SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland couple unveiled plans this week for the first brewery in Knightville, and only the second in the city.
Pending approval from the Planning Board, which is scheduled to hold its first hearing on the proposal Tuesday, Oct. 13, Craig and Julia Dilger’s Foulmouthed Brewing will open in a building that was once an auto garage at the corner of Ocean and A streets.
The property is still in the early stages of renovation, and the Dilgers said they expect the business to be up and running sometime next spring.
Foulmouthed will be a brewpub, rather than a brewery with just a tasting room, Craig Dilger said.
Dilger, who will be the operations manager, is a wedding and freelance photographer. His wife, the chief executive, taught elementary school on Peaks Island for five years. She has also managed the business portion of concessions operations for Broadway theater productions.
The couple, both 32, said they have been talking about starting a brewery since they got together about eight years ago. They said the business name, Foulmouthed, is a play on the region’s history, when all of greater Portland was known collectively as Falmouth.
The name is also a reference to “the city’s seafaring history and the many salty conversations between sailors on the waterfront,” according to the Dilgers.
Dilger, who has been a home brewer for more than a decade, said a brewpub will allow them to offer more beer options without worrying about bottling and distribution.
He will brew with a friend and fellow brewer. The two have been brewing together for a while, and have been featured on the Maine Brew Bus underground beer tour of Portland.
“The ability to do something different routinely is a big part of the appeal of a brewpub, rather than a production-style facility,” Dilger said. “A pub gives us the ability to make a beer just once.”
Dilger expects to start with six beers when the pub opens, but plans to cycle through the full spectrum of brews, everything from German-style lagers to American wild and Belgian ales.
He said he is also open to offering experimental beers, like a chocolate salted seaweed beer he’s brewing for a local beer competition.
Prior to this year, South Portland had no breweries to boast about. Now, Fore River Brewing Co. is expected to open at the end of this month, in addition to the Dilgers’ plans.
“We looked in both Portland and South Portland, but we really found what we were looking for in South Portland, and we realized what a great community it is,” Julia Dilger said.
Several people suggested the Dilgers look into buying property in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, “but in terms of wanting to be a pub in a really walkable community, South Portland was exactly what we’re looking for,” Craig Dilger added.
Foulmouthed will initially offer breakfast and lunch on weekends, and dinner during the week. The menu will include simple food like sandwiches and French fries – “nothing too fancy,” Julia said – but will take inspiration from other nearby restaurants and bars, like Novare Res and Duckfat, both in Portland.
“We want things to be accessible,” Julia said.
On Tuesday evening, the Dilgers held a neighborhood open house at local coffeehouse Cia Cafe, to announce their plans and the name of the brewpub. It included samples of one of Dilger’s beers, an American India pale ale brewed with French saison yeast.
Dee Taylor, of Sawyer Street, who said she walks in the Knightville neighborhood all the time, said the beer was delicious.
“This is exciting,” Taylor said. “I think it’s a great idea.”
Taylor also commented on how close the pub will be to the Eastern Trail and the Greenbelt Walkway, which will make it especially accessible to walkers and bikers.
“I think it will draw people here,” she said.