LINCOLNVILLE BEACH — Andy’s Brewery at the Lobster Pound restaurant brimmed over May 1 with a crowd of more than 100 turning out to enjoy the brand new brew pub space at Lincolnville Beach, and of course, sample the beer, for a soft opening.
It felt like Old Home Week for a number of patrons who’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening of the new brew pub since earlier this winter, when brewers Ben Hazen and his father, Andrew Hazen, announced their intent to take their Lincolnville brewing business, Andrews Brewing Company, to another level. Joining them in the effort were Sean Duffelmeyer of Northport and Jim Tyler of Searsmont.
The Andrews Brewing Co. business will remain separate from Andy’s Brew Pub, but that won’t matter to fans of one of the first breweries to start in Maine.
With roots that run deep in the community, two longtime local businesses have now joined forces into one new corporation that will operate at the Lobster Pound, the large, rambling restaurant that has anchored beach business for 58 years, serving lobster and seafood at tables overlooking the west side of Penobscot Bay. On the left side of the building, the newly constructed brew pub offers a cozy, 25-foot wrap-around bar and plenty of seating with views of Lincolnville’s harbor. On the right side of the building, the Lobster Pound owner, Richard McLaughlin, will still continue to run the restaurant, which will open as usual in May.
The vision is simple: “Lots of people drinking good beer and eating lots of seafood,” said McLaughlin, last winter. McLaughlin will retain the gift shop that has always been popular with tourists. There, shoppers will also find brew pub items, including growlers, pint glasses, T-shirts, as well as the novelty lobster gifts. Soon, bottled Andrews Brewing Co. beer will be available as well.
Andy’s Brew Pub is now one more link in the Midcoast to connect the Maine Beer Trail from Portland to Bar Harbor (and all points in between). It’s already listed on the Maine Brewers Guild, the nonprofit that puts together the Maine Beer Trail, a guide to craft breweries throughout the state.
With more than 10 varieties of Andrews Brewing Co. beer on tap (plus two guest taps to be added this spring), there were plenty of pints to choose from. The simple menu offers classic pub fare, from haddock sandwiches to pizza and salads to comfort food appetizers like nachos and poutine.
With their high spirits, good humor, individual skills and strong business sense, these new corporate officers are ready to energize the town. And the locals can’t wait.
Andy’s Brew Pub will continue its soft opening tonight from 3 to 10 p.m. Stay tuned to their Facebook page to follow their new pub hours and menu.
The new Lincolnville Beach venture is collegial not only with other breweries, but with local wineries and distilleries. The new bar will host wine from CellarDoor Winery and Savage Oaks, as well as the Maine crafted alcohol, such as Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery’s Back River Gin and Three Crow Rum.
And even though the Hazens will be down at the beach, it will remain business as usual up on High Street, as Andrew’s Brewery Co. will continue brewing and bottling its line of beers there.
For 58 years, the Lobster Pound has been cooking and selling lobster during the warmer months. The Carver Family started it in 1926, then sold it to Andy Cobb, who sold it to Richard Chase. Dick McLaughlin worked for Chase and in 1957, Barney and Ruth McLaughlin (Dick’s parents) bought it. In 1972, Dick and his brother, Neil, acquired it, and in 1990, Dick bought his brother’s share.
Since then, the McLaughlins have owned it, and Dick sold the Lobster Pound take-out to his son, Rick.
Now, the Lobster Pound embarks on a new, expanded era, although Dick is clear to say that the menu, and restaurant, will maintain the traditional family appeal for which it has always been recognized.