Chupacabra is their boldest flavor, just in time for Halloween

Liberty Brewing Co. is latest small-batch microbrewery to open in Midcoast

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:15am

LIBERTY — Like many a home brewer before him, Guy Hews’ hobby has morphed into something bigger and now, the Midcoast can claim another small-batch microbrewery. With Liberty Brewing Co.’s grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 18, hundreds of people made the scenic drive to check out the rustic tasting room located on 7 Coon Lane off Route 220 in Liberty.

The two-car garage, which stands apart from his house overlooking a spectacular mountain range used to be Hews’ “glorified man cave” before he converted the downstairs into the brewing facility and the upstairs into the tasting room. Standing behind the bar as his wife, Karen, welcomed people in and his daughter, Maddy, tallied up people’s purchases, Hews poured from his taps and chatted with the crowd. The free tastings came in either small or large Dixie cups delivered in hand-hewn paddles Hews made and featured a range of beers in the pale ale and lager region.

A couple of his beers centered around local flavors, such as his Queenbee Honey Lager, which contains more than 11 pounds of Clover honey in each batch. His Blueberry Ale also has a good story. His great-grandfather came down from Canada to do blueberry farming and left the property to Hews’ uncle, who leases it out commercially. There’s a still a plot left for Hews’ family to use personally and the whole family goes up every year to rake the blueberries. After he boils the batch down into a concentrate, Hews adds it to his beer, resulting into a fresh, floral taste that doesn’t overwhelm.

Coming up on Halloween, his Chupacabra IPA (8 percent abv) is sure to have a cult following with those who enjoy spooky legends to go with their beers.

“My wife’s from Turner and a few years back, they found something on the side of the road,” he said. “And they didn’t know if it was a dog or a wolf or what it was, and the state police and a Maine biologist determined it was a chupacabra.” For those who aren’t familiar with the Latin American term, it is said to be mysterious beast that drains the blood of pets and livestock. See the original story here. “I always liked the story and I thought the name fit what is a very bold, outrageous beer.”

Hews has been doing small-batch micro-brewing for about five years.

“I had several friends and locals who loved the brews and asked me all the time when I’d sell it,” he said.

After applying for the proper licenses this past April and receiving them last month, he has been hard at work getting his brews and production ready for the grand opening. He currently offers four bottled brews that will be available on site and at Liberty General Store.  His Blueberry Ale is only available in growlers.

Hews, who works full time as a civil engineer said he plans to stay small and local, with the help of his family “as it is all I can handle for now,” he said. “In the future, I’ll probably hire one more person, but right now it’s a lot for my wife and kids to help me.”

Out of 54 breweries that grace the Maine Brewers’ Guild Maine Beer Trail, Liberty Craft Brewing Co. is listed as #22.

To learn more about the brewery’s offerings and tasting room hours visit their Facebook page.

Related story: 24 hours in the Midcoast for the “Craft Beer Lover.”

Kay Stephens can be reached at