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King's Head Co-owner Looking to Open Tiny Brew Pub on Wharf Street

The former home of Dancing Elephant II will be converted to a brew pub by Rick Binet.

The King's Head, Portland.
The King's Head, Portland.
Adam H. Callaghan

The oldest brew pub in Maine is about to get company on Wharf Street. Gritty McDuff's, which was founded in 1988 and has egress on Fore Street and Wharf Street, will get a neighbor at 29 Wharf Street, though it's still unclear when that will happen.

Hat tip to Portland Food Map, who spotted that Rick Binet, co-owner of beer bar The King's Head on Commercial Street, has leased the former home of Dancing Elephant II under the business name Portland Mash Tun, LLC (a mash tun is a brewing vessel where sugars are extracted from malted grains prior to fermentation). Binet has designs on making his own beer to serve alongside guest drafts and a simple food menu.

The restaurateur told Eater, "It's going to be a nano system and I'm going to be running 15-20 guest beers as well, so it's a nano brewery plus a beer bar plus affordable grass fed burgers." A nano brewery, smaller than a microbrewery, generally produces up to 100 gallons of beer at a time.

The venture won't be an extension of the King's Head brand. The new endeavor doesn't have anything to do "with King's Head conceptually, and it's going to be just me or almost all me involved," Binet noted, "though King's Head will get beer to put on tap for sure."

Binet won't just be supervising; he plans to brew as well. "I am going to be brewing and I am also going to be looking for a brewer as well," he said. Aspiring professionals have plenty of time to brush up on their recipes, though, as Binet admitted, "I am a ways away from getting open."

Gritty McDuff's

396 Fore Street, Portland, ME 04101 207 772 2739 Visit Website

The King's Head

254 Commercial St, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 805-1252 Visit Website