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Exclusive: Brew Pub Planned for South Portland's Knightville Neighborhood

There goes the neighborhood — in a good way.

Dave Shea/Flickr

Portland has at least ten breweries and brew pubs. Yet just across the bridge, aside from Freeport Brewing Company's recent short-lived stint near Bug Light, South Portland has long been a brewery-free zone. That will change when Julia Dilger and her husband Craig finish rehabbing 15 Ocean Street, a former repair shop they purchased in the Knightville neighborhood.

Craig, a photographer and prolific home brewer operating for years as "Foulmouthed Brewing," is COO of the unnamed brew pub. He also gained some professional experience brewing at Ebenezer's Brew Pub when it opened in Brunswick last year. Craig said he and his wife have been planning the concept since they first started dating: "It's a plan that's been eight years in the making."

Julia, who taught on Peaks Island and has business management experience, is the CEO of the venture. The couple haven't yet announced brewers, chef, or other staff due to "existing commitments" and the likelihood of a long buildout process. There's no timeline on the project, as there aren't even any permits yet.

When asked why they're choosing a brew pub instead of a production brewery, Craig told Eater they "like the experimental, smaller scale brewing" possible at a brew pub. Julia added that they "want a neighborhood place where people can come hang out and get a bite or a meal." They're already brainstorming community-minded events like knitting nights to encourage the neighborhood to gather.

The couple are encouraged by the initial response of neighbors, who seem excited about the prospect of a local beer producer and restaurant. "Knightville feels like that perfect Maine community," Craig said. "It has a neighborhood vibe and a real authenticity that we think is exactly the kind of place we want to spend our time."

See the full press release below, and if you'd like to be notified of an upcoming community meeting, sign up online.

dilger brew pub press release