a lot of work still to do.

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3 comments

  1. Just went to this store for the first time on 1/25/08. In my opinion it’s the best homebrew store in Maine and possible the best I have ever been to. It’s spacious, easy to navigate, has a ton of selection and the owner is friendly and knowledgable. It has definitely changed since the review above as the merchandise selection is great especially the hops. I had been searching for northern brewer hops for about 3 months now and they had some at Maine Brewing Supply. Also love the seating area and hope Rob can put that to good use by organizing tasting sessions, brewing classes and generally events to bring us homebrewers together. If you are a homebrewer in the Southern Maine or eastern NH region you should definitely check this place out.

  2. I’m glad to hear its improved (I haven’t been back in awhile). I definitely thought the place had HUGE potential and hoped the owners would get the first-few-weeks-in-business-kinks worked out. Its sounds to me, from your assessment, that they have and that is definitely great news; Portland needs them, for sure.

    Thanks for the update!
    Luke
    blogaboutbeer.com

  3. Rob and Gaylin are doing a wonderful job. Selection keeps going up. Prices are reasonable. The last two times I have been there, I have handed Rob my grain bill and he has ground and packed it for me. Already to mash.
    They are providing a service we have been in great need of.

    BTW.. You can get supplies but no answers/knowledge at Oak Hill Redemption in Scarborough

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